Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Still Exist!

I promise!

So again, I apologize for severe blog neglect.  Since coming home in early January, my life has been a whirlwind of intense reverse culture-shock, job-hunting stress, Chinese New Year festivities, hanging out with my girl Stace in Ottawa, eating all my favourite foods, requisite home weight gain, efforts to undo the aforementioned weight gain, reacquainting myself with everyone and everything here...but I'm back!  And I have lots to tell you, naturally.

Being away from my blog for so long makes me feel like something really important in my life is missing.  After a while it feels like my head is really congested with lots of thoughts and I need an outlet.  I guess writing is free therapy for me and I really need help again.

Because, you see, lately I've been suffering from violent bouts of Spainsickness.  I miss Spain so much!  And I knew it would happen.  I didn't love living in Nice, but the crash last time was pretty hard, too.  I loved living in Spain and when I came home at first, I really appreciated everything I missed here at home.

For the first month, I was surprised, relieved and proud that I seemed to handle coming home so well this time around.  But then gradually, the pangs of nostalgia and restlessess began to creep in and I really, really miss being in Europe again, particularly Spain (Editor's Note: It probably doesn't help that I keep watching flamenco/listening to classical Spanish guitar on YouTube and reading expat blogs!), and I kind of want to leave again.  It's not quite as desperate as last time, which is just as well, since I can't leave so easily for a while now - not until I settle my student loans and my car.

In other words, I'm pretty much had by the proverbial b*lls. (Well, I don't think there's a proverb with b*lls in it, but you know what I mean. :P)

So instead I started to do the only thing I could and should do to alleviate the situation.  I've begun looking for a Real, Big-Girl Job.  More precisely, a Real, Big-Girl PR/Marketing/Communications Job.  And it's been, well, interesting, I suppose you could say.

To take the pressure off myself, I was lucky enough to come across a fairly flexible temporary job, so I've been doing that while I've been looking.  But in the month or so that I've been here so far, there's been so much drama! 

Anyway, back to my job hunt.  I've been applying to a ton of places, but almost all of the job postings so far ask for people with a certain amount of experience.  How am I suppose to accumulate that coveted commodity that is experience if I can't even get  my foot in the door?

I've been to three interviews so far since I started searching a month and a half ago, and one second interview, and they went decently well, but I don't feel like anything's slam-dunk yet, and none of the situations are ideal - but that's okay.

I've been chastised for complaining about not getting invited to more interviews, but my inherent impatience is amplified by my need to earn and save money, having spent all my life savings in Spain (thought it absolutely was worth every penny) and particularly because virtually everyone I speak to tells me things like, "It's so great that you speak so many languages/have international experience/have such and such skills and credentials!  You're going to be able to find a job so easily and make a ton of money."

It's not that I think I'm way better than everyone else in the candidate pool and will find a job more easily, because I don't think so, but I kind of expected to get more interview offers at this point.  I put a lot of pressure on myself, I guess, but it's part of my personality.  I kind of wonder if I came off too ambitious in one of my interviews, actually.

It also doesn't help when I hear things like, "Tina, you speak a lot of languages and have a lot of great skills, which is wonderful.  But the position doesn't require someone who speaks anything other than English, and we're not prepared to pay the rate for a multilingual employee - only the rate for someone with exactly the skills we need - even though you'd absolutely be worth every penny for that higher salary."

I always said that speaking a few languages wasn't such a big deal in Europe, that I was a dime a dozen, although I lucked out in my language combo because it includes Chinese.  But at least languages were valued and considered useful in Europe!  Here, people don't seem to really care about anything other than English and French.

So I'm going to keep looking and do my best to stay positive.  And I'm going to keep looping my fight song...and I'm also going to keep reading expat blogs because it's the only the thing fills the void inside me that Spain occupies.   Ugh, I know, I'm such a drama queen.

Oh!  I also made a list of goals for this year and they are:

1.) Find a good PR/marketing/communications job.  By good I mean at least somewhat interesting and pays well enough so that I can survive, make payments on my student loans and my car, and have a bit left over to save.
2.)* Buy myself a 13.3" MacBook Pro.  And new glasses.  And contact lenses.  And those shoes I've been lusting after for a month and a half now.
3.) Buy my mom a diamond ring for Christmas.
4.) Make and stick to a budget once I accomplish #1.
5.) Finish my project - I've regained a little bit since coming home but I've been really good lately and am back on track!
6.) Donate blood.

That's it for now and it should keep me plenty busy - what are your goals for 2011?

And keep your eyes peeled for lots more Tasty Tuesday entries (from Madrid, Barcelona, Ottawa and Toronto!), reviews and advice on being healthy/losing weight, articles about culture, comparing and contrasting life in Europe vs. North America, recipes and more!


*I know, so materialistic - more on this later!

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