Posts Tagged ‘Obama’


Disappointment is a part of life. It makes you stronger. Blah, blah – we’ve all heard it before. Unfortunately, it’s true. I did not get into the only graduate program that I applied to, the one which caused me to spend the last few months laboring over writing samples and statements of purpose and studying for the GRE. Obviously, I am disappointed, but more than anything I learned something about myself. I’m not sure if I was always this way, if it’s increased as I grew older, or if it just showed up recently, but when I want something, I go for it 110 percent and I don’t give up. When I found out that I wasn’t accepted into the program that’s available in Utah, I at first felt doomed. What do I do now? I want to go back to school but I choose to live in a state with fewer universities than other areas. Moving isn’t an option.

So I did a little research and I can still work towards my MFA at an accredited university, but it’s accomplished almost entirely through the internet. It’s called a low-residency program and they are available through reputable, cool liberal arts schools. I can write from home and don’t have to move to the state where the university is located. Actually, it mimics the lifestyle of a writer more than traditional programs. I’ll meet twice a year for 10-day meetings and conferences with the professors and other students and then spend the six months in between working on my writing piece. Now the application process begins again!

Last week, when Obama celebrated his 100 days in office, I celebrated my 100 days out of office. Being laid off has truly changed my perspective. I am energized about life and what comes next. I am proud of my accomplishments, even when they have not worked out. I am excited about the adventure that begins in just three days. We will first head to Hong Kong, leaving at 1 pm on Thursday and arriving at 7 pm on Friday. We then fly to Laos, spending almost two weeks biking, hiking, hanging with elephants and tubing down a lazy river with our best friend. He’s the same guy who officiated our wedding. We may even be lucky enough to spend some of that time with a few close friends whose travel plans have overlapped too! After Laos, we’re onto Shanghai, the Paris of the east. My husband and I will be teaching tourism at the university for a month. Then on to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

Who’s life am I living? It is crazy how I have inadvertently created so many new adventures for myself and it was all because I took a chance and moved out west. I love that! Stay tuned in the next two and a half months for postings on all of our adventures. Thank you to my family and friends who are supporting my ambitions to obtain a graduate degree and write a book (or two or three).


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It’s been exactly one month since President Obama took office and I left office. It is a surreal experience to watch someone so intelligent, dedicated, and diplomatic run our country, while at the same time I am one of the statistics that he is continuously mentioning in his news conferences.

The piece of advice (more like sympathy clause), that I have heard most over the last month is “Things happen for a reason.” This particular saying is prefaced by my explanation of how ironic it was that I wanted to go back to school, started the admissions process and was subsequently laid off. However, I do not believe things happen for a reason, I believe that I am in control of my next move. Obviously, I was not in control of keeping or losing my job (positive thinking only goes so far). But the next move, did not happen by chance, I controlled it.

I know many people believe in that mantra of things happening for a reason and I do not denounce that belief, I just have a different internal measure. Sure, the past month has been scary at times. I have cried way too much, not over losing my job, but for being afraid of what comes next. Humans are easily adaptable, but often cling to what they know versus the unknown. I love not knowing what comes next in life, but I also fear it.

Looking back over the past month, the unknown gave me a swift kick in the ass and I liked it! I signed up for the GRE and Kaplan tutoring, made a new friend (my tutor!), baked my first raspberry pie, reconnected with old high school buddies, booked a flight to Southeast Asia, shredded the gnar at Park City Mountain, The Canyons, and Solitude, figured out the setting and point of view for my book, studied my buttocks off for the GRE, learned new vocab words like banal (sounds dirty, but unfortunately means nothing more than boring or cliché), and have finally realized my dream of writing a book. The book is no longer something I will just talk about conceptually, but hopefully it will be the project that I spend the next two plus years completing. And what’s even more amazing is that I will write the book as my thesis for school. I could be the first in my family to obtain a Master’s Degree and that feels bigger than life.

I have had 75% of my high school friends go back to school after they finished undergrad whether to medical school, business school, grad school, studying public health, finance, physical therapy, and radiation. But I never thought that I could be one of them. I am not exactly sure why; it just did not seem like something “I” would do. I know better now. I had forced myself into thinking I could only be one thing – a PR executive. And while I had not wanted to be that one thing for the rest of my life, I just kept going back to it because it was familiar. I guess what I figured out this past month is that I might be scared of the unknown future, but fear will not stop me from trying something new. Maybe I’ll fail…but maybe, just maybe, I won’t.

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I Heart Sandwich

I had lunch today with a friend at my favorite lunch spot, the Back Door Deli (or BDD for you acronym lovers). A few days ago, I found out from the owners of BDD that I would have a sandwich named after me. Honestly, can you think of anything cooler than that? But now that I have reached the pinnacle of my rock star status so early in life, where will I go from here? By the way, my sandwich will be called Paula’s Ultimate Veggie and ultimate it will be.

I love the guys at the Back Door Deli and I think they love me too. But that is not the reason they gave my sandwich creation its place on the menu. The motivation behind their decision is simple: I’m a pain in the ass. I do not order anything directly off a menu…ever. It goes a little something like this: I’ll take the turkey sandwich but I’d like mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar, hold the turkey and could you just put it on whole wheat instead of sourdough? Thanks and I’d love an extra pickle, too. The owners of BDD finally had enough. In the process, they found a way to make a Jewish girl do what they want…give her exactly what she asks for and watch her delight in saying her own name!

My lunch conversation was more serious. (Note: tune out now if you don’t want to talk politics.) My lunch buddy and I made a comparison between our political leadership and corporations that I hope has some merit to it. We were talking about transparency in corporate America, which obviously has not existed in the past few years. Many companies have created a masterful puppet show, pulling strings behind a curtain of lies and deceit. But why would they act any differently? I mean, you do learn from the top down. For the last eight years, a clown and his sickly sidekick, who shot a man because he mistook him for a Grouse, have run our country. Have you seen what that bird looks like? Not even slightly resembling human form. Under our previous leadership, I didn’t feel like my future was being looked after. And I didn’t feel like my opinion would make a difference. I watched fearfully as choices were made that affected us all but that we did not support.

But every day since the day I was laid off, Obama has been on TV, clearly laying out his plan for the U.S. He’s been upfront about his feelings and made no secrets of the changes he intends to make. Maybe if we have a leader that sets forth an agenda of transparency, the rest of the country’s CEOs will follow suit. What better way to make a statement than to lead with respect, not only of yourself but also of the people who helped you get to where you are now.

Ok, enough seriousness, but do let me know your feelings on the state of the America. On a brighter note, be thankful that you are not allergic to your own hair. I am. 

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