I quit my job yesterday.
I’ve been at Conde Nast for almost 2 years. I feel like I grew up there in a strange way. I cried in the hallway bathroom, took some naps on my bosses couch, miscalculated on some excel grids, hung up on some important people, sang loudly to some Carly Rae on Friday afternoons, and generally all around learned some massive life lessons as well as some important administrative duties, that come with just finishing your first job.
And at one point, I thought I wanted to write for magazines. I was like you know what? That sounds prettttty good. I think I’ll do that. Yep. So I started really reading each our different publications (You know, Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Allure, Traveler.. casual name-droppings) and reading the editor’s in our building’s work and researching their job timeline and all around doing some pretty stellar career creeping if I do say so myself. (Which I do). I asked some editors for advice. I laughably received very little. It’s hard to promote yourself when you come off like hey BUSY AND IMPORTANT west coast editor of (insert-magazine-title-here), I’m a lowly unimportant assistant in ad sales which is nothing like anything you do, but like I want to write for magazines, so like here’s my blog, can ya help a sista out??
The answer is no, I found out. It’s ok guys. I have thick skin.
Another important life/career lesson from this though. Write this down. If you want to do something, don’t rely on others to help pave the way. YOU have to take the initiative to figure it out yourself. YOU have to personally make the effort to research, learn, network, beg, whatever. Sorry Charlie/Dorothy, there’s no golden ticket on the yellow brick road of following your dreams.
But all of this is whatever, because you know what? The more people I talked to and sat down for (what felt like trivial at times) coffee dates and participated in hour-long phone calls and redundant networking emails and etc, etc. (So. Much. Money. Spent. On. Caffeine), I realized something. I don’t want to write for magazines anymore, dammit! I don’t want to report a story. I don’t want to write about celebrities in their cute vintage Versace sweaters as they eat a butter lettuce salad with no dressing in a chic LA cafe. Nope. I want to write up quirky characters, and funny plot-lines, and interesting lessons. I want to write stories. I want to write for television. And boom. A star was born.
Or sort of. At least a goal. A pursuit. An ambition. A dream. Oh what the hell guys, forget Oz, let’s go to Hollywood.
There’s a convenience store on the main floor of the Conde Nast offices, where a little Indian man continuously tries to convince me to buy a lottery ticket every time I come in to buy gum and a giant bottle of water.
And every time we have the same conversation:
Him: “Lottery ticket? You win!”
Me: “No, man. Thank you though. I prefer to make my own luck.”
I’m pretty sure he doesn’t understand me when I say this. Definite lack of communication because this conversation keeps occurring, but anyway my point is, I don’t want to be the person who waits around hoping that sometime someday someone will read this blog and be like Wow, that Meg sure is a swell writer. I should give her a supa cool writing gig on this new hot tv show, because you know what? Gosh darnit, that gal deserves it!
Because that just doesn’t happen, my friends. You want your dream job? Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started.
I know a lot of us don’t know what our dream job is. What the hell do I want to do with MY WHOLE LIFE? There’s so much time, yet there is also somehow so little. How can this be??
I was at a bar the other night (shocking I know) and instead of listening to the idle gossip chit-chat like a normal girl, I was watching the bar TV of a commercial of some lady who was promoting her veterinarian office. Or at least I think she was, I was a little drunk, so it might have actually been a commercial for cat food. Whatever, go with me here. Anyway, I had this crazy revelation that that girl somewhere along the line realized her calling was to help people aid their domestic pets for a full healthy life of pet-related happiness. And how great is that!? Realizing what you are supposed to do and then going after it. Everyone should do this! Everyone should be a vet if they want to be a vet. Everyone should at least try to do what they are good at and what they enjoy. This is what success looks like! I was moved.
It’s so simple, yet it’s one of the hardest thing in this world. People spend their entire lives doing what is expected of them. Pursuing a career that isn’t necessarily one they would choose for themselves, but seems responsible and stable. Pursuing a paycheck instead of a passion. And sure, I’m not dense enough to not know that often there are outside factors that deter people from pursuing their “dream job”. Or the fact that “job” may have nothing to do with your “dream”. Maybe it’s a place, or an experience or whatever. The medium in which your passions exist isn’t the point. It’s the fact you are too scared, or too stubborn, or too lazy to at least try. You listen to that voice in the back of your head that says you’ll fail. You listen to your friends when they question your motives. You listen to the doubters, the reserved, the rationale, the reasonable, the people who “know better”.
Well….I’m telling you to quit your job. I’m telling you to move. I’m telling you that despite the fact you spent 7 years studying in med school, despite the fact you’ve been in advertising sales for 20 years, despite the fact everyone will judge you and scrutinize you and call you crazy, if it doesn’t make you happy? Just.. start doing what does! If there is anything we learned from Miley Cyrus this year, it’s that you can start off being Hannah Montana whom parents buy merchandise and apparel for their budding pre-teens like adderall in a college library right before finals and completely turn around the year as a bad ass bitch that the general public shuns like Cady Heron after she pushed Regina George in front of the bus. Miley, you’ve given us a pretty concrete example that you can really be any one you want. Much love.
2 years ago, all I knew was that I needed to move to California. That’s all the dream fairies gave me. But through failure on failure and lesson on lesson, here I am folks. And this is what I’ve learned:
You gotta stop waiting for the winning lottery ticket, and just make your own luck. And if that turns out to not be what you want to do (which it might), do something else. It’s that simple, and it’s that hard. But personally? I don’t think there’s anything more exciting or invigorating or rewarding than holding the reins of your own pursuit of happiness.
And on that note, I think I will now start a new job on Monday and continue to do what I want to do with my life. I hope you all do the same.
Your favorite californian (or at least one of them. Let’s be real, there are a lot of hotties here),