An Ode to Carrie Bradshaw
(Note: This post was originally published on Alyssa's personal blog.)
There were so many questions that I dreaded during college: “How many slices of pizza did you have last night?” “Did you drunk text again?” “What are you doing after school?”
But the one I feared the most was this:
“What’s your dream job?”
I’ve had several “dream jobs” over the course of my lifetime, including: veterinarian, actress, singer, groupie, doctor (only because I had the Barbie doll who was dressed like a doctor), and the list goes on. And the most recent dream job, and dream life even, was that of (wait for it):
Which obviously, I wasn’t going to actually say to anyone, to tell them that I wanted to live my life based on a television show character. If you haven’t watched/heard of Sex and the City, (which should probably change right now…), Carrie is a charismatic, witty, and talented writer who lives in Manhattan. And I wanted that so badly; I wanted to freelance, wanted to make the “bright lights, big city” transition somewhere on the west coast, wanted to have it all figured out, and also wanted her to narrate my life in a voice over.
While Carrie is about a million times cooler than I will ever be, it turned out that we had a lot in common; we both loved driving ourselves crazy with self-doubt, buying shoes, chasing after unattainable guys, and then writing it all down. And I, stubborn as the day is long, was convinced that this was the job I would have and the life I would lead after school, and I was heartbroken every time I tried in vain to find it.
It’s discouraging when you work something up in your head for so long and nothing comes of it; the moment I put something in there, I can’t let it go for the life of me. And it’s even more discouraging when you realize that what you want may not exactly be what you need. But John Steinbeck once wrote to his sons: “I have discovered that there are other rivers. A great many never come to know that there are other rivers.” I over-analyze literature like I over-analyze everything else, but what I took from this is that sometimes, we try to cling so hard onto what we know, simply because it’s what we know. But you have to allow your dreams to change so constantly because you are changing so constantly. There are other rivers, and other cities, and other places to grow in. And often, they are the ones you would never expect.
Did I ever see myself in marketing? Was this ever a dream job for me? No. Besides watching Mad Men which made me think I had a clue about advertising, I seriously would have never told you that this is where I would end up. I don’t have an analytical mind, I’m reserved, I couldn’t strike up the confidence to sell myself to you even if I wanted to, and if I tried to pitch you an idea, I would probably apologize for it afterwards.
Honestly, I never thought I would be in marketing. I never thought I would end up staying here. I never thought I would be writing for clients whose companies range from wine to cat litter. I never thought I would work among people who not only remind me to stay creative, but also encourage it. I never thought I would find a place where, after all of this time, I finally feel like I fit.
And I couldn’t help but wonder.
Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll find your dream job.
And maybe, if you’re even luckier, you won’t.