Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Brand New Look

A few months ago, I was having coffee with a college acquaintance turned alumni sister, having spent the summer together surviving and thriving in New York City. In a last minute turn of events, she had packed up her car and fled the city in search of palm trees and ease, landing in Los Angeles. Around the same time, I was dragged kicking and screaming to LaGuardia Airport, forced to leave NYC and return to school. When we sat down to our croissants and nonfat lattes, it was like looking in a reverse mirror. She wanted odd jobs, zero commitment and the quest for something unknown. I wanted a paycheck, a place to hang my things, I would have even taken a puppy if I'd planned on being home from my kick ass career long enough to take care of it. We laughed in the face of our differences, pleasantly surprised that it hadn't kept us from growing close and sharing our dreams and stories.
Fast forward to this week. I arrived in New York at the end of last month and have been searching the Internet desperately for the answer to my prayers - the beloved job. I wrote heartfelt cover letters, critiqued my resume to death, and crossed fingers and toes under the covers at night. I had spent the fall giving myself mini pep talks. "You are intelligent. You are worthy. I believe in you. Good come to those who deserve it." And then...nothing. After spending 12 hours feeling depressed, so confused and lacking self confidence, I woke up with a new outlook. I was applying to every job that fit in my qualifications box. If it asked for a "self starter with strong work ethic and the ability to multi task, preferably a public relations or communications major" I was all over it. What I wasn't all over was the reality on hand. Was I really prepared to take a job, just because I matched the description and qualifications? I realized that as much as I wanted a steady salary, the freedom to stand on my own two feet, and the opportunity to put these 18 years of schooling to the test, I wasn't ready to commit. Best part? I don't need to.
I start a temporary job tomorrow that will pay me in experience, networking, and of course, cold hard cash. After that, I'll be on to conquer another area of interest, an internship or another short term job. I have found fellowship and training programs in fields that I am passionate about, subjects that I yearn to learn more from. I'm excited to take life one step at a time and see where it takes me. Ironically enough, the L.A. friend called me tonight to tell me that she just got a full time job. And I couldn't be happier for both of us. How's that for a reverse mirror?


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