Archives for posts with tag: career

Whenever I speak to my grandmother she always seems to be yearning for the past. My parents divorced a little over two years ago, and while in divorce language that’s pretty fresh, she still talks to me about how she’d come over to our house when we were a family and cook dinner for us every Friday. It was a ritual that she and my family had come to adore. I don’t think about it anymore, only until she mentions it, and a wave of emotions come over me as I remember the beautiful times my family and I used to have together pre-divorce.

While I love to reminisce, my grandmother is a clear reminder of the necessity of the term, “let it go.” We hold on so tightly to the past, afraid of change, and worried that the future won’t be as painted clearly and perfectly like the past, while forgetting that the mere fact that the future is unclear is why it’s always so promising. A future with no limits and no boundaries makes it an endless journey of possibilities. But if we refuse to move forward, if we keep harping on past methods and old ways, that future diminishes right in front of our eyes and we stay frozen in time.

Recently, I’ve learned that letting go is actually not a cowardly move or a betrayal or an act of ungratefulness, but a reason to look deep within ourselves, understand that the past is not what we thought it was, and begin the process of healing. While I’ve undergone a situation in the past few months where I let go of a relationship that was unfulfilling to me, it had occurred to me that all along I had been alongside people who were letting go of situations in their lives that were no longer fulfilling to them.

  • My friend from college who left a job that was getting her nowhere fast for another job that was in alignment with what she wanted to do.
  • My mother who left an unsatisfying marriage of over 25 years and is now the embodiment of female kick-assness.
  • My older brother who decided to begin law school and venture up a mountain of student loans and debt to get him one step closer to his lifelong dream.
  • My younger brother who resisted my parents’ divorce for so long until he understood that my parents sacrificing their own happiness for his own was something that he now owed to them.

In life, we let go not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s something that we must do.

Lingering, waiting for the right moment, calculating will only postpone the inevitable. We avoid the inevitable which sounds meaningless because the inevitable is just that! Inevitable! So why put it off? Why wait? Rip off the bandage, come to terms with the fear and the pain and the unknown, and let it go. Our minds, our bodies, our souls, heal. There is no X amount of healing time for everyone, but we all eventually heal. Get a jump start on it. If we don’t learn how to let go, life will forcefully intervene and angrily take it away from us anyway. We have to make room for new beginnings and beautiful things. When we use up all of the space in our minds with the past and conflicts and unresolved issues, that space leaves no holes for good to penetrate. We become solid. But when we slowly let go of what is messing with our clarity, we begin to see, we let go, we heal, and then we move on. We’re fluid, again. We had let go…

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed about living in New York City. When I was younger, my aunt used to take my brothers and cousins and I on day excursions to the city and when night fell and it was time to go, I’d look out the car window, mesmerized by the twinkling lights sure that I was going to end up in one of those Park Avenue apartments. Now, I know, everyone has an obsession with New York City; I’m just relaying mine to you right now. It was such a beautiful dream, and it felt so real to me as I conjured it up in my naive little head. Years later, I wonder why I felt such a calling to New York.

Have you ever thought about the life you envisioned for yourself as a child? What was it? Was it marriage? Was it eight kids? Was it your dream job? Was it a farm? Or was it New York? I feel like we are always having to choose between evergreen and New York.

What I mean by that is life in New York is like a day at an amusement park. You are in this state of constant stimulation. The fun never ends, and when it does, you’re left craving that next piece of sparkle or fulfillment just to tide you over until the next joyride. New Yorkers are addicts. And granted, this New York lifestyle does not pertain to all New Yorkers, but the New York I’m talking about, the one we’ve all always envisioned, is the one I’m referring to. It’s all fun and games until you wake up and understand that the lifestyle of  a New Yorker is one that is so difficult to maintain.

I’m 22 now, and what I wanted when I was gazing up at the city lights in my aunt’s car, is not what I want now. Don’t get me wrong, I want the glitz and the glam of an overpriced apartment on the Upper East Side and the local bodega that sells my favorite ice cream bar, but I also want the green backyard, the quiet, the slowness, and a family to come home to. I could get that in New York, I could. We could have like an inch of green and our dog would probably shit all over it, but we could have it. We could have the quiet, if we soundproofed our walls, and we could have the slowness if we took that slowdown camera affect on the iPhone and applied it to real life. (I pretended I was in The Matrix all the time as a kid) So, yeah, we could have it. I could deal with that dream. But the thing is, that’s not my dream anymore.

