I’ve been a fan of country music as far back as I can remember. When I was 4, the big song on the radio was Tim McGraw’s I Like It, I Love It song. I allegedly would sing that song to my daycare teachers to tell them I wanted seconds of lunch. Just in case you were wondering if I’ve been like that my whole life, the answer is yes. I was quite precocious.
My music tastes have expanded since preschool. I now listen to anything from Enya to movie scores to alternative rock to some EDM. Country music will still hold a special place in my heart though, no matter how much it sounds like top 40.
Why the long-winded intro to the post?
My life is spinning around and changing so fast I can barely catch my breath. The country song Life Changes by Thomas Rhett pretty much perfectly encompasses my life right now.
“Ain’t it funny how life changes
You wake up, ain’t nothing the same and life changes
You can’t stop it, just hop on the train and
You never know what’s gonna happen
You make your plans and you hear god laughing
Life changes, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, the world, oh no
And I wouldn’t change it for the world, the world, oh no”
God is certainly laughing at my feeble attempts to make plans!
I’m thrilled to announce I have accepted a new position with a new company in the DMV area! This job search was really interesting compared to the past hunts I’ve done. My mission wasn’t to find the highest paying or most prestigious job this time around.
After the first week or so in my job in the DC area, I knew it wasn’t going to be a good fit for the long run. The title was the same as my previous position, but the job duties we actually did were far different than what I was used to. I gave it a bit to get me settled in the area and then polished up the ol’ resume. I’ve figured out I don’t like being a contract worker or being dependent on a contract to have a job. This position is currently in a bridge contract and thus might just.….. end one day if it doesn’t get picked up for the next X years. That lack of stability is not cool.
I also figured out I like a corporate environment. I like it when everyone in the company is working towards one ultimate goal and not a bunch of different teams with different missions.
This new position is a bit of a pay cut upfront. I’ll still be hourly, which is a shame since I like being salaried, but the bright side of being hourly is getting OT pay. This new job offers OT at 1.5x my hourly rate, so that will help make up some of the shortfall. I normally don’t like to work over 40 hours a week, but I can pretty much guarantee I’ll have weeks when OT is expected. This new job has MUCH better benefits than the one I left so that’s something to get excited about as well.
There were many good reasons to leave this last job but I, of course, had to leave the best one for last.
One of my goals for 2019 was to get back into the dating world. For the first 3 months or so, I wanted to focus on me and my happiness. I also lived in my friends’ basement and didn’t feel it was appropriate to date while living there. Then I moved to my awesome new place in Capitol Hill with my awesome new roommate and no longer had that particular excuse.
Then my friend Michelle came to visit and we had a great conversation about dating that made me realize I was ready to date again. I really wanted to take my time and ensure I had recovered from my last relationship. I knew I was ready when the thought of learning about someone and their life didn’t seem like a chore or a huge emotional burden.
Shortly after that revelation, I had another. The positive impression I had of a guy at work wasn’t just “this is my cool coworker who has excellent tastes in nerd culture” — it was feelings. I had a crush on my coworker! It turns out my radar for picking up signals was working just fine because it turned out he liked me too. Always a magical feeling when that happens! I knew he would be a good partner for me when we could have a lively debate on who would win if they ever came face to face: Carmen Sandiego or Nancy Drew. (feel free to discuss in the comments)
I’ve dated a coworker in the past and I don’t think I can really recommend it. There’s a reason there are so many sayings like “don’t shit where you eat” and “don’t dip your pen in the company ink”. I don’t work directly with him and feel confident in our ability to be civil if things went sideways. I told him I thought he was worth the hassle and he absolutely is (insert the gagging noises from my roommate she makes when we get too ‘couply’). (Side note from Erin: couples are GROSS!)
Having this budding relationship in my back pocket added a new element to my job search. I actually had another offer from a company before getting the offer from my new company. I turned it down as I didn’t think it would be a good fit. Accepting the first job that came along just because I was dating a coworker would not have been a good decision long term.
Lately, I’ve felt like I was burning the candle at both ends trying to juggle having a social life, hobbies, basic life maintenance things like laundry and meal prep, work, spending time with my new partner, writing for the blog and running the podcast.
Something had to give.
