Wanted: A Millennial who knows what the f*ck she’s doing

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I talk (write?) a lot about my job on this blog and how hard it was to get where I am today (currently on my bed, watching bob’s burgers, in a blanket burrito). But it’s not like I spent my childhood dreaming of being an agent’s assistant, or even working in publishing. My quote-unquote dream job changed fairly often as I was growing up and they all spanned a multitude of subjects.

When I was very little I wanted to be an illustrator. I always loved drawing, requesting sketch pads and crayons every Christmas. I remember one weekend, where my sister and I sat at my grandmother’s dining room table using water colors to paint, thinking that my sister was going to write books, and I was going to draw things for them. But I soon realized that my talents were never going to get any better than my third grade hand.

Once I realized this, I shifted focus. Dolphins had recently become my favorite animal and getting to spend days splashing around with them sounded like absolute bliss (reminder this was a pre blackfish world we were living in). This desire to train sea animals lasted throughout most of middle school until one day my mom took me to the Baltimore Aquarium to see an actual dolphin show (to help support my interests – thanks mom!). During the performance, one of the trainers talked about how one becomes a trainer, and listed the many books and courses one would have to read and take – and though I’m not proud of this, the  thought of all that work just to play with dolphins soured the whole process. So naturally I switched to a much more manageable career.

Not. Around the end of middle school/early high school I was reading a lot of non-fiction and was also getting into my family history. Not to mention, my immediate family and I were always into shows like The West Wing and NCIS. All of this contributed to my desire to be a spy for the CIA. My maternal grandfather had worked for the CIA and I was intrigued by international travel and the excitement of a high stakes environment. So, to once again foster support for my budding interests, my mom took me to the International Spy Museum in DC and bought me a memoir written by a former agent. But after this and my own extensive research it became apparent that a life of a spy was much harder and a lot more boring than I originally had thought. And I was slowly becoming much more interested in talking to “interesting people” than actually being an “interesting person” myself.

This was the beginning of a hope for a career in journalism. In high school I got super into music and subscribed to Rolling Stone magazine. I loved how the editors covered any topic under the sun and weren’t afraid to tout controversial ideas (this was about ten years ago when legalized weed was still a pretty controversial issue). I learned all about the history of music and politics and Hunter S. Thompson. I found new and interesting people to follow on budding social media websites. And this interest eventually led me to other quirky outlets such as McSweeny’s Quarterly Concern. All of this showed me that anything can be a story if you tell it interestingly enough. And it seemed like all the writers in these magazines got to sit down with the “most interesting people in the world” and ask them questions about why they do what they do. Nothing sounded more fascinating to me.

To this day I am still fascinated by it. Though my focus in college shifted from journalism to history, I still wanted to write and talk about interesting people and social trends. But what changed is the kinds of stories that I wanted to tell. In college I realized that I didn’t just want to be a mouth piece for something or someone else. I wanted to create something new – by myself, for myself. Once I realized I wasn’t going to pursue a journalism career, I started looking at avenues that would allow me to think about and work on stories every day. Thus when I graduated, I started to look for jobs in publishing.

Today I still don’t necessarily know what my passion is or “what I want to be when I grow up.” I know that I have always wanted to perform and draw and act and express my self visually. And I know that I have the skills and connections to navigate an industry that can be unrelenting. But I wish I wasn’t so timid about expressing my passions no matter what they are. Sometimes I am afraid that my lack commitment to any career or idea, will result in me never finding something that truly fills my soul.

But perhaps, I won’t ever need to figure that out. Barring some lack of inherent talent, I knew that if I worked hard enough, I would be capable of pursuing every career listed above – and maybe that’s all that matters.

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One Small Step for Kelly, One Giant Leap for her Confidence!

A waist is a terrible thing to mind...or is it the other way..???

A waist is a terrible thing to mind…or is it the other way..???

For those of you who aren’t friends with me on Facebook (if you aren’t tell me how you found this piece!) I got a job! I will be working as a Literary Assistant at WME, a talent agency. My searching has been the topic of a few of these blog posts – mainly how hard it was that nobody got back to me and the crippling fear that comes with having no purpose in life. But now that I got one of those job things, everything is peachy right!

Wrong.

That was dramatic. Let’s back up. So today was literally my first day. I mainly filled out paper work and shadowed the person who’s position I will be taking over. Nothing about the job is particularly difficult given my prior experience. It’s all things that I will be able to get done in the 10 hour day I am obligated to work.

And we’ve reached the crux of the problem. That’s right, 10 hours. Now this isn’t really all that crazy, most assistants these days work 10 hours even if they aren’t required too. And I luckily get time and a half for anything that is over 40 hours a week, so really my deal is pretty sweet. But the 10 hour work day got me thinking about how I would schedule the other 14 hours of my day. And that thought spiraled pretty quickly.

The thing about being poor and not having a job is that your social activities are pretty much dictated for you. Movies or the occasional night out are allowed intermittently. Most hang sessions happen at somebody’s house with netflix and really cheap food. I didn’t sign up for any classes or invest my money in any new purchases. I also spent long hours away from everyone and got to decide when and where I would go outside if I wanted to. I was basically a hermit that reached out to civilization when I could or wanted. And after doing that for a year, I have to admit it’s kind of a habit and one that I like. I am not a huge extrovert nor am I an expensive person. But now I am suddenly in the possession of a lot more money and a lot less free time.

So what do I do with this new money? Do I spread it out over a bunch of small purchases? Do I save all of my hard earned cash. And what about my seriously diminished free time? Should I be up in the gym working on my fitness? Or should I finally take that improv class I have been wanting to take for years? OR should I just go home each evening and sit with my friends and shoot the shit?

I know there has to be a balance and I should give myself time to work everything out. “It was just her first day!” you think to yourself, “this girl needs some serious help and also free alcohol for a year!” Reader, I completely agree with you (especially about the wine). One has give yourself time to adapt, to get your bearings. I guess my trigger happy attitude comes from the part of me that thought this, me getting a job, was never going to happen. I feel like I have already wasted a year and I don’t want to waste anymore. Now I must do ALL THE THINGS.

But of course that’s the wrong way to look at this experience. I didn’t waste a year. I tried something new and now it’s paying off. And hopefully this job will pay off in the same way. As my mother always said, take it one step at a time.