The New Taylor

I have spent the last few months looking for what myself and my friends referred to as, a grownup job. This is obviously not a very nice thing to say around my coworkers as they are all much older than me and are in their preferred grownup job. But in my eyes, my current career of waiting tables and serving food is not my ideal professional path. I was so focused on finding a professional job that I had my morning routine down to a science:

  1. Wake up & make coffee.
  2. Fix myself a cup of coffee and proceed to the couch.
  3. Open laptop and open various career finding engine websites that are extremely overwhelming.
  4. Drink coffee while filtering through terrible jobs and redundant internships.
  5. Send out first resume to a reasonable* job posting.
  6. Continue to sift through the trash that you are now convinced is Indeed.com.
  7. Take a bathroom break.
  8. Drink glass of wine
  9. Apply to a reach** job.
  10. Continue to search through the filtered results of job postings until you are convinced maybe it would just be easier to get another internship.
  11. Apply to a shit*** job.
  12. Give up and collect the various pieces of you dignity that have scattered onto your laptop keyboard.

*What makes a reasonable job:

  1. It is NOT an Internship
  2. The commute to said job is less than 40 minutes.
  3. The pay is less than what you currently make but you're willing to make the sacrifice for professionalism.
  4. You have the skill set required for this job.

**What makes a reach job:

  1. It is NOT an Internship.
  2. You have the required skill set for this job.
  3. It is for a company that you know will not hire you because they have their own set of internships that are following the internal corporate ladder. You apply anyway.
  4. The commute is so close that it is the Los Angeles equivalent of  next door.

***What makes a shit job:

  1. It MAY or MAY NOT be an Internship.
  2. This is most likely the last submitted resume sent for the day.
  3. You have the required skill set for this job.
  4. This job may or may not pay depending on the internship status.
  5. The commute is 40+ minutes away.
  6. You've only applied to this job because you want to hit your submitted resume quota for the day.

You then spend the rest of your day going on about your business but constantly checking your email for a response to your five (maybe more) submitted resumes. You rarely hear back from any of them.

I had in fact heard from about four companies that I had applied to. Two reasonable jobs and two shit jobs, because of course. I brushed off my interview blazer, opened Google Maps and went on the subsequent job interviews, all of them. After my last interview hadn't contacted me for over a week, I resigned to the fact that I would die in my waitress uniform. This feeling continued even as I started every morning with the same resume submitting ritual; until, I began playing phone tag with one of the women I had interviewed with for a trade magazine.

My noticeably lacking confidence seeped into the good news that this game of phone tag was indicating.So Eric, forever my support system gave this advice, "There is no way she keeps trying to reach you if you didn't get the job." He was right, and I had been offered a position at a reasonable job and I finally felt worthy of it. I could finally, if not in my mind alone tell Indeed.com to go fuck itself.

After going out to purchase "professional" clothes, because apparently yoga pants are not considered "professional" I started my first day my new job.

It is a publication that is part of a larger parent company with hallways full of small windowless offices for both editorial and production of various publications. I was walked down a hallway and politely told that I would be taking over Taylor's old office. I could barely hide my excitement that I was receiving an office at all. To sit in front of a computer editing and writing copy all day was a thing my dreams were made of. I DID NOT want to serve food anymore.

On my first day I left my office door open. Throughout the day various friendly faces from throughout the office popped in my doorway to introduce themselves and say hello. I honestly remember about four of them, but they were all very nice.

So here I am, about two months in. (And if I can just say this whole bi-weekly paycheck thing is something that I am going to have to get use to. It gives me anxiety as obviously this changes my bill pay schedule but I guess this is all part of the "grownup job"). And I have just started to make this little, windowless office my own. I've taken to throwing out most of things, I mean I know it is sacrilegious to throw away old Vogues but do I need every issue from 2013? Probably not. But what I really need, is a new desk.

Taylor's old desk has two broken drawers, which I would like to use as Taylor's file cabinet is also broken. So I mention this to my new boss and when I come in the next morning, there is a new desk. Not Taylor's desk but Dina's desk. After this new desk's arrival more and more things started to fall into "office space." I am starting to find my own voice when writing for the magazine, I am people that I can eat lunch with and have enjoyable conversation, some of them even like Drags Queens, so it is the ultimate win.

And it is a little weird sitting here thinking about how long, or maybe not that long at all, it took me to get here. And I take that back, it took a long time. And a lot of studying, and crying and taking the bus to class and taking the bus to work. And as I sit at my new big desk, in an office with no windows, where I am not an intern anymore but an actual employee with a byline (A BYLINE!), and I am so busy that I can only relish in what I've done once I get home because there isn't enough hours in the work day. I decide that I do not want to be the new Taylor. I would instead like to think that I am the new Dina.

