"I live in Milwaukee." "I'm sorry."
The line from Bridesmaids isn't too much of a stretch for how people often react to Milwaukee. In fact, I used to be one of those people.
Of course, I now feel differently. It's a bit crazy that I have already been in Milwaukee for four years and while it was definitely an adjustment when I first moved, as I imagine every move is for a recent grad, I'm really glad that life brought me to this city. I'm taking a look back and sharing some of the big changes and life milestones that have taken place during my time in Milwaukee.
So many things have changed since first moving here. Firstly, it was October 2012. Secondly, I was desperately looking for an entry level position after my internship ended. While I had a part-time role proofreading, something I had maintained during my internship, it was definitely not a great situation. Think more of "a living paycheck to to days before a paycheck" situation. The idea of being able to pay off my student loans was laughable. It was honestly a pretty dark time filled with a lot of anxiety and uncertainty and bad interviews followed by a lot of rejection - something I am sure many recent grads can identify with. After struggling for about four months to find a full time job (a time-frame that definitely felt longer as I was experiencing it), I finally landed a contract role at Kohl's Corporate. It was short lived, due to the nature of the contract role, but it helped me finally get my foot in the door, gain the ever elusive experience and led me to my first full time role, my first "big girl" job with benefits at a mid-grade office furniture retailer. I honestly will never forget the relief I felt on getting that official job offer or how amazing my experience there was. Of course, no job is perfect, and it was not the exception, but working for a smaller company allowed me to wear many hats, the people were so incredible, and it ultimately led me to discover my passion for interiors and design. Plus, struggling through those four months really gave me an appreciation for and positivity about my new job - something I'd like to think is still present and notable in the role I am in to this very day.
I had desperately wanted a dog as soon as I had graduated, but knew it would be impossible and irresponsible to adopt one when my situation was so precarious. But after two months into my full time role and living with Andy for quite some time, I couldn't wait anymore and decided to seriously look into getting a dog. Of course, we thought it best for me to take on all the financial responsibility for the dog just in case anything happened. The last thing we wanted to happen was to break up and fight over who got to keep the dog.
Andy found Reggie a few days after and we went to visit him with the intention of only to meeting him. Of course, as soon as I saw his sweet little face, I knew he was the dog for me. I adopted him that very day. And we immediately stopped at the pet store to buy everything we needed after the adoption was complete.
Launched This Blog
As I stated earlier, my first real job was about content creation for a mid-grade office furniture retailer, I was exposed more to the whole world of interior design and learned more about furniture in general. I almost immediately developed an appreciation for the beauty and detail that design showcased; that appreciation soon turned into a passion. I became engrossed and soon followed so many interiors brands and bloggers on Instagram who inspired me every day. After playing around with my own personal style in my first apartment, a move to a second larger space with Andy prompted me to launch this blog as a way of categorizing the progress of my space and evolution of my style. It's been a passion project for sure, but one that has evolved to include more personal and lifestyle items, along with the interiors focus. I also think that this blog has helped me showcase my passion for interiors and home decor in such an accessible way - something that few other things could showcase so easily. This, of course, was a factor in landing my current role at Kohler. Passion for Interior Design was part of the job description, and I could easily show just how much I cared and loved the topic.
Learned to Knit
To keep myself sane during those 4 months where I was only part-time employed proofreading, I actually taught myself how to knit by watching youtube videos. Since funds were so limited, I couldn't go out much or spend much, but I did want to stay creative. Four years later, I knit nearly every day, a little bit here and there - although the weeks definitely vary. It has been a life-changing hobby in all actuality and is something that I not only thoroughly love, but allows me to be creative in a unique way.