Hey There! Welcome to the 20’s! 2020, that is!

FRIENDS! First, hi, how are you?! Thanks for stopping by my little space on the interwebs today. Can you BELIEVE we are in a new decade, let alone a new year?! I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.

I, for one, am so excited about a new decade. This last one taught me so much. It saw me through major wins like graduating from undergrad and grad school, starting what I thought was my dream job, and finding myself making a big career shift and city move at 28. It saw me through celebrating my friends as they embarked on marriages and babies and loss and grief as I said goodbye to toxic relationships. It saw me through moments of joy, moments of sadness, and so much GROWTH.

I will say I am ready for a new decade of me and at my age (31) people put so much pressure on themselves that they should be married, have kids, be homeowners. I’m not anywhere near that and this last decade really challenged me to think about what I want. I really don’t play the comparison game, but it’s hard to see so much happening for others and not think, well, what’s wrong with me that I don’t have these things?

You know what I do have though? Community. I’ve made my own little community here at That Blonde Rebel. And stability. Since starting my new career 2.5 years ago in Corporate America, I’ve been promoted twice and am proud of the work I’ve done. I do think I have worked my tail off, both at work and at the blog, and it sometimes feels like I can’t catch my breath.

On that note, I have picked my word for 2020.

F O C U S.

I want to focus this year on continuing to grow both at work and at the blog, getting back on my wellness train, and growing my finances.

I talked about this last year, but I don’t think setting resolutions is good for our psyche. There’s all this pressure we put on ourselves and the feeling of disappointment is overwhelming when we don’t accomplish or meet those resolutions. Instead, I call my goals INTENTIONS instead. These are things I want to do, I intend to do. So here they are, in no particular order:

I want to quit doubting myself.

I want to learn how to integrate work and life better.

I want to try to dance more. For fun. I MISS IT!

I want to have more dollars in the bank! My goal is to save three months worth of salary this year. Emma, from Emma’s Edition, broke it down. You add up three months of salary and divide by 12. That number equals the dollars you need to save each month to get there.

I want to start restyling my clothing items for y’all. This will also help with the above so I’m not just cycling through clothes for the sake of showing NEW NEW NEW. It’s too much. I hope y’all will appreciate how I show how something can be worn a couple times.

I want to continue to be a source of humor, clothing/color inspiration, advice giver, and friend to all of you!

I’m going to stop eating out so much. I am so guilty of stopping for fast food on the way home from work. I need to start putting easy options in my kitchen for quick dinners. Do y’all have any great recipes I should try?

I want to be more joyful and easy-going in 2020. Believe it or not, I’m a pretty structured person who needs to have all her ducks in a row. While that is great and I can’t really change my DNA, I’d like to be more in the moment.

Here’s to these intentions and my F O C U S in 2020!

I’m looking forward to all that is to come this year and in the coming decade.

Cheers!

Xx

Making The Transition From Education to Corporate

I’ve gotten more questions about this than you can imagine, so instead of sharing an outfit today, I thought I’d walk y’all through how I made the transition from public education to corporate America.

I’m going to go way back for this, so bare with me here. I studied English and Education at Ole Miss, and stayed there for an additional two years for a masters degree is Counseling. I so enjoyed my time in Oxford and felt prepared to start my journey in the classroom.

I received an invite to interview at a high school in San Antonio (the city where I grew up), and although it was my first interview, I KNEW in my heart that I wanted to work for this principal. He had vision, heart, and truly put students first. I received an offer and got to work putting my classroom together, I WAS SO EXCITED!

My first year posed some challenges. My mentor teacher taught a different grade so she couldn’t help with actual lesson planning. Challenging students. I’d say pretty standard. Well, I won those kids over. I was connecting with them and getting them to care about my class. I won new teacher of the school. Then I won new teacher of the school district. THIS IS A BIG DEAL. It felt so incredible to be recognized for the hard work I put in.

The next few years went well. I got in the groove of teaching 11th grade, continued to have great students. Students hoped to have me. That was a great feeling. I also became the level leader and got to pilot a google Chromebook program. I took my classroom digital and it was AWESOME! At the same time, there was an administration change and one of my students committed suicide. Getting through the rest of the semester was tough, not only for me, but for my students coping with the loss of their friend.

Then my last year in the classroom happened. By this time, I was the department coordinator. I was managing 25 other English teachers and teaching six classes (three of which were inclusion classes so I had a couple co-teachers). I should also mention that I was the youngest person in the district to be the department coordinator. I was so looking forward to a great year, but holy cow, I was not in any way, shape, or form prepared for the hell that was to come. Fights in the classroom, student threats, disrespect, other teachers struggling, a lack of support, state testing, a student prank (I don’t even know if I can call it that) that went so so south, and parents that set out to destroy me. My personal safety became a concern. I didn’t even know if I would make it the year.

