New York, New York. I’m here bitches. It’s been almost three weeks and I feel like I’m starting to get my shit together. Well, just starting—on the path towards gathering some semblance of a facade of a shit.
Week One: moving in, IKEA trip (x2 because the first day they didn’t have the mattress we wanted), and trying to figure out how to share space with another person. Delegating what’s mine, what’s his, what we’re sharing… and not only for my boyfriend and I, but for my two other roommates as well. It’s a process that does not go without some arguing, some sass, and some passive-aggressive texts. BUT, I’m starting to finally feel settled and excited about my living space, so: check. On the horizon: ramping up my communication skills/articulating my feelings better to my cohabitants. There’s always room to improve on that hot mess (my emotions are a deep lake with rocks at the bottom).
Week Two: lots and lots of free time, but most of it is spent hunched over my computer job-searching, with plenty of emailing. And resume-editing. And cover letter-writing. Switching around this experience, shortening that phrase, editing that vague special skill. I went from one web site to the next, Playbill to Indeed.com, searching for “editing assistant” or “library jobs.” One internship and then the next. A shade of existential dread. I took some personality quizzes to help determine what the hell kind of jobs I should be applying for. Tell me, Google. Help me. Tell me what to do.
Back to that whole “transition phase” thing I talked about in my last post? It hasn’t necessarily worn off yet (probably won’t, for a while). I don’t feel like I’m “floating” anymore, but I feel kind of lost among the many different directions I could go. What do I focus on? Easy: writing and acting, stupid, that’s what you’ve been doing thus far. But do I get a part time job or a full time job? How many part time jobs? Any I can find or should I be picky? One vaguely in my field or one completely different? And then there’s that whole thing called “money” and how I guess I “need it” to “survive.”And now we’re back to this duality I create in my brain: art or money. Le sigh.
Week Three/ A small rant on the complexity of job-searching after college: figuring out what exactly you want to do aside, most of the jobs that pop up in searches require “2-3 years of experience in [so-and-so field].” And if it’s an entry-level job… Where the hell am I supposed to be getting this experience? Hmmm? Ah, yes. An “internship.” An internship that’s full-time, 40 hours a week, with a payment of “experience.” Ahhhh yes. It’s all illuminated to me now. And also, I should put all of my energy into this internship… Because the more I put into it, the more rewarding it is… Mmmm. Sounds great. And at the end, I will be handed a gold ticket. Pure gold. And in silver letters on this gold ticket (0h, it’s so heavy!) will read the words “Experience.” The office will stand up, cheer around me because they have just received 500+ hours of free labor. And the crowd goes wild (except for me, because I’ll be sprinting to my third-shift job in order to afford bills and you know, food). Man, it all just sounds so great.
Disclaimer: definitely not shitting on all internship opportunities, I get it, nobody makes money in non-profits (if you’re for-profit YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY PAY YOUR INTERNS), yada yada, but still, the whole situation is just kind of iffy. However, the rant is done.
AnYwAyS, despite my deep well of emotions, I have managed to go out and have fun. I saw a couple shows, including Fun Home and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time before they closed, as well as The Humans. All amazing, and I highly recommend (the first two are totally going on tour). And among all this talk of not finding a job, I (surprise) did find a small part-time job at the cutest independent book store ever in Greenwich Village (check it out it’s so cuuuute). Also, I am loving spending more time with my boo thang, Nicholas. He’s cute (and listens to all my emotional whining and then points out when I’m being silly). So good things are happening.
Last Tuesday, in a rare moment of extroversion, I went out for drinks with Nick and my roommate Kathryn after my shift at Bookbook. We checked out this lesbian bar in the Village called “Cubbyhole,” because they were selling $2 margaritas (compare this to the usual price of drinks in NYC and you’ll subsequently explode), and it was cute, small, and yes, plenty gay. The three of us took turns sitting at a small two-person table by the bar. We each bought a round and chatted/shouted to each other.
One amazing little moment of the night was when this Fabulous™ drag queen graced us with her presence and was going around reading everybody’s palms. She came to our table with a little flashlight and showed us our life line, our heart line, and our money lines and basically told us everything that was going on in our lives in bordering-on-scary detail.
For me, she saw that I was going through a recent and large change (moving to NYC and that pesky postgrad transition), that I was a creative and passionate person, and that I was in a strong relationship (with maybe a ring-ring in the future, wink-wink). But then she broke it down for me, and hard. She looked me in the eye and said “Girl, you need to PRIORITIZE your life.” She was, of course, referring to this mess of a job search, self doubt, and generalized emotional aimlessness that has been my life for the past two/three weeks. And that kind of struck/is continuing to strike a chord with me.
Ultimately, what is most important to me? Looking at the rest of my life, what do I want to accomplish? Who do I want by my side? And what, if any, footprint do I want to leave behind?
It’s never too early to really look at those questions. Life can end any day (something I realize now more than ever). And no matter what the (unknown) length, it’s all happening right now. The rest of your life is… now! And more than likely… I/you/we probably already, truly, know what we want, deep down.
So: looking at myself in the mirror: what do you want to do?
Hm, I—*the drag queen’s finger stops my mouth*
—No excuses, bitch! (she didn’t actually say this, but at this point she’s now my resident Fairie Godmother-illusion)
Oh—okay—okay—yeah. But what about—
It’s all really about what we do.