It has been a little over two months since I moved to Illinois. I’ve spent this whole time adjusting to my new job/jobs, my new household, and my new role in this household. This is the final post in a series of posts on moving. To read the others, click here: PART ONE and PART TWO.
Oh my gosh. People are a little meaner here than in the south. My first job in Illinois had me crying everyday for a week. Management made me feel like everyday I was doing something wrong. They had me go through an orientation about three times, and by the third one, I literally said, “So this is everything they told me yesterday?” And the girl said, “Basically.” Then we proceeded to go through it again. I’m not the type of person who forgets things easily. In fact, I can remember a song I wrote about making soap from mud when I was four years old. I think remembering the finer details of retail should be easy. Not to mention I’m minoring in Marketing, meaning I have to take a retail class. I had hoped I’d be getting to use this job as practical experience but they just shoved me to the fitting room and gave me thirteen hours weekly. Like really, I made so little there that after Illinois state taxes, I was exempt from federal taxes. I didn’t even know that it was possible to be exempt from federal taxes. I thought they just lumped it all together and that’s why people don’t like living in states like this. Seriously Illinois had a %32 increase in their taxes this year. Getting my car tags costs over a hundred dollars. Over a hundred dollars for a sticker! A sticker!! Also: fun fact! Someone moves out of Illinois every four minutes. Isn’t that crazy?!
Anyway so I did my first ever no call, no show. I hated doing it, but the manager on duty for the night was the one who’d been difficult from the beginning, and the day after the manager on duty (a different one) was the one who basically tried to intimidate me into going against my religious preference by agreeing to work Sundays. So I just didn’t show up. I spent about an hour struggling with that decision though. I’ve never been the type of person to even think about doing that, but when two out of three of the stores managers repeatedly show out over little things, I assume my hours are going to get cut after turning in my notice anyway. Seriously, one woman freaked out because I put a shirt that was on clearance in the clearance section and SHE hadn’t read the tag yet. Like it’s really not that big a deal. She didn’t even apologize when she realized she was wrong.
It’s okay, though. I already got a new new job. I’m loving it. I’m working as a photographer, and it’s really nice. Monday through Friday. I wake up at like 4 am to get to work, but I like that. It makes me feel accomplished. I love the kids too. It’s awesome to be able to get a kid who normally doesn’t smile to grin so big it looks like their face will split.
Like with any new living situation, there is going to be conflict. We haven’t had a lot of conflict, but the one thing I have not gotten used to even after two months is how private they are. I mean like you walk into the room and the conversation stops private. Like there are certain things I can’t know about private. I came from a house where they were limited to no secrets, where we were completely open with each other and I didn’t have to sneak to get information. I like to have specific information. Where are you going? What are you doing? How long will you be gone? These questions help me determine how long I should wait to call the police when I haven’t heard from you I awhile.
I know that I sound a little obsessive, but this town is dangerous. Decatur has such a high crime rate that I’ve been driving around with expired tags for two months, and nobody has noticed. I got caught with expired tags two days after they expired in Tennessee. There are burglaries everyday. A sex offender a block away from me. There’s a part of the town I’ve been told is a dangerous place to be six pm. I’m allowed to ask you what’s going on when I’m still nervous about driving around after dark.
New Role in Household
I’m an aunt. My new role in this household ranges from babysitter to companion. It’s different with a baby in the house. A little quieter than I’m used to, but he’s getting louder. He’s started baby talking like crazy. Grunts and squeals, and I think he learned to growl from the dogs. It’s nice to feel needed. Not that I didn’t before. I know I was needed, but now I’m needed as an adult who can contribute to the household. It’s freeing.
Tips for adjusting
- Give it Time
- Not every move is gonna be easy. Not every place is gonna provide you with what the old one did. Eventually you’ll fall into a routine.
- Find your Routine
- I know we like to say we’re spontaneous creatures, but trust me, it’ll be a lot easier with some kind of routine. Even if that routine is just watching Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday night.
- Go Out
- Don’t stay cooped up. It can lead to more homesickness. Go to the mall or travel to the next town over or go to the Y. Just get out of the house.
- Settle in. Adjust your space to your liking. Change things around. Organize. Buy furniture. Just make it yours so it becomes home.
- Remember to call people from your old town whether it’s your parents or an old boss. Just make sure you do. I say this because you’re not the only one adjusting. Also because calling back home has helped me a lot.
Anyway, that’s all I have. Sorry it took so long. Thank you for Reading!
Jenna B. Edwards