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September 28, 2014

27 with a bang. And a puppy.

26 was a great year. It was full of paced, progressive change. I turned 26 in Ethiopia, spent a few months in Baltimore finishing my masters degree, and then moved back to DC. I ran the Boston marathon, bought a new car, and started a job that I really liked!

When a bunch of lucky things happen in a row, you're due for some bad luck.

Mine started August 18th, when I walked into work and found out that I'd lost my job. I had (and still have) time to find a new one, but it's super frustrating that it wasn't my choice to leave. A few days later, a different serious and stressful decision was made.

The next week, it took all of my mental energy to focus on job interviews. I had a few, one of which required 8 hours in the car to Jersey and back.  Closing the store got progressively worse as we threw out 7 months of hard work in just a few days.

A day after the closing announcement.
A week after.
3 weeks after. 
Somewhere in the middle of the chaos was a birthday that I didn't feel was worth celebrating.

Mailbox was full! :)
Mid-day birthday beers during work.
Hand-picked, home-baked apple cake from coworker Julia! 
Sweet shoes from my mom!
Dinner at Rasika with Allison!
Seriously, thanks to everyone who made it one of the best birthdays ever.

The next week, I went to New York to interview and also got both of the jobs I'd interviewed for.

In NY,  a 4 day interview turned into 7.  I was out of clothes, totally exhausted and missed Jimmy's triathlon, but there was extra time to run along the Hudson...

And I went upstate to watch the first Steelers game with my dad!

I also got a job offer in NY. It was exactly what I wanted - a step up into a management role and a legit raise.  The whole train ride back to DC I researched places to live and texted so much my hands ached.  I'd pushed the deadline on my other offers, so I declined them to give myself time to decide about NY.

I'm the most indecisive person I know, so deciding which job to take and whether or not to pack up and move to NYC was literally one of the hardest experiences of my life. I slept maybe 4 hours each night - tossing and turning and waking up at 5 am with my heart pounding.  I got sick with a head cold that made my brain feel like it might literally explode. I laid on the floor for hours and hours, agonizing over it.

I HATE decisions!
My gut told me that because NY was the harder decision, it was the right one. But as soon as I thought about accepting it, I panicked. So then my gut told me that if that was my reaction, then I should stay. But when I thought about declining, I felt like a failure.

It took me 5 full days up to the last second, but I decided not to go.  And I will accept the decision without regrets. To all the friends and family that I dragged into my epic, emo few days/weeks, thank you for still being my friend! :) 


The day after I decided to stay in DC, the animal shelter put puppies up for adoption. The timing was too perfect!

I went to the shelter twice, but was just too late both times - there were 3 puppies and I was fourth in line. I spent another day meeting an owner at a different shelter, getting my application approved, etc. only to have the woman stand me up at the house visit and stop answering my calls with no explanation.

I turned emo for a second and wondered if I was going to be 27, unemployed, single and stuck stalking puppies for the rest of my life.

Last weekend, I went to some beautiful wineries with some lovely ladies and remembered that life works in weird ways and I need to respect the process.

 Sophisticated tasting notes.

A couple days later, I took a break from job apps to visit the DC animal shelter. On my way out, I asked to take an adoption form just in case one of the puppies became available. The woman asked what dog I was interested in, and I told mentioned one of the puppies that wasn't available yet. She looked down at her notepad and said, "Wait a second, the one you want IS available starting today! You're first in line if your want her."

No waiting, no lines, no fighting. I was in the right place at the right time with the right dog.

The very next day, there was a tiny PIPER in my car! After emptying her bladder on the backseat, she rode the whole way home like this:

This first couple days were rough, but we're starting to understand each other.

She hates the rain.
She likes to chew. Everything.
She likes to cuddle.
She likes belly rubs.
She likes to run.

Teeth brushing is so fascinating!
Cameras are so annoying.

Beds are so fun:

She likes to sleep.
And wonders if she'll ever figure out what she's allowed and not allowed to do.

She feels embarassed when she sometimes gets things wrong.
But we know she'll be perfect in no time. :)


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