It has officially been two months since my college graduation, and what a whirlwind these two months have been! The summer commenced with a two week trip to Ireland with my family, and I have been on the go since our return flight. My boyfriend lives in Louisville, my parents spend their summers at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri (where I have been assisting with their recent renovation--read about it here!), and I now have an internship in Chicago, so I've racked up quite a few miles on my Subaru. As I write this, my last seven nights have been distributed between two different states and four different beds. This post is an honest look into the peaks and valleys of my first sixty days as a Real Life Grown Up.
The hardest post-grad life adjustment so far has been my long distance relationship. Acclimating to just a few visits per month has been particularly difficult for the two of us. We've been very fortunate to see each other most weekends, and those weekends are filled with family and adventure and fun, but I miss being home with nowhere to be, binge-watching a popular Netflix series with pretzels and Kroger beer cheese. Luckily, we're only two months from moving into our first apartment halfway across the country to Eugene, Oregon! Valley, meet Peak!
The best distraction from the ever-present gloom of missing him is the task of furnishing an empty apartment. I've been scouring through the Eugene Craigslist furniture section searching for affordable furniture, and to my astonishment I stumbled across a genuine 1940 NYC manufactured Saarinen Knoll 4' Tulip table and the original 6 leather-upholstered swivel chairs, tags still attached, for $600! Why this man didn't list this masterpiece for $5,000 at least, I have no idea and I did not ask. That sucker is mine now. It could use a (professionally done) fresh white lacquer spray, but I plan on spending forever with this beauty, so I'll get to it eventually.
Another big update: I've obtained my first (semi) big girl job as an interior design intern at a beautiful high-end residential firm in Chicago. In just three days I honestly have learned as much as an entire semester in college, simply because I am finally working with actual clients and witnessing actual projects. I am so excited to work for this firm, and I cannot wait to learn from these wonderful women and grow as a designer. I got CCed on my first email to a client the other day with my AutoCAD drawings attached and I swear I almost fainted.
It is so rewarding to be able to put my four years of hard work to use in the real world right out of college. It is equally as rewarding to be compensated for my hard work and put that compensation toward a chic business casual wardrobe fit for a luxe Chicago office. I spent my undergrad wearing primarily sorority T-shirts and leggings, so any opportunity to dress like an adult has been good for me. Bad for my wallet, but good for my soul.
The valley of this peak is that in order to pay for gas for my biweekly commute to the city I have picked up a second job in my hometown of Bloomington, IL, at a department store I worked at seasonally my junior year (which I swore up and down I would never return to.) The store, its employees, and even the regular customers have not changed a bit in the two and a half years it has been since I was an employee, and it is a very common thing to run into people I went to high school with, or, even more awkward, the mothers of people I went to high school with. It isn't an ideal situation, but it is keeping me busy and doubling my income this summer, so I really can't complain.
So, this is my life right now! It's a little hectic and the distant Future I've been dreaming about is fast becoming the Now, and while I can't say I am totally prepared, I know that I am taking the necessary steps to get where I want to be. I am so thankful for my supportive family, boyfriend, friends, and coworkers that have made the bizarre transition from longtime student to brand spankin' new adult manageable, and even exciting! This summer has presented me with so many opportunities for growth, and I hope to keep this blog updated every step of the way. More updates to come!