walmart, hot dogs, and home or my quest for the holy grail

The other day I mentioned what an important date February 17th seems to be in my life. So I reposted my return trip home blog. Today, I want to revisit a year ago when I got my job offer.! And yes, I’m still there 🙂

howdoyousaytacoinspanish

courtesy of tweakyourbiz.com courtesy of tweakyourbiz.com

I was never a huge fan of Walmart when I lived in the states. I have always been a bigger groupie of Target which I first discovered while living in L.A. in my early twenties. Or like a really, really, long time ago 🙂 Target got a hold of my loyalty first and kept me just happy enough that the hold never loosened.

However, when I moved to Mexico, there were no Targets. But, there were Walmarts. In fact, Playa del Carmen had three Walmarts.!! Go figure. So whenever I felt homesick, I went to Walmart. It was eerily familiar to the Walmarts in the states minus the signs in Spanish. And it comforted me in a way that going to the local businesses in playa did not. Oftentimes, I would meet my friend C., the beauty contest winner, and we would eat hot dogs at Walmart.!…

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return of the prodigal daughter…

I guess February 17th is a special day in my existence. Three years ago yesterday, I returned from Mexico. And one year ago yesterday, I started my awesome job.!! Please take a moment to stroll down memory lane with me 🙂

howdoyousaytacoinspanish

chicago chicago

I cannot believe a whole year has passed since I left Playa del Carmen.!! One year ago on February 17th, 2013, I left Mexico and returned to my home in Chicago. The funny thing is that after almost three years living and working in Mexico, Mexico had become my home. In fact, those first few months back in Chicago, I felt like a foreigner in my own country.! I wasn’t familiar with any of the new tv shows. There was a plethora of new restaurants and bars in the city to make me feel like a social outcast.!! And I am always in the know about what’s cool and hip.!

I also felt out of step with the tenor and feel of America in general. Everyone moved faster, talked faster, and was busy with a million and one obligations. The laid back lifestyle I had enjoyed in Mexico dissolved…

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you can run…but you can’t hide…

Hello Everyone.!!! It was Benito Juarez’s (former Mexican president) birthday the other day.! And they had a small celebration near my job. Here is a former post talking about the president. Enjoy.!

howdoyousaytacoinspanish

courtesy of flickriver.com courtesy of flickriver.com

So for many months now, I’ve been walking by a particular statue by my job downtown. I never really gave it much thought until the other week because I noticed people kept taking their photo by the statue. Normally, I just wind my way around tourists taking pictures of the skyscrapers and the ‘Horses of Honor’ artwork decorating Michigan Avenue. I learned how to do that exceptionally well when I lived in playa.!! But for some reason, I was intrigued. Who was this man.? Why were people taking photos with him.? And so, on a rare warm day as I strolled by, I stopped to read the plaque affixed near the statue. The plaque read – Benito Juárez.! Are you kidding me.?!? Benito Juárez.!

Are you telling me, there is a statue of the former president of Mexico right outside my job.?! I’m sure I’ve mentioned several…

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in need of beach therapy..!!

courtesy of Scott Olson/Getty Images

courtesy of Scott Olson/Getty Images – Chicago 2015

Apparently it wasn’t enough that last month Chicago had a record snowfall during Super Bowl weekend. Today (and tomorrow), the city is going to hit a new all-time high.! Or should I say low. Temperatures are currently at 3 degrees Fahrenheit with the wind chill making it feel like 20 to 30 degrees below zero.!! Deep sigh… Tomorrow’s high..low I mean…will be around 2 degrees not counting the wind chill. I’m wearing about 4 to 5 layers of clothing depending on what part of my body you’re talking about.!

courtesy of my friends J. and C.

courtesy of my friends J. and C.

But back in Mexico, my lovely friends J. and C. went to Isla Holbox or Holbox Island. It’s 75 degrees Fahrenheit in Holbox and they are wearing bathing suits.!! I’m not sure that even counts as one layer of clothing.!?! But I don’t hate them. Really I don’t. I’m just going to cuddle on the sofa with my blanket, some green tea, and my soup. All the while thinking warm thoughts as I gaze at their photos. It will be spring soon, I tell myself. It’s just around the corner….

courtesy of my friends J. and C.

courtesy of my friends J. and C.

walmart, hot dogs, and home or my quest for the holy grail

courtesy of tweakyourbiz.com

courtesy of tweakyourbiz.com

I was never a huge fan of Walmart when I lived in the states. I have always been a bigger groupie of Target which I first discovered while living in L.A. in my early twenties. Or like a really, really, long time ago 🙂 Target got a hold of my loyalty first and kept me just happy enough that the hold never loosened.

