A little less than 2 years later…

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Okay, I’m probably just not destined to write a blog. Let’s just put that out there so it’s on the figurative table.

Looking back I’m already pointing my finger and laughing at my 2014 self, shaking my head at how I was so destined to not maintain a blog.

Well let’s recap.
In 2014 I was freshly graduated from UCSD with a BA in communication. Living with my boyfriend’s parents in Clairemont and working very part-time as a marketing admin/office assistant to a physical therapist in Pacific Beach.

A little less than 2 years later I can’t even remember how I wasted so much time in college. I’m working full time at a digital marketing agency in Carlsbad and living in a 2 bedroom apartment in Clairemont with a high school friend (who’s great, by the way. I’m so glad I didn’t have to go roommate hunting – that can be so stressful).

What a difference time can make! Just thinking about it, I feel like I’ve climbed to the top of a mountain and now I get to enjoy the view of all the experience it took to get here.

What’s cool though is that that checklist of things I wanted to do for myself is still applicable to my life. My goals haven’t changed very much since then, and I’ve actually been making progress!

be a better marketer.
I would have to say that yes, from 2014 to 2016, I am definitely a better marketer today.
Synopsis: 23 year old Jasmine was in over her head as a marketing admin. She stressed out over content development for the twice-weekly newsletter that went out to clients. She worried about whether anyone would like their Facebook posts and Twitter updates. She watched webinars that honestly taught her nothing!!  So she sought an internship. And through connections and interviews she landed at her current internet marketing agency as an SEO intern, and she learned – not through webinars! – but through practice and as she practiced, she gained experience (+XP!) and they asked if she wanted to come on full-time, and she, having only been out of college for 4 months said YES PLEASE HELL YES!!! And so she became the newest and youngest employee for the Best Digital Marketing Agency in San Diego (<– that’s an opinion. and also a fact until proven otherwise, depending on your philosophy.) as a Junior SEO. And she worked on more projects and campaigns, did more research, completed more reports, got her name on more cover pages (+XP!) and she got promoted (Level Up!) to SEO Specialist. And she gained confidence, and she became client facing, and she still performed the work, and did the research, and she learned new tricks, and she learned some internet and SEO history, and she had thoughts! And opinions! And she contributed to strategy development! And then one day, upon review of her VP and based on the feedback from her peers, she EVOLVED and became the Senior SEO Specialist for the Best Digital Marketing Agency in San Diego.

— TO BE CONTINUED —

Haha, that was the summarized epic of my career progress since I posted last.
It’s been an exciting run and it’s still going strong.  When I first came on to the team I remember telling my best friend Jen that I’d probably stay here for 2 years, learn what I can, and then move on up.  But it’s been about a year and a half, and I’ve learned and I’ve grown, and there’s still more to know and there’s still more to grow. So I’m gonna stick around.  I love my agency, I work with the best laid-back professionals in the business, and I love what I do.

Hey, also, follow me on Twitter – I’m trying to build up my professional account.

speak spanish.
I dropped my bootleg version of Rosetta Stone and I’ve taken up Spanish with the Duolingo app, and am now at 53% fluency.
Hola, me llamo Jasmine. Ha sido 2 anos desde yo escribi en este blog. Y durante ese tiempo, he practicado el espanol y ahorita estoy feliz con mi progreso.
Aunque una cosa — en el segundo ano de colegio yo tuve fluencia en hablando y escuchando, pero hoy es todavia muy dificil y necesito que otras hablar muuuuuy lentamente si voy a entenderlos. Por lo menos, leyendo y escribiendo es OK.

I’ve also decided to take up Portuguese and am at about 21% there. My confidence is not very good though.  The guy I’m dating now made a funny joke when I told him I was visiting with my best friend’s abuelita. At the time I only knew simple words (o menino, a menina, o homem, a mulher, a maçã, a água, o leite. Eu gosto de leite. A mulher bebe água). She speaks Spanish, but I told him I was too nervous to converse with her, so I’d revert to English. He told me to try Portuguese instead, and does she need an apple or a boy?  As I’m typing this out, I’m realizing that joke was probably only funny in the moment. Well — it’s already in the WYSIWYG so it’s staying.

I really do like the Duolingo app though. It’s super convenient for on-the-go learning. I’ll take a 5 or 10 minute break from work, spend 30 minutes on it in the evening from my couch or in bed before I go to sleep. Anytime I’m waiting for anything.

