11.2.18

Life Lately | Paola’s Back

This past year has been full of uncertainties for her, but she wouldn’t change one thing. She’s answered some questions to let us in on what she’s been up to.

Where have you been?

Deep in the heart of Texas! Since graduating college, I took a big step outside my comfort zone and moved down to Dallas, Texas to work at my first full-time role. I’ve been learning and exploring what the corporate world has to offer while being a tourist in a city I’ve never been in.

Have you moved anywhere else before?

No. I’ve lived in Illinois all my life. The farthest I’ve moved was to the city for college from a Northwest suburb. I like to stay close to my family so my heart dropped when I received the offer to Dallas. Leaving my family, boyfriend and friends behind and having to start from scratch was terrifying.

What are some things you learned moving away from home?

Take it one day at a time

Some days were great and others were gloomy. Homesickness hits when you least expect it, but nothing is permanent. When you take it day-by-day, it makes things less overwhelming and more manageable.

Stay positive

This one goes hand in hand with the one above. Don’t let the bad moments bring you down. It was how I handled those challenging days that made all the difference. The obstacles became my motivation to try and be better.

It’s okay to feel uncomfortable

I still remind myself of this every day.  Having the opportunity to be on my own allowed me to grow more than I ever thought I could.

Take in what’s around you and enjoy it!

From the people to the must-see places, as much as I missed home, pushing myself to get out and do all that there is to do, enabled a great appreciation for the city and made time fly.

Call your parents!

As I’ve grown older, my parents have definitely become cooler. Although at times it was hard to talk to them since it was a constant reminder of what I left, they were always interested in what I did in Dallas and pushing me to be my best self. They’re your best cheerleaders.

Did you like Dallas?

I loved Dallas! In fact, when my boyfriend came to visit, he admitted Dallas is underrated. I also had regular visits from friends (very lucky!) which made exploring the city a lot more fun.

Where are you living now?

I’m back in the Chicago area! It was never guaranteed but was always a possibility to come back with the same company. With the right network and work ethic, I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to move back to Chicago.  I took another big step when moving back, especially for a traditional family like mine, and now live with my boyfriend in the suburbs (Big right!).

What has been the best part about moving back?

Seeing my boyfriend everyday and being able to make plans with family and friends on the go. I don’t have to miss any big milestones anymore.

What are you working on at Girl Meets Party?

It’s crazy how much we’ve grown in a little less than a year. It felt like just yesterday when Suree and Jen visited me in Dallas and we shot our big announcement of changing our name to Girl Meets Party. Now, I’m working on some of the behind the scenes work, optimizing our site (SEO) and analyzing our growth in addition to brainstorming ideas for our studio. If you haven’t seen the transformation, click to check it out!

How do you juggle two jobs?

Balancing the two is certainly not easy. I work a 9am-5pm job but it never truly ends at 5pm. It can feel like there isn’t enough time in the day, and when it does seem like there is, my energy is non-existent. I make a to-do list organized in 2 buckets, time sensitive and can wait, this has helped me know what I have coming up and what I need to get done. Writing it down on paper or in my phone always helps map my day/week out.

Although working full-time and Girl Meets Party consumes most of my days, I always try to make time to grab dinner and drinks with friends or have a movie night with my boyfriend. Finding time for yourself and taking breaks is key to not burning out. There have been lows but many highs and those highs are what keep me going.

Any big plans or travel coming up?

No big plans just yet. Enjoying my time back home with my boyfriend, family and friends for now. It still feels unreal that I’m back.

Have you recently moved? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Affectionately known to her friends as Millennial Martha for her love of DIY and decorating, Jen can’t help but pour her heart + soul into everything she touches. She’s loved to entertain since acquiring a table and chairs, and giving gifts is one of her favorite hobbies. Jen is the creator of Girl Meets Party. Her dream is to share her passions with the world in hopes to inspire others by making the seemingly unattainable attainable.

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