Have you ever wondered what those graduate school graduates hide under those winged robes and hoods? Well here ya go and you're welcome:
Yep, I did it...and I wore sweatpants when I did. That's what happens when the weather turns to shit (rainy, dreary and about 40 degrees in mid May), but nothing could have gotten me down that day. It was all I could do to not bawl tears of joy through the entire ceremony. I've never worked so hard in my life and there are two reasons behind that: 1.) because earning a dual master's degree in business is not exactly easy and 2.) I was really fucking sick of being a victim in my own life. On my personal site blog, I described others earning their master's in a "la-dee-dah" kind of fashion, which is the opposite of what I did. The last two years have been nothing short of life changing...exactly what I needed. You've read the stories and I'm sure you agree.
Of course, a lot of other things have happened since my last blog...in March. For one, I now have this weird thing called free time. I forgot what it was like to have hobbies and not hyperventilate daily from stress. I can now go back to regaling you with tales of stupid people and the inappropriately exposed body parts of said stupid people.
Trips: Florida, back to Kansas and Chicago for a post graduation trip, all of which were equally satisfying. Also, a successful mountain biking trip at Copper Mountain last weekend. Yes, I did careen down a mountain on a bike, but I did so without injury to my body or my pride...other than a sore ass from the hard wedge of plastic they call a seat...far more successful than my skiing adventures.
The bearded boyfriend and I found an awesome place on the east side of Denver...sadly the Hippie is not our landlord, but we are within walking/biking distance of both a dive bar and a liquor store. We have our priorities in order.
Also during my absence from this blog, the entire state caught on fire, a police officer was shot and killed during a jazz concert at a park a few blocks north of our apartment and just a few days ago a freaking lunatic shot up a packed movie theater several blocks east of our place. You might have seen it on the news...all over the world. Sorry for the downers, but when all these things happen in your own backyard, it tends to affect your life.
Text messages woke me up before I knew what had happened on Friday. The obligatory "please tell me you didn't go to the Batman movie last night" from Mom and another similar one from my friend Lisa in Chicago. Just precautionary, as most people know that I am now far too old balls to attend a movie at midnight on a school night and when a movie lacks poop jokes, the chances of me seeing it in the theater dwindle to nearly zero (with the exception of Hunger Games). I'll wait for Redbox or HBO to catch me up on a lazy night.
I've watched the coverage for three days, wide eyed. That's all that's been on here. Then last night, they showed the pictures of the people who were killed. Most of them were just like me: 20s, recent graduate students; a woman who had big dreams and moved here to make them happen. I held it together, barely, then they showed the last two little girls, about 6-years-old and I lost it because he shot and killed babies and I just can't deal with that.
They say the good news is he wasn't in a terrorist group, which I think is a stretch. He was a lone terrorist and now because of that we're all going to be looking over our shoulders when we go to the movies, planning an escape route when we walk in or even avoiding them all together for a time. It pisses me off.
In other, more lighthearted news, something good did happen last week. When my internship turned into a job a few weeks after graduation, I found myself doing things that only people with real jobs do - traveling to other cities, staying in hotels and attending trade shows. This one involved spending a day and a half in Laramie, Wyoming drinking beer, meeting the Governor and introducing the new brand that I developed and launched as an intern. Of course, there was also strategic dodging of a certain small town council member who called the gold chains that swayed to and fro across the billowing chest hair that peeked out the top of his fittingly, one-too-many-buttons-undone shirt, his "Mr. T Starter Kit." He admired my red shoes, which turned into a conversation about Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. Funny how many of those conversations I've had in my life...yet none of them ended like this. The comment prompted me to mention that I had met Jerry Maren, the original Lollipop Kid and little person in the movie, when I was a cub reporter. He then went on to inform me that during the filming, "they couldn't keep those midgets away from each other" and that they were "horny little bastards!"
I slipped away after discretely picking my jaw up off the floor. You can take the girl out of journalism, but you can't take the journalist out of the girl. Complete strangers tell me all sorts of entertaining, ragingly fucked up things all the time. I think I just have some sort of look or air about me that makes the crazy come out. But, I'm pretty sure this guy didn't need me as a catalyst.
So, soon after my experience with TMI gold chain dude, an interview process started for a bigger, better job with the same company. While in the end, the job was tweaked here and there, I got it and suddenly find myself making nearly triple what I made out of undergrad. Yeah, it's partly about the money, but it's more about finally being paid what I'm worth, the satisfaction of knowing I rebuilt my life and being happy when I was unhappy and struggling for so long. I'm on my way and it's a far cry from scooping dog shit into a metal can.
I'll gladly take it - horny midgets and all.