However, when I moved to Mexico, there were no Targets. But, there were Walmarts. In fact, Playa del Carmen had three Walmarts.!! Go figure. So whenever I felt homesick, I went to Walmart. It was eerily familiar to the Walmarts in the states minus the signs in Spanish. And it comforted me in a way that going to the local businesses in playa did not. Oftentimes, I would meet my friend C., the beauty contest winner, and we would eat hot dogs at Walmart.! Yes, hot dogs 🙂 And I felt like I was home.

courtesy of travelyucatan.com

courtesy of travelyucatan.com

But I was not really home even though I had a job and good friends in Mexico. My job was fun, but it was not in my field nor was it commensurate with my experience and my degree. A challenging and engaging job eluded me in Mexico; as did a real home. I lived in six different apartments during my time in Mexico.! And truthfully, only the first and last ones came the closest to feeling like a home. But even in both of those apartments, I only stayed six months. Moving around was the new normal.

When I returned to Chicago two years ago, I struggled with finding a job and a home. My apartment came first. I have now been living in my place for a year.! A whole year with my belongings 🙂 I can’t tell you how amazing that feels.!! But the job still eluded me. Sure I had temporary jobs and jobs that paid the bills, but not THE job. You know, the holy grail job – the job that satisfies you.! That quest eluded me for two whole years dear reader.!

courtesy of greatestamericanhotdogs.com

courtesy of greatestamericanhotdogs.com

But this week, after much interviewing and hours of networking combined with blood, sweat, and tears – I got a job offer.!! But not just any job offer – THE job offer.!! It’s as if the universe conspired and angels handcrafted my perfect fit job complete with perks and benefits.!! I couldn’t be more happier 😀 I couldn’t be more in shock.!! I couldn’t be more relieved. Of course, I accepted the job offer.!

Honestly, if I had known when I stepped off that plane two years ago that it would take me that long to get this job – I might have stayed on the plane. If I had known what suffering and disappointment awaited me – I might have turned back around and returned to Mexico. But I’m glad I didn’t. I’m proud of myself for sticking to my quest and finding my holy grail. Victory tastes so much sweeter now. And home finally feels like home.

too cold for words…let’s look at pretty photos.!

chicago1

Cold Chicago above….Hot Cancun below….

At Zona Hotelera,Cancún, Mexico.

At Zona Hotelera,Cancún, Mexico.

At Zona Hotelera,Cancún, Mexico.

At Zona Hotelera,Cancún, Mexico.

At Zona Hotelera,Cancún, Mexico.

At Zona Hotelera,Cancún, Mexico.

chicago winter

Cold Chicago above…Warm Isla Holbox below…

Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox

Dos Equis treinta y seis

courtesy of dosequis.com

courtesy of dosequis.com

Feliz lunes.!! Happy Monday.!! I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am still recovering from the last two weeks.!! The holidays were amazing and seeing dear friends even more delightful 🙂 After all of the hoopla with NYE, I spent all of New Year’s day relaxing. I don’t believe I lifted a finger except to change the channel on the remote.! jajaja… Friday was even more delightful as I spent the day with a loved one eating homemade blueberry pancakes and canoodling.! It was blissful 🙂

Saturday was a pretty intense day as I met up with my NYE friends for a night of bar hopping.! No really, it was more like lazy sauntering between one high end cocktail bar to another. I had some fabulous drinks from some of the best mixologists in Chicago.! What a great city to enjoy a premium old-fashioned.! Of course, we then topped the night off with Thai beer at an awesome punk rock ‘n roll bar – Delilahs.! My pillow never felt so good when I finally laid my head on it.!! But oh the fun we had 😀

On Sunday, it was back to low key happenings and errands.! And of course dinner with my dad.! I have spent so much of these last two weeks toasting to my friends, to good health, to success that I thought it would be a good idea to hear what the Most Interesting Man in the World has to say about toasting. In this week’s Dos Equis’ commercial, we get to find out.! Enjoy.!! Y salud.!!