I want the porch. And “the porch” to so many people symbolizes the death of all souls everywhere. It symbolizes complacency, boredom, dullness and routine. But, to me, it paints the picture of love, and family, and summer nights, and smiles, and memories, and sitting on that porch, looking across the skyline at the city that never truly was.

New York is still a dream to me, but it’s just one of my dreams. And it plays such a small part in my path to where I’d like to be. I’m saving for an apartment. I’ve got a monetary goal set in mind as well as a time goal set in mind. But it’s not set in stone. New York is like FOMO (fear of missing out). Everyone has got to get here at least once in their life, madly experience it, and then leave it. You tell everyone about it, share your stories, but then you cast it aside because it just never feels real when you’re there. New York just makes me beg for confirmation every day, it makes me beg for validation, it makes me beg for forgiveness for not being all that I can be. It’s that lover we’ve all probably had that never made you feel good enough no matter how hard you tried. And while a push to be a better you is always good, that person took you over the edge, with New York laughing alongside them.

This city vs. evergreen is like choosing between Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan. Gatsby was Daisy’s one true love, he was her porch, her evergreen. But Tom was her amusement park, he was her New York. So, are you going to choose the amusement park over the porch? Or the porch over the amusement park? Does New York even care what you end up choosing? Hell, if you don’t choose New York, there’s one more in line behind you who will.

New York is New York. It will and always will be. But evergreen, contrary to its name, is a state of being that runs out of sparkle and purpose if not treated right. New York will let you ravage it, and throw it away. It’s indifferent and ruthless. But evergreen is soft and fragile, and quietly makes us realize the important things in life. If we tamper with that, then we’ve lost everything, including New York.

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I’m currently listening to one of my favorite Pump Up songs; Midnight City by M83. Let me just note that I understand how basic that makes me sound for telling you that I have a Pump Up song, but seriously, I feel like everyone should have a Pump Up song. Now, Midnight City is one of many Pump Up songs I have. (I’ll stop saying Pump Up) But I love this song because it gets me excited about life. It’s like when R.Kelly’s Ignition Remix comes on at a party and everyone feels this inexplicable and embarrassing need to get up and dance and explicitly shout, “After the party, it’s the hotel lobby!” It gets me energized and whenever I hear it, I feel like I’m on a stage and people are cheering and I’ve just accomplished some major feat. This song was particularly special to me when I auditioned for the role of presenter for my college’s Ad Team. I auditioned, got the part, and I remember listening to this song on repeat when I pictured what it’d be like up there, in front of judges and an audience. It was something I had never done before. My point is, this song has been making quite a comeback lately. Let me explain why.

The last time I posted to this blog was a few months before I left my first internship. That was a little less than two years ago. If you don’t want to scroll down through my previous posts, a word to sum up the emotions, feelings, and explanations that were in those posts would be escape. It was the beginning of my career. I scored a great first internship at a startup data company and I was their social media intern. The internship progressed and they kept renewing my position there and eventually my role got solidified there. But here is the clinger: It was a great first internship. I wanted more. I wanted to learn more, see more, do more, and while I am forever grateful for that opportunity that catapulted me into so many more, I knew I had to leave. I knew I had to escape. And, well, I did.

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Fast forward to almost two years later – I went through a series of internships, part-time jobs, and finally landed a full-time position at CBS Altitude Group. It was probably the craziest two years of my life. I left my first internship and just jumped. Two weeks after I quit, I started my second internship at Seventeen Magazine. I was seriously debating saying something like, “and Seventeen taught me so much!” But I’m not exactly sure what FETCHING ENERGY BARS FROM A GNC IN FREEZING WEATHER WILL TEACH ME. I’m not bitter, right? My childhood dreams of working at the magazine publication that helped me with understanding puberty and college and boys shattered right in front of my eyes. I left on bad terms because I quit the internship a week early, unsatisfied and deeply disappointed with what I was learning, or in this case, what I wasn’t learning. Life works in such mysterious ways. Lesson learned, and on to the next one (HOV style) I went.