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Adjust, Rinse, Repeat

When I went back to college I became fully immersed in the what I needed to do. I adjusted my time management, I worked my life around classes, homework, and working just enough to pay the bills and keep on pushing towards the goal of graduating and not being the oldest person in the classroom…I’m not even that old, I wasn’t even close to being the oldest person in every class… but that was my insecurity which calls for a different post, at a different time.

So fast forward four years and now I’m done. No more homework, no more classes, no required reading. Just me and Lola sitting on the couch reading trashy novels because I didn’t want to read anything that I had to think about really. I still went to work, but my job doesn’t start until nighttime so, with my body adjusted to waking up early I never slept in too late and filled my time with late morning yoga classes. But then what?

I knew that I had to get some kind of internship or new job. I wouldn’t let go of the job I have now because hey…that student loan grace period ends sooner then anyone ever thinks. But the beauty of my job is that it allows me to have free time to pursue other things, while at the same time having the comfort that it had provided while I was attending school. So the search for internships started and stopped soon after school was over. I started working at an internship for a Lifestyle Website soon after graduating. I promised two half days a week, which is pretty much a lazy, non existent commitment but I wanted to ease into it. The internship wasn’t far from my home and I didn’t really have to change anything about my current schedule to accommodate this addition. I hadn’t been  interning for very long, and I hate to admit but I gave a very minimal commitment. I just couldn’t get into it, instead of taking advantage of the opportunity I tuned out. I didn’t want to be bothered just yet. I was still in the mindset of ‘yay school is over! Let’s do nothing bur eat bon bons!’ I left that internship after less then a three month commitment. I used the excuse that I needed to find something more in the field that I wanted to have a career in, (which is editorial/ literary publishing) and that was pretty true, but I still could have stuck the internship out in hindsight.

And so me and Lola were back on the couch, watching trashy T.V. and reading trashy novels. Only this time I spent majority of the day looking up the very limited choices of editorial and literary publishing internships available in Los Angeles. After about a month of searching I found a great opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up on. There are really only three prominent literary presses in Los Angeles and I happened to snag an internship at one of them.It presented itself as a great opportunity, with many things to learn and many connections to be made. However, it completely fucked up my own personal daily schedule and lifestyle.

First of all it’s like a solid 45 minute commute, and who am I kidding this is L.A. and everything is a commute. It literally takes me 7 minutes to walk to the corner of my street because J-waking is a bitch of a ticket and the light takes that long to change. I also had to make a way better commitment than I had done with the previous internship. That wasn’t too much of an issue because I was very excited to start this opportunity and get started, no matter how long the commute was. So I found myself committing to three full days (9-5) in Pasadena in an office, in a cubicle, pretty much by myself.

It’s been two weeks since I’ve started and the adjustment I’ve had to make to my everyday daily life has been turned upside down. My household has never been a 9-5 type of household, I don’t believe it ever will. However, Eric and I have learned to never say never and to never underestimate the power of throwing a child into the mix or in our case a puppy or two. Everything had to be readjusted, grocery lists, cleaning schedules, and most importantly, my workouts. I suddenly find myself meal prepping on Sunday nights so I have lunch for my time at the office, I wake up early and put my coffee in a togo cup and commute my way to working for free. I get home late, I make some kind of dinner whether it is for myself or for when Eric gets home, maybe, take a shower and do it all over again.

This new routine isn’t something that I had been ready to do with the previous internship, nothing would come in the way of being at the yoga studio four days a week, nothing disrupted “me time” which was my lazy days on the couch. But in the end, everything was disrupted including the days I vacuumed my apartment. It took really two weeks to adjust, and I am still honestly adjusting, finding time to take Lola on walks and getting use to waking up early. This internship has posed more disruptions that I had anticipated but has also introduced much more opportunity than I had thought it would.

While readjusting my schedule I have also had to overcome the early onset anxiety of proving myself a worthy intern. And both of these concerns I have learned, have to be taken with a deep breath and inner confidence. Readjusting is never easy, and having confidence in your own abilities is something that comes from within, it must be taught and learned by only yourself. It is easy to fall into lazy, trashy T.V. mode and it’s even easier to stay there. It’s comforting and it doesn’t require any kind of stepping out of your own private comfort zone. But we don’t grow on the couch, we don’t push ourselves to see what we can do and how far we can do it. And I am better than trashy T.V. and unintelligent novels.