I’m changing jobs, again. I know it seems like it hasn’t been all that long since we last chatted about switching companies, but when an opportunity comes your way and you want it, well, I’ve learned to take it.
Necessarily, me being me and all, this has prompted a week of reflection. I think the recent-college-grad classification dissipates post-first job, which means that as I have just accepted my third job I am now, officially, a working-girl (is that slang for prostitute? am I imagining that? have I watched too much Mad Men? whatever the way, I now feel the need to clarify, I am not a prostitute).
My third job.
How did that happen so fast? Am I old enough to now shake my head, furrow my brow and mutter the likes of “where has the time gone?” without sounding ridiculous?
I think, unfortunately, I am.
Where has the time gone?
Life, since graduating from Wake, has been an all-out sprint. It has been long days in various offices. Long nights on various dance floors. Bustling afternoons in various coffee shops. Harried mornings between various subway stops.
It has been heartbreaking; it has been rainy days, tear-stained cheeks, solo pints of ice-cream and sitting alone in the movie theater kinds of heartbreaking.
It has, much more often however, been…can I say euphoric? That’s not exactly what I mean but I’m not entirely sure there’s a word for what I mean. ‘Happy’ is too trite. ‘Joyful’ is lame [sidenote: now that I think about it, I hate the word joyful; makes me feel like a rosy-cheeked cherub -- which, incidentally, I am not.]. Whatever, we’ll go with ‘happy.’ I’m happy; unbridled and selfishly happy. It has been happy.
Also, I have, for the last year and almost-one-half, been single — singularly responsible for that happiness. I take a sort of pride in that.
My first reaction to singledom / not having any friends [literally, none] in the city was to book every minute of every day. I took two jobs, one internship and enrolled in a Masters program at NYU. During the 6 hours each day I wasn’t occupied at those posts I was pretty much drunk [ mom and dad, read: classily buzzed! flushed-cheeks, but totally not slurring my words, k? thanks.] I don’t really know how else to make friends other than meet someone at the gym/work and casually mention that we should go out for drinks sometime. So that’s what we/I did. [oh, and sometimes I slept, but never enough.]
As a result, I made some friends. Good ones. Keepers, for sure.
[also, I was tired.]
By the time I left Sports Illustrated last April (yea, we’re only on April 2013 folks, didn’t see that coming I bet!) and dropped out of my Masters program (oops) I had settled a little. I was living with close friends from home. My ex and I made the arduous, bumpy and dangerous leap from being exes to being friends. More new friends came along. More old friends moved nearby. Etc., etc.
Fall took a few dark turns but, having come out the other side, afforded me the chance to re-evaluate my priorities and goals in ways I otherwise (almost definitely) would not have.
Winter has been cold and while I have, more than once, felt the terrible claustrophobic and suffocating sensation that comes with spending so much time indoors, it has been much better than last year.
I’ve taken more time to myself. Uncluttered my life. Learned what I want, professionally and personally, and taken the steps / risks / chances / opportunities to move in those directions. I came along, I grew. Obviously I wasn’t aware at the time — can’t really grow up if you constantly put yourself under a microscope, checking to see how much you’ve grown up…but I did.
And while I would love to keep this abominably and unapologetically self-indulgent, that wouldn’t be very mature, would it? Instead, I want to note that it has be a privilege beyond compare to have had the same best friends for so many years. To see Taylor come into her own and really hone her own voice, to watch Caroline radiate happiness, to see Annie and her unrelenting selflessness — to see these women; strong, sure women after having met them all as the awkward 12-year-olds we were — it’s been special, humbling, inspiring.
[oh, I'm heading over to Entertainment Weekly, for my new job and couldn't be more excited.]