College lite

Before I moved here, I came to visit in October for two weeks. One night while I was watching TV on the couch, I had a moment of panic. Did I really want to move here full time? Would I be lonely and isolated during the offseason? Would I miss my friends and family so much that I would spend too much time being homesick? The moment passed as quickly as it came, and I brushed it off as an unrelated, side effect of worrying about my impending wisdom tooth surgery

And as I biked to dinner a few nights ago to meet friends, I realized that in the few months I’ve been living here, that I have never once felt isolated or lonely. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my family, friends, and cats a ton, but I haven’t felt that homesick or panic again.

 

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Solo adventure outside of Cape May.

 

When you don’t go away to college and live at home, you miss out on an experience that is “supposedly” life-changing, according to some people. And sure, not having parents to supervise your every move and hover over you at all times might be nice, but I never had a problem with that.

But now I feel like I’m doing “college lite” without the actual schooling. I’m working full time as a front desk clerk at a motel and spending my off time reading, writing, binging on Netflix/TV and going to the beach. I have friends here, albeit not exactly in my age range (which is a fact, not an insult, because it doesn’t make a difference).

Is this where I saw myself after graduation? Yes, definitely. I was prepared from my summers here, what it would be like to be alone in a big house. And I like it and it has worked for me. Of course, just as I get used to it, I am moving out in the next few weeks – into a house with two really nice roommates. A must do, in order to stay through the rental season of summer and continue to live and work here.

 

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Backyard of the new place.

 

I’ve never claimed to be a typical millennial. I have often done things an unorthodox way.  And I’m about to make an even bigger change in my life than moving to New Jersey, bigger than starting a healthier lifestyle and bigger than leaving pretty much the life I’m used to living behind. I’m moving into a house with roommates, on 1.5 acres of land that is also home to two chickens, two goats, and a dog.

So needless to say, I have quite an interesting summer ahead of me and there will be a lot to write about.

I’m excited!

 

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Mom and her new goat friend aka my new roommate.

 

Lifestyle change

I hate exercise in all forms. I’m not a huge fan of being outside, especially if it is hot. So yeah, it’s a little ironic that I’m a beach person. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not an “I’ll sit on the beach no matter how hot it is, even 90 degrees” type; I know my heat limitations.

I always found that I became more active when I vacationed in Cape May. It’s such a walkable town and there isn’t really a need to drive a car most of the time. Especially in the summer when the parking situation is a hellish nightmare.

But ever since November when I bought my FitBit, I decided that I needed a total overhaul on my sedentary lifestyle. I wanted to be more active, eat healthier and not be going on WebMD to search symptoms that might be a heart attack (side note: apparently sitting in a desk with hunched over posture can cause upper back/neck pain – but that can also be a symptom of a heart attack. Shoutout to my mom for telling me to stop using WebMD and sit up straight).

Also another sidetrack, the point of this post wasn’t to go into the details that caused a lifestyle that is/was unhealthy but about the changes that I’m doing to make myself better. Anyways…

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Somedays and weeks I go over my goals.

The last few months that I’ve been living in Cape May, I’ve become much more active. It started out that I would go on daily 20-30 minute walks on the beach. They were not fast walks by any means, I usually took my time because I was also looking for beach glass. And sometimes I took walks through the neighborhood because I was not really up for putting on sneakers and getting sandy at the beach.

And then on my last trip home, I packed ultralight so I would be able to bring my bike back with me!  I’ve always wanted to ride my own bike in Cape May but was never here long enough to bring it, until now.

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I set my Fitbit to autorecognize 10 minutes or more of exercising.

So the last few nights, instead of my walks, I have been biking. Nothing long or intense, but just a quick 10-15 minute cruise around our neighborhood. I love that you get to see more of the areawhen you bike. The only downside is that it makes it harder to get my Fitbit step goal. But as my mom reminded me, the point is that I’m exercising.

 

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Locked my bike up and headed to sit on the beach.

 

And if you had told me a few months ago that on Wednesday this week that I was going to ride my bike to the beach (with my beach bag and backpack chair in tow), I probably would’ve laughed at you.

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New blog, who dis?

