Introducing: my own personal book club.

I’ve decided I’m going to introduce a new segment to this blog: my love of reading. I’ve loved reading ever since I was a little girl. I want to say that my parents have said I was reading before I even started kindergarten, but I might be a little overzealous on that one. Regardless, one of the best things for me about being done with school is that I can now read for pleasure. Anyone who loves to read can vouch that during school, it’s nearly impossible to find time to read something for your own enjoyment rather than a textbook or study guide.

I’m going to start reviewing books as I read them, so I’ll start with my most recent read: The Dinner, by Herman Koch.

Image from npr.org

I want to say I saw this book in a magazine, maybe Cosmo, and the mysterious synopsis sparked my interest. In short, it’s about two couples, two brothers and their wives to be exact, who meet for dinner (shocking, I know) to discuss something horrible their children have done that has warranted a police investigation and could change their lives forever. I’m a sucker for vague mysteries like this (self-proclaimed SVU addict here), so when I saw it at my local Target, I had to buy.

This is a hard one to review without ruining the ending and what the kids did, but overall, I’d probably give it 3.5/5 stars (my own scale there). It was a good read, but I wasn’t blown away. It was a bit slow at times and there were parts that seemed irrelevant to me. There was lots of buildup to finding out what the children had done, and for me, the outcome lacked the excitement I was hoping for. It’s a very interesting read as far as dysfunctional family relationships go, both between the adult brothers and their children as cousins, as well as in the couples’ respective marriages. It was an easy read and worth my time, so if you have all the time in the world to read whatever you want (as a new graduate should!), I’d say go for it.

Next on my list, which I just started yesterday, is Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl. Funny story regarding the title: I put this on my Amazon wish list for Christmas, and my mom told me when she came across it, she was completely confused. I’m not a science gal, and she thought I was asking for a book about actual calamity physics. While I did take AP Physics in high school (toot toot), I haven’t the slightest idea what calamity physics are or if that is even an actual scientific term. So disclaimer: the book isn’t what it sounds like…at least I hope it’s not!

If you have any book recommendations, please comment and let me know some of your favorites! I really love anything…from Harry Potter to Pretty Little Liars (judge me) to mysteries to classics like To Kill a Mockingbird (perhaps my favorite of all time), so don’t hesitate to suggest anything!

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A post-grad problem turned blessing.

Phew. I’ve been slacking.

I believe I mentioned in passing in a previous post that I had a great post-grad blog coming up. And here it is…I know so many readers have been anxiously awaiting. But it really is a story I want to share, but one that I couldn’t share right away.

Brief summary of the past year-ish of my life: I graduated from Oklahoma State University (go Pokes!) in December of 2012 with a degree in strategic communications. Although it wasn’t a full-time job, I was lucky enough to have an internship lined up for January – May of 2013. The internship was with Schnake Turnbo Frank, a PR and management consulting firm with offices in downtown Tulsa and Oklahoma City. I was super excited as I was pretty interested in working for an agency. I like variety and a fast-paced environment and from what I’d heard, that is what PR agencies had to offer. Unfortunately, at the close of my internship in May, the firm wasn’t hiring. I’d heard so many “my internship turned into a job!” stories that I couldn’t help be disappointed. From there, the job hunt began.

While I was looking, I waited tables at a restaurant I’d worked at on and off since high school. Finally, in September, I was offered a marketing coordinator job with a company that produced a liquid nutritional supplement. I wasn’t familiar with the product, but I’m into exercise and trying to eat somewhat healthy (I don’t always succeed), so it was interesting to me. I decided to stay on at the restaurant working Friday nights only for some extra cash, and because if I’m being honest, I was pretty attached to my management team and co-workers there. It was a tough goodbye.

Not two days after I accepted the marketing job, I got a call from…you guessed it, the PR firm. “We’re hiring an account coordinator!” Sigh. I had such mixed feelings. My initial thought was, Wow, that would have been great, but I found a job that I think I’ll like. I’ll pass. But as the days went on, the agency job stuck in the back of my mind. I started with the nutritional company and I liked it, but I didn’t love it. From the moment I accepted it, I accepted it with the stance of, “This is my first full-time job out of school. It might not be exactly what I want, but it’s a job.” The thing was, what I did want was a very likely possibility. I hated the thought of skipping out on a job within weeks of starting, but after consulting with friends, family, old classmates and other young professionals, I applied for the account coordinator position. I think a great piece of my advice my mom gave me was assuring me that throughout the entire application process, I’d have multiple opportunities to turn the job down if I wanted to stay where I was, so why not at least put my name in the hat?

Long story short, I got the job and it’s the position I’m at now. I love it, and I’m so glad I put my potential guilt aside and went for what I wanted. I am definitely a people-pleaser, and I was terrified to put my notice in at my previous job. I had every worst case scenario in my head. Would they tell me to leave right then and there? Would my boss freak out on me? None of the above happened. As everyone had assured me, my boss was completely understanding.

So today’s inevitable and obvious life lesson is: You have to do what’s best for you. I knew that from the beginning, but as usual, going through with it was the hard part. I’m a people-pleaser, and I hate upsetting people. Having said that, I am so happy at my current job, and I know if I had stayed at my previous job, I’d be going in every day wondering, What if I’d applied for that job like I wanted to? I’m so glad I did. I get the opportunity to meet all kinds of people in the hometown that I love, I learn every single day, and I know I’ll foster connections that will last a life time.

Do what YOU want, not what you think others will want. The chick flick-loving girl in me can’t help but leave you with, from The Notebook, “What do YOU want? What do you WANT?!” *crying* Here’s a video if you’d like to witness the beauty of Ryan Gosling (and who doesn’t?):