My New Life....

I am now officially a resident of Dallas, Texas...well, Irving, Texas to be exact.

To make a long story short, I was miserable in Little Rock, Arkansas. Don't get me wrong, it's a great city with some of the greatest people I've ever met. However, I am just not a small city kind of girl. I moved to Little Rock, after Hurricane Katrina and initially, everything was great because it was new. But, over time as I got to know more and more about the city, the more I learned that the choice of my locale was a mistake. I realized that when you move, as a single adult, to a city where everyone gets married straight out of high school, and definately no later than straight out of college, to their high school or college sweethearts that another relocation is imminent--that is unless I wanted to die alone.

To make matters worse, I was in a job that caused me to dread going to work. I was employed at a local college as a Program Director for a program that prepared high school students for higher education. The program involved a summer residential component that allowed the students to simulate college life for 6 weeks. The job involved exceptionally long hours in the summer, as I was required to be on campus with the students until 10pm when they would report to their dorm rooms for final roll call for the night. Additionally, working with teenagers, while can be rewarding, involves taking a lot of teenage attitude and back talk. Add in the fact that the program was federally funding, which means the salary was not exactly anything to write home about.

I decided that I would have to leave Little Rock, and just like when I desired to leave New Orleans, the prospects for an out of of town job candidate was slim. So, I decided that I would probably have to leave my job to relocate. I could only imagine the flack I would receive for leaving a job in this economy. But given the fact the program is never guaranteed to be funded past the current grant cycles, the state of the federal deficit has forced the future cuts of approximately 300 programs nationwide, and my college was strugggling through re-accredidation issues, I figured my decision to leave was not a huge risk. As a result, I got busy with the business of saving a year's salary.

The current fiscal year for the program ended on August 31st and I gave a month resignation with August 27th being my last day on the job. When I put in my resignation, my plan was to rent my house, move to Dallas and stay in an extended stay hotel until I found temporary employment. Well, a random search on Craigslist under "Education" jobs landed me an interview for a Program Delivery Specialist to target elementary schools in Dallas. The interview was scheduled for the day before my last day at work (perfect timing, I know.) The interview was on a Thursday and my last day on the job the following day on a Friday. Since I had such great luck with the job search on Craigslist, I decided to do a housing search just to see. Low and behold, I found a studio apartment that was being advertised by a student who was moving back home and needed someone to take over his lease. It turns out the rent would would be cheaper than the extended stay hotel.

So, I drove to Dallas early Thursday morning (a 4.5 hour drive from Little Rock) for the interview, waited until the tenant got off from work and looked at the apartment, then drove back home--all in the same day. I got back home after 11pm, then attended my last day of work the next day. Then I went on a one week vacation to San Diego...ahhhh. While on vacation, I got the call that I had gotten the job!!

So, while everyone thought I was crazy for leaving a job in the state of the economy, I followed my heart because I knew I could not stay in a life that was not working for me any longer--especially for a job that was not guranteed anyway. Although the job is part-time, I'm OK with this because: 1. I was burned out from the previous job and need a little break; 2. My low consumption and debt-free lifestyle allows me to be able to pay my minimum bills from the salary; 3. I have no pride and would have taken any job to pay the bills, if need be; 4. As long as the job is in education, I am still doing what I love.

So, that's the story of my new life and also why I have been absent from the blog. I still do not have my internet set up and am typing from the complex's resident business center, which also explains why the post have no picture. As a result, my posts may be a little scarce until the end of the month, so bear with me.

Oh, and so far, so good in Dallas....I start my new job today at 2pm. Wish me luck....

I'm back from my marvelous vacation feeling well rested and renewed. I may post some pictures of the awesomeness that was San of the beach, the beautiful view from my hotel, the wonderful reggae band I saw at Wave House on the beach.... But, now that the vacay is over...

I returned home to find out that a co-worker and great man, died from a heart attack while he slept. On last Thursday, September 9th, I found out that a former co-worker and friend, whose 65th b-day party I had just attended two weeks ago, had died of a massive stroke. These deaths shook me because I had just seen the people and they seemed to be the picture of health. It made me realize just how true the statement is, "here today, gone tomorrow." It also made me hyper aware of the fact that life should be lived to the fullest because we never know which day will be our last.

In my humble opinion, death, while sad, serves as a wake up call to the living. For me, it was a reminder that we are SUPPOSED to be living and enjoying life, not merely existing. These deaths made me grateful for the times I had known these great men, one of which was like a father figure. Also, it made me grateful for the life that I have chosen which embraces financial freedom and minimalism. From my standpoint, these life decisions are allowing me to live more fully and freely because I am not bogged down by debt or worry about not having time to truly enjoy life because I have too many things to care for or pay for.

It is my hope that everyone lives life to the fullest and realizes that our time here on earth is short and we should spend it with the people we love, doing things we love.

I've been missing in action while preparing for and vacationing in sunny San Diego. I will be back shortly and will try to get a few posts in before I get too busy. My life is gonna be really busy and hectic during the month of September; which is all the more reason I better enjoy this vacation!