So the title of this post might be a little cringeworthy, but it is a play on millennial saying, “new phone, who dis?”

I know some of my readers will be friends and family, who I appreciate following along.  But for those who are new followers, I wanted to let you know a little more about me, why I chose to be a writer and what this blog’s overarching theme and goal will be currently.

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Name tag arrived.

I graduated cum laude with a B.S. in communications & concentration in journalism from George Mason University. I have always been drawn to reading and writing, and always hoped to be a published author. I credit my middle school newspaper teacher (shout out to you, Jess), for getting me interested in becoming a journalist.

I knew from the moment that I saw my name as a byline, I was a goner. I was certain I wanted to head into the future of a journalist. Despite rumors of it being a dying industry, I persisted and took as many journalism courses and attended as many journalism conferences as I could.

Choosing the right path in college to get into the industry was important. I wanted to go to a big journalism school, but because of my anxiety prohibiting school attendance, I didn’t quite have the grades to be accepted. I ended up making a deal with GMU to go to our local community college for a semester, earn good grades, and then transfer over to GMU for my degree. Which is exactly what I did, and it was the perfect choice in the end. Which I can honestly say now since I’m done with school.

I’ve been writing for various publications (see about me) and blogging since 2009. My cat lifestyle blog is Sandpiper Cat Blog, which just celebrated its six anniversary.

Writing is my passion and despite that, it is what some call “a competitive field” (aka, lotsa luck finding writing, should’ve picked a more lucrative career), I believe that I have the drive and passion for making it work out in the long run.

I’ve always been about taking the unorthodox road in life. Starting in a job that isn’t exactly in your field is not unusual for a new college graduate. I wanted to work in the town that I love and live by the beach, so it was a small trade off for not starting out writing full time. Plus, being a freelance writer gives me more opportunities for different kinds of writing. And uh, figure out my “backup plan,” which so many people have asked me about…and by my backup plan, I mean what writing niche I plan to find.

This blog will be a place where I can share my millennial perspective, in my own words and learn to make my own way.

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Beach life is best.

 

That nouveau post

A fresh start in all senses of the word. A new town, new surroundings, new job and a new blog. But the town and surroundings aren’t really new. Not when you realize that I have been coming to Cape May, New Jersey every year since my birth. And I’m 23 years old.

That’s right folks, I’m a millennial. I’d like to say that I’m not your typical millennial because there are a lot of millennial things that I don’t do…mostly.

 

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Image courtesy of NewLine Cinema/Hyperactivate.com. 

 

According to a “How Millennial Are You?” Buzzfeed quiz (a very millennial news source), I’m only “kind of a millennial.” Apparently I “have some similarities with the generation that’s ruining the world,  and am only partially responsible for the downfall of society.” Yeah, sounds about right.

I moved to Cape May full-time in February 2017.  I work at the Victorian Motel as a front desk clerk. A 40 hour work week isn’t so bad when you can take a walk on the beach after you punch out. I’m currently learning how to be a millennial in a place that is a vacation destination for a different generation.

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Joy is my front desk companion.

Cape May is a hotspot for family vacationers; whether that’s baby boomers, Gen X (who tote millennials and Gen Z [that’s not very catchy] in tow). Somehow, I’m trying to fit in by living and working in CM full-time. And this blog is where I’m going to detail my experience. Which is somewhat unorthodox, like my path in life.

I previously blogged on CapeMayChick, about being a repeat vacationer. In August 2012, my family bought our dream home here in Cape May. A house we had been renting for the past few years. We couldn’t imagine being on a street anywhere else in town.

However, owning property here, as I’ve learned, does not make you a local. It strips you of your repeat vacationer status and replaces it with an odd term deemed “schlocal.” You’re not a full-time resident, but you do own property here; making you a combination of a shoobie (vacationer) and a local.

So I’m using my schlocal status to figure out how to survive being a millennial in a town without a Target (or one closer than an hour away) as well as figuring out how to earn a living and stay in a vacationer’s paradise. And somehow, I’m trying to make friends along the way.

I’ll be attempting to keep posts under 500 words, to cater to the millennial attention span.

So please join me here, at capemayrachel.com, to follow my adventure as a young millennial in Cape May.