Meanwhile, outside of the classroom wasn’t any better. My mom and I found her best friend passed away (I’ve briefly discussed this in a previous post). I was experiencing PTSD from losing/finding our beloved Swell and all the chaos in the classroom.

My parents sat me down, with a bottle of wine, and told me that enough was enough. I was killing myself for a job that was putting me dead last. I had thought about moving out of San Antonio and now it seemed like it was time. I was motivated to make a new start start for myself and needed a change of scenery. But man, did I feel guilt. Guilt for leaving my students, who I absolutely loved, guilt for leaving the other teachers, guilt for leaving a profession that I was so passionate about.

I moved to Houston in July of 2017 and started my job search. I thought long and hard about where I could make an impact. I knew I wanted to work with people and not sit behind a desk all day. I landed at a consulting firm in their talent development division, focusing on training and curriculum. Honestly, it was a great transition and I’ve grown with the firm so much since I started almost 2.5 years ago. My experience and skills gained in the classroom did prepare me for this. I could do something else and do it well.

If you’re looking to transition into a different industry/career path, DO NOT sell yourself short. Your experience IS experience. Classroom management = working with a diverse cross function of roles.

I still keep up with a lot of my students, who are starting to graduate from college, and it does my heart good to see them growing into productive young adults with bright futures. And to think I had a hand in their development is such a rewarding feeling and I don’t regret a single moment spent in the classroom, investing in them.

If you ever want to talk about changing careers or needing any advice, feel free to reach out anytime!

Xx

Resetting in the New Year

Hey friends and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I know what you’re thinking, another resolutions post. However, I have a different take on the whole resolutions thing, which I’m detailing below.

January 1st brings about something a lot of people call “resolutions”… things to do better, be better at. However, because of the hype, whenever we fall off the wagon (whatever the wagon may be), we are crushed with a sense of failure. How about we call these “resolutions” intentions instead? The things you INTEND to do, to be. The expectation is still there, but within reason, giving yourself flexibility to attain your goals without guilt for a simple misstep. My two words of focus for 2019 are GROWTH and WELLNESS. With that being said, I’ve created four intentions for myself:

1. Pitch myself with purpose – What do I want out of this year? To grow That Blonde Rebel. That means I need to be strategic about what brands I want to represent and show you guys on my platform. I want to continue to be my authentic self with y’all, being open and transparent about the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a 30 year old single girl in a big city. I’ve been researching how to pitch myself to brands to land some collaborations and I’m excited to put myself out there in this way and see what may come from it.

2. Save more, spend less – Doesn’t everyone want to do this? On a real note, I’m living in a studio apartment that costs almost double what I was paying at my last place. The area is great and there are awesome amenities, so it’s fine, but I probably could have made a better decision. 2019 is going to be big. Weddings, babies, showers, bachelorettes, trips, etc. There are going to be things I have to say no to, which is going to be hard. I’m typically a YES gal to everyone and want to make sure my nearest and dearest feel all the love from me. However, that love may have to look differently if I can’t make all of it work within my budget. And that’s okay.

3. Be more focused on self-care – I have not learned the true value and importance of self-care more than this past year. I hurt my back again (which led to several rounds of steroid injections and muscle relaxers). This caused me to altogether stop working out. My thyroid was off this past summer, making me groggy, blue, and puffy from packing on some extra pounds. I’ve been going non-stop and it’s like my body has not been able to keep up. Then, when I fell after Thanksgiving and landed in a boot on and off for the past month, I felt like it was a major setback. My anxiety is also at a record high. I haven’t had an issue with anxiety since my last year of grad school. Well, the old bastard is back and I have to analyze why and figure out how to combat it. I know it sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m not. I’m trying to give all of you reading a true glimpse of my wellness scale, a baseline of where I’m at currently and what I want to improve. I want to focus on meditation, drinking more water, not eating fast food as often as I embarrassingly do, and getting more steps in. These things aren’t to lose weight, but to get my wellness journey back on track, which will impact not only me physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Who’s with me?!

4. Be open to possibilities – Self-doubt is a major bummer, am I right? Thinking we’re not ready, not good enough. 2017 was serious hell for me. 2018 was about getting back on track. I had some hurdles, but it was alright. 2019 is going to be my year to be okay and try new things. Hello Bumble, I’d like a husband please. Oh, it doesn’t work that way? Okay. Fine. Let’s start with swiping right and dating. I’m here for it. There I said it. Manifesting it here first and updating my Bumble profile as we speak. Here goes nothing…

I hope this post resonated with you in some way and I hope that you know you’re not alone. We’re in this together.

2019 is going to be the year of Liza (and the year of you, too!) and making some things happen! Can’t wait to bring y’all along for it all.

SG (209 of 424)

Here’s to a great year of growth and wellness for us all!

Xx