Have you checked out That First Year's newest shop yet, The Creative Exchange?! Click here to see art created exclusively for That First Year! Your purchase supports both TFY and the creativity of your peers. And if you haven't yet, download your free print as a gift from us to you to celebrate TFY's two-year blog birthday!
When I was younger, I wanted to be an actress. No, really. I wanted to be the next Disney Channel star (seriously, I made my mother get me headshots, I was so convinced…). It was my ultimate and absolute dream. (Is this really that surprising, because I feel like I couldn’t be more dramatic about everything…).
Speaking of being dramatic, and call it the only child in me, but I can be (and have been) the world’s biggest brat. So yes, there was this part of me, this self-entitled and dignified part that thought that since I took the Shakespeare classes and earned the degree that things would be easy, that they would be guaranteed, that I would be handed my Carrie Bradshaw-esque dream job the second after I threw my cap in the air.
In the immortal words of Cady Heron in Mean Girls: “Wrong. I was so wrong.”
I’ve cried more in the past few months than I probably ever have in my entire life, throughout this huge blur of confusion and aimless direction and anxiety. And although I was extremely fortunate to find a job soon after we graduated, it was far from what I wanted to be doing in the long run. It was a temp position, and that’s all I ever wanted it to be: temporary.
I have this tendency to be self-doubtful, to over-analyze every little thing to every little core, pick it apart, over-analyze it some more. And I have no idea why. So from when I first sat down at my desk up until now, I constantly apologized for all of the countless (countless…) mistakes I made, the appointments that I booked incorrectly, the money I added wrong; the list goes on.
“I’m sorry,” I would shriek. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
And all the women I have worked with would look at me strangely, probably wondering: “Why is this crazy girl freaking out over something so insignificant?” and they would tell me, “It’s okay.”
For so long, and for whatever reason, I have needed others to reassure me, to tell me that all of the things that I worry about are completely invalid, to tell me that everything was going to be okay, simply because I couldn’t tell it to myself. There isn’t a remedy for it. I’ve Google-ed it.
Your dreams are constantly evolving, as they should be. You’re not who you were when you were seven years old, twirling around with a microphone, envisioning the day you would make it Cinema-Scope (I’m totally lying, I was like fourteen when I made my mother get me those headshots, so…). And it’s the strangest thing when you realize that everything around you hasn’t changed; it’s you that has. I have always felt that writing didn’t make me happy in the “I’m totally content, going to have a totally successful career, and totally own a Volvo one day” way, but the “this is totally just about the most unstable career I could ever want and I’m totally terrified every second of every day” way. There’s a reason that Hemingway drank so much wine. It’s been filled with scribbles on napkins, feelings I don’t know how to explain and endless notes of fragments of thoughts I have on my phone. In short, it’s a complicated mess. It’s constantly changing. And I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
I gave my two weeks at work yesterday, because after all of the resumes, cover letters, leads that never went anywhere, blog posts, tears, phone calls, more tears, questions, answers and clarity, I somehow managed to find the kind of job that I can’t wait to get up and go to every day. But I can’t help but believe it was fate that brought me to that temp position, surrounded by girls who would email me if there was a cute guy in line, who would look for my bag in the parking lot when I frantically called them up telling them that I had lost it, who would bring me my favorite coffee, who I could vent to, who encouraged me to write, who were endlessly kind and endlessly patient (probably more patient than I deserved), and who constantly assured me that everything - that I - was going to be just fine. I needed it. I needed it so much more than they will ever realize.
The other day, I (for the fifty-millionth time) added the insurance co-pay amount incorrectly.
“It’s okay,” they told me.
And I believed them, at last.
[Photo by Juliette Kibodeaux.]
This print... fo' free!
Download your free print here.