I took an inventory of all the things in my life that I was doing and took out the things I have to do — cooking, cleaning, working, etc. I was left with a list of things I’ve chosen to do. I’ve definitely been guilty of taking on too many activities in my life. People ask me if I want to do something and I cheerfully say sure! .….….only to realize later I don’t have the time to devote to the project to have it be the best version it could be.
I started the scaling down process at the end of last year when I realized I was so incredibly stressed trying to do everything online. All the side hustles I started were taking up a lot of time and mental energy I just didn’t have. I also wasn’t enjoying them nearly as much as I enjoyed other activities that were falling by the wayside. It’s been almost 3 years since I last touched my expensive quilting machine. I’ve also neglected to play through some video games I bought in the past.
All of that is a long-winded way of saying today’s episode of FIRE Drill is the last one I’ll be doing on a regular basis. I have had some amazing experiences and met countless people. I’ve learned, laughed, and grown as a person because of the podcast, but it’s time for me to move on and do things I enjoy for a more fulfilled life.
My weekends are precious time now that I am back working a full-time job. I had to say no to many fun activities in the past as we recorded on Saturdays. Since I have left the podcast, I’ve been able to go hiking with my roommate, participate in the DC Bike Ride (nearly 20 miles of closed roads in downtown DC!), and play more video games. I’ve been able to beat Super Smash Bros Ultimate World Of Light and get started on Mario Odyssey. Next month my favorite game of all time, Crash Team Racing, is getting a remastered release on the Switch and I intend to play the bejeebers out of it.
This weekend is Camp FI Mid-Atlantic and not only do I get to attend it without having to worry about recording new episodes as scheduled, I don’t have to worry about finding cool stories about side hustles or thinking about the weekend in terms of creating content. I get to just.….. attend the weekend and have fun with old and new friends. The weekend after that, my boyfriend and I are going to go to Chesapeake, VA to hang out with friends and explore the area. I would be so stressed out trying to make that happen with the podcast still on my plate, if I could go at all.
I am thrilled J and I were able to accomplish so much with the podcast. We recorded over 150 episodes together, got over 1 million downloads and changed countless people’s lives with our content. I am so glad she is going to keep running the podcast after I leave. The community created around the podcast is so great and supportive. I wish her all the luck moving forward!
Speaking of moving.….…. the time for me to move again is rapidly approaching. You might remember I recently drove most of my
crap belongings from the Midwest to my new place in DC. Well.… with the new job and my new relationship all being in Northern Virginia, it no longer makes much sense for me to stay in DC. The commute coming home could be quite hellacious depending on traffic and accidents that occur on any possible route home.
I’ve also realized I don’t really like not having access to a representative in Congress. I follow politics closely and while I might not contact my rep often, when I do, the issue is very serious. I completely understand why the colonists rebelled against the whole ‘taxation without representation’ thing. It’s not great.
It’s interesting that cost of living is not really a factor in me moving. The financially optimal scenario would be to stay put, but I’m not really living my life by financial optimization strategies anymore.
Instead, I’m living by deliberately spending on things I enjoy and not spending much on things I don’t. I had the pleasure of attending Ramit Sethi’s book tour last week and he touched upon this. His book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, is now 10 years old (holy cow!) so he updated it in a second edition. I didn’t own the first edition, so I’m happy I bought the new book and can read more on his concept of Money Dials. Basically, dial up the things you like, and dial down things you don’t like.
I am dialing up my housing costs by moving to an apartment with a room to sleep and a separate room for activities like quilting and gaming. It could be a 2 bedroom or it could be a 1 bedroom with a den. I love living with my current roommate, but I really don’t like restricting my possessions to one single room. I learned this while living with my friend before I bought the Dingle house, while I was living in the Dingle House in a studio apartment, and while I was living in a basement when I moved to DC. I am the best version of me when I can do things I enjoy and those things take space.
Now, this isn’t to say I’m going to go crazy and spend $3500 a month on a luxury unit. I’m still going to be responsible and try to lessen the hit to my spending, but I have drastically changed the parameters of my search this time around. I am grateful I can afford to live on my own in this crazy expensive place thanks to my decisions in the past. I’m not sure it would be possible if I had a massive car loan or tons of student debt hanging over my head.
“Life changes, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, the world, oh no
And I wouldn’t change it for the world, the world, oh no”
Thomas Rhett and I have that in common. I love this life and all its changes!
Thanks for reading! How is life going for you? Any big announcements?