I actually first used it when I was still in school, but I felt strange attempting to complete lessons on the shuttle to campus and so I gave Rosetta Stone a shot from the comfort and privacy of my own home.  But honestly, I like the experience of Duolingo much better. The graphics are bright, fun, minimalistic. There isn’t a formal language theory presented (and I’m still trying to figure out when, in Portuguese, the consonant d sound is hard like in “dog” or soft like in “dredge”) – but I think because of that you’re forced to become immersed in the language to figure it out, rather than making sense of it in terms of your native language and then applying back to your learning language.

And I contemplated taking up a 3rd language to learn (French).

The app (there’s a website also) currently has 21 language courses for English speakers, with 3 languages in Beta (Vietnamese, Hebrew and Hungarian), and 8 languages still in development (including Klingon! I kid you not).

So if you’re looking to break out of your monolingual shell (and you should – the world is vast!), or if you’re looking to expand on your language reach – I know that there are many apps out there – but definitely give Duolingo a shot.  Duolingo isn’t paying me for this hefty mention at all – I just really like their product.

exercise creativity.
Okay, so admittedly I’m not doing the best in this department.  I do have a hobby corner in my bedroom. You can call it a creativity corner if you wish. It’s just a plastic 3-drawer storage unit that holds in one drawer all of my calligraphy books, pads, my inks and my pen holders and nibs. And I have not opened that top drawer in … probably since I put the stuff in there.
The second drawer holds my crochet hooks and knitting needles and some paperbacks with different stitches I can try (but I probably haven’t). And lastly the third drawer contains many skeins of yarns of different weights and colors that I am honestly very excited to hook and stitch (HOOK AND STITCH! if that’s not an e-commerce site or yarn crafts blog already, it should be!) into a sweater or a scarf or something.

I have gotten better with crocheting. And much much better with knitting. I was a wreck with knitting previously. It was such a pain that I just said Fuck It and went back to crocheting but as I completed the tens of scarfs and beanies for my family for Christmas 2014, I thought I should give knitting another try. It builds up faster and it uses less yarn, and I think really it was more an economical decision than one of personal preference. Aside from the beanies and scarfs I’ve also completed a cardigan and a blanket. My current project is a knit scarf (ANOTHER SCARF, yes. But this one is KNITTED, it’s different), which I should probably pick up again because… well I don’t know when it gets cold in North Dakota but I’d like my niece to have it when her neck starts to get chilly. After that I’d really like to make a cardigan for myself. In all this time, I only have one yarn project that I’ve made and kept for myself.  I can’t help it. I like giving. And also, I live in San Diego and I can really only wear my crocheted goods (which all use wt5 yarn bc I’ve been SUCH a beginner) for maybe 1-2 months of the year.

In other areas of creativity, I bought a ukulele with my Christmas 2015 money. I’m alright I think. I wouldn’t say good.  But I like having it because I really like singing, and it just annoys me that without live accompaniment all I’m really doing is having a drunk night of karaoke night but without the mic, without the friends, and without the alcohol.

EXERCISE.
I ran my first half marathon in April 2016, and I actually did not train for it at all. I think 3 months before I told myself I would train and I probably completed six 2-4 mile runs in those 3 months. That’s not enough to call that training.

I finished in 3 something hours. I am not impressed with myself for finishing in 3 something hours. I am impressed with myself for making it to the start line at 5am in LA and I am impressed with myself for finishing.

After that half marathon I did not immediately feel like I could or should do a half marathon again. But I did feel like I could try a 10k again and actually run the whole thing. The half marathon did not ignite an athleticism in me.  Rather, I went to Vegas for a friend’s birthday. And I intended to achieve a look, and I related a weight to that look that I wanted to achieve.  I didn’t achieve the weight, or the look. But I still thought I looked alright in my dresses, and I had a great time.  But I was aware of how I had set a goal for myself and failed to achieve it.

So after that Vegas trip I told myself I wanted to run regularly. And I can honestly say that since then I have been running 2-4 times a week, at least 1 mile a run but typically 2-4 miles. And on one unexpected evening I completed an 8 mile run because …. because I could?!  I just did.  And that was incredible and amazing and I’m still proud of myself for that one.

A funny downside of running regularly is that I’m less willing to do 5ks because I don’t see the point in paying $30-$60 to run 3.1 miles when I could do it for free.  So now I wonder if people pay for the motivation or for the marked course or for the swag. Or the combination of the 3. I think it’s safe to say I’ve grown out of requiring extrinsic motivation. It’s less safe to say that I’ve grown out of wanting swag. Everybody loves swag.

Insert abrupt conclusion here.

By now it’s almost sunset which means the temperature is getting nice and cool and exactly how I like it when I run.
So I’m gonna call it quits on this post and make no promises on when I’ll post again.

If there are any real people out there reading this – WOW DID YOU REALLY READ ALL THAT? I applaud your creepy interest in my life.

Make good choices, everybody. See you never.

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