This is where things really got interesting. (And by really interesting, I mean please stay) I had an internship lined up for the next semester at CBS Altitude Group as a Strategic Marketing Intern. At 21 years old, or really any age, being offered an opportunity to work at CBS is mindblowing. And not like, “of course they’d hire me. I’m the shit.” mindblowing. More like a, “I’m going to shit myself because I thought only people like that really rich kid in my class with connections to his dad gets this kind of stuff” mindblowing. I’m from Rockland County, dude. Shit like this doesn’t happen every day. I worked at J.Crew over my last winter break of college to save up money for another unpaid internship and I accepted. It was the greatest internship. It was there that I found my groove as an aspiring marketing professional. It was there that I found what I enjoyed doing. And it was there that I understood my worth and my place. I finally saw a career path.

The internship ended about two weeks before I graduated from Pace University. That day was full of divorced parents being awkward with each other and my grandmother being disappointed that my fellow graduates didn’t throw their hats up when it ended because sorority girls decorate them with obnoxious jewels, but it was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful day before reality hit. I didn’t have job lined up and I was broke.

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It was a race to find a job because I knew my parents couldn’t support me for much longer. I was interviewing with Indeed.com for a sales position in Connecticut. I went on four interviews just for me to realize that I did not want to do sales or cold-calling, and I did not want to travel to Connecticut every day. I moved on and went to temp at a creative production agency that specialzed in creating campaigns for beauty and make-up products. I honestly have no idea if I got that explanation right. But, I had worked with them before at my first internship and reached out to see what they were up to. I temped, and left about two weeks later when I realized they needed an assistant rather than a marketing person.

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Now, I know you must be thinking that I’m being ungrateful and picky and that I should take whatever I can get. I know. Trust me, I thought about that. I thought that I should just suck it up and accept whatever was given to me. But I didn’t. Life isn’t meant to be lived that way, in any capacity. It could, but I’m on a path to follow my dreams and as corny as that may sound, holding out for something better was the best decision I ever made. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith.

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After about two months of unsuccessful emailing and resume-sending (not a phrase but I’m going with it), I felt like that leap of faith was turning into a jump to my demise. Until I read this incredible fucking book called “Oprah.” I’m kidding. Though, Oprah is a lady boss. I read this book called, “The Power of Who” by Bob Beaudine, a nationally recognized recruiter. If you are reading this and are a college graduate or just someone who is looking for a job, READ that book. It will change your life. The book enabled me to get in contact with CBS Altitude Group again and ask them if they knew of anyone within CBS who could hire me. Well, they did. I interviewed with CBS Television through my old boss, and had an informational interview with my favorite social agency, Likeable Media, through a contact I made while interning at CBS.

Likeable Media wasn’t hiring at the time, unfortunately. But, I did end up having three successful interviews with CBS Television and when I realized that I might be hired, CBS Altitude Group reached out to me and offered me a full-time position. This was a WTF moment. I was torn. But I accepted the position at CBS Altitude Group and started work there end of July 2014. At the end of January, I will have been there for six months. I could finally breathe. Life is good.

And while life is pretty damn good at the moment, the ambition inside of me is asking, “so what’s next?” I’m not quite sure, but I have some ideas and this is what this blog is all about. I want to take you through my journey of self-discovery, but mostly, career self-discovery. It’s so fucking hard for a college graduate to get a job. It’s a struggle, and then you get the job and there’s a learning curve and everyone is so much smarter and you feel less competent and then there’s this self-pity that sets in because you’re not Mark Zuckerberg but you’re at a job so that’s good enough, right? Let’s figure that out together. I want to share my insights, talk with you, discuss my day-to-day, your dreams, my dreams, what drives us, etc. I’m at a time in my life where I feel like Midnight City by M83 is playing almost every day. Career wise, though. Let’s not get my personal life twisted. We’d be here until 2245. I’m just saying that I’m a kid playing in the big leagues in the greatest city in the world (Parisians, back up) and it’s a pretty fucking cool experience. I just want to vent to you, dammit!

We’ll vent about my new Shark Tank idea of creating an in-office coffee IV. Next time, on Serial.

Kidding. (But not kidding because one of yous would definitely patent that shit)