8.23.10 // HOW ODD

I've decided to switch gears a bit here at If I Haver. Instead of it being strictly a fashion blog, I will start to post more about adventurous happenings and the like. I have little to show the grand kids about my 24 years of life, so I'm hoping that chronicling it on the interweb will be a way to preserve it forever.. that is, if the data doesn't turn into a bazillion pieces of nothingness by the time I actually have grand kids.

Most of you (Hello.. anyone out there? I think there might be a whopping two of you!) don't know what it is exactly that I do for a living, so I'll tell you right now. I am an odd job enthusiast. What does that mean? Is that another way of saying I open pickle jars for the weak and walk dogs on weekends? The later might be true.. but the pickle jar thing is nonsense. Yes, I have a college degree. No, I don't hate money. The real definition of an odd job enthusiast is a person who does odd jobs make ends meet and to gain experience in light of the economic state of the country. Aren't you happy you asked?

I graduated a whole two years ago (gasp!) and in those two years I have had more jobs than Joan Rivers has had plastic surgery. I went to school for (get ready for a mouth full) Interactive Digital Design. That's really just a fancy name for graphic design. Looking back, I would have preferred going to a school solely dedicated to art, but that's why they say hindsight is 20/20.. right? After graduating, I got an internship with the creative services department of a big corporation. It really helped to polish the skill set that I had developed in college, but I can't begin to tell you how much the corporate mumbo-jumbo got to me. The people were awesome, but the office work environment just wasn't for me..

Prior to graduating from college, I started writing an article for my college newspaper. It was called (don't judge) "Real World: Graduation".. yes, yes very corny.. I had so many unanswered questions with graduation looming overhead, that I decided to put them into writing hoping that other students would relate. Most of close friends did, but I never got the booming response that I hoped for from the masses (I wanted students to write in questions that I would put into writing). What I did get out of writing for the paper was a burning desire to get my questions answered. That's when the adventure really started...

So, fast forward back to my internship. While interning with creative services, I still had all these questions brewing inside my brain and none of them had been answered by actually living in the "real world". Frustrated and tired (It's hard getting up at 7am every morning! College definitely didn't prepare me for that..), I vented about everything to my dad one night over Chinese food. There must have been something extra special in my Buddha's Delight that night because I had a seriously awesome brainstorm session with my dad and devised a plan involving a road trip, interviews with experts in different fields, and a camera. I was going to ask experts in different categories questions that recent graduates would have about life.. For example, I planned to somehow be able to sit down at Rachel Ray's kitchen table and ask her about cooking.. Very improbable, but it was going to happen in my mind!

Little did I know that someone had already done a post-graduation road trip.. and done it damn well. It was while conducting a google search for road trip grants (I had very little money at the time to be investing in road trips and adventures that I'd cherish for a lifetime.. I had to pay college loans to pay!) I came across what, I think, I was meant to find all along: Roadtrip Nation

Roadtrip Nation is an AWESOME organization.. I can't express their awesomeness enough. They are a PBS series and educational tool. They are inspiring students, recent graduates, and people of all ages to pursue their passions wholeheartedly. Yes, they are awesome indeed! The organization was founded by a group of friends who weren't sure what to do with their lives after graduating from college. They piled into an old RV, painted it green, and headed out on the road with a camera in hand to talk to real people who had real passions that they were able to pursue as careers. The result was a documentary that developed into the series for PBS. The experience was so powerful, that each year the organization sends groups of young adults out on the road (some in green RVS, others on indie trips in their own cars) to have a road trip of their own. The content gets made into the TV series and webisodes so the wisdom of those "leaders" interviewed can continually reach anyone seeking it.

As soon as I came across Roadtrip Nation through my web search I screamed. Literally. I remember putting my hands over my mouth as I browsed the RTN website and jumping up and down in my seat as I realized that I could apply for a road trip of my very own! I filled out my application that night and had it sent in for review by the following day. When I got an e-mail back from RTN saying that I had been accepted as an Indie Roadtripper, I was SO excited. I don't actually think that I had ever wanted anything as much as I wanted that trip up until that moment in my life. I recruited two close friends of mine to go on the trip with me and we headed out as a team in October of 2008 for nine days of adventure. Our team name was the What Now Wanderers and here's what our route looked like:


We interviewed a bunch of leaders from all different professions - from a food blogger to the editor in chief of National Geographic. Seeing the country by car was something totally new to me. I had done a few road trips prior to our Indie Trip, but never one saturated with so much purpose and reflection. The experience was life changing and it really put in a seed in my heart to pursue fun and meaningful work. Thus, begins my collection of odd jobs..

Not every odd job that I've worked has been meaningful to me. Not every odd job that I've worked has lead me in the direction of my passions for creativity and art. The one thing that every odd job that I've worked has done is provided me with a unique and interesting way to make a buck. I've developed a close working relationship with Craig's List. As shady as it has the potential to be, it's provided me with the majority of the odd jobs I've worked and always been very good to me (except for a few notable times when the results have been just downright unusual).

Well, this post has gotten longer than expected, so my next post... a part 2 to this one!.. will have my list of odd jobs up until now.

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