Author: Iced Coffee and Gummy Worms

My name is Angela, I'm a 24 year old post-grad living in NYC... but not Sex and the City NYC, like in my parents house that happens to be in one of the other five borough, NYC. I post about Oreo, pizza, weird New Yorkers, potentially losing your job at 24, and finding what I want to do next and not knowing at all and how I'm exploring to figure it out.

Unemployment Part Deux Day 1

Tomorrow would have been the three month mark at my new company. Apparently I was not destined to make it that far.

Yesterday started out as a peculiar Monday. I missed my usual bus but it was warmer than it’s been in about 2 weeks, so I stood and waited for the next one. I accidentally picked a very tight bus seat, and had a woman with a very large coat sat next to me. I made it to Starbucks before realizing I didn’t have enough money to pay for my coffee in full, so I reloaded my app. I was the first into the office, but couldn’t find my keys, and waited until the next person got in to open the door. I put on mascara as my coworkers trickled in. It was a very gray Monday and I assumed that the funk over the office was because of that. My office friend, who happens to be the head of the office currently, seemed to be avoiding my eye, but it is Monday morning, most people tend to avoid eye contact until at least noon.

By 12:30, it seemed as if the office had emptied out. Everyone must be at lunch, I thought, so I gathered my things and sat in the office kitchen while I heated up my chicken soup. As the microwave buzzed, I scrolled through my twitter feed, uncomfortably perched on the edge of the stool while the microwave counted down the minute. Suddenly a notification crossed my screen. It was from the head of HR. What could she want?

“hey, I’m in the back. come and see me” she said. Well that is strange, isn’t it? Seeing as her office is in Austin. “Sure!” I answered, as my heart began to pound. I know what this is, and this will not end well. I walked toward the back office avoiding coworkers as I went.

In less the ten minutes I was out of the office, thin manila envelope in hand. I half smiled at the account executive who watched me as I made my way to my desk. She knows what just went down, I can see the pity in her eyes. I closed out my tabs on my laptop and shut it down. This is it, I thought, time to clean out my desk. I filled a shopping bag with the snacks that had accumulated at my desk, making sure to check everywhere, in case I forgot something. I waved goodbye to another girl who had been given a similar manila envelope and hit the down button on the elevator.

But now what?

I called my fiancé, jobless, I laughed. This is comical, isn’t it? Five months prior I had been in the exact same position. I called my parents, they told me they were sorry for me, I understand, this is an awkward topic for most people. What do you say? How do you comfort someone when they’d only been with the company for 3 months? I’m not sure, but I guess it doesn’t really matter.

Back to the drawing board, I suppose.

I have come to the conclusion that wedding planning sucks…

If you don’t believe me, know that I stayed out until I was absolutely certain everyone in my family was asleep before coming home, even though my eyes were barely staying open while out.

As soon as I got engaged everyone kept saying I should enjoy this time; enjoy being engaged, enjoy the planning, enjoy everything. So far, I’m having a giant 500+ person wedding instead of a destination (or Vegas) wedding, with a giant bridal party even though I wanted a small one, with a DJ instead of a band, a photographer who I think is pretentious, a videographer that I’ve disliked since I was about 12, at a hall I picked because of the color scheme of the foyer… and because it was big enough to fit 600 people. I am very much over the planning of this. I’ve already cried to a priest and been dress shopping twice with nothing to show for it. That should be enough for you people.

I also hate that all anyone wants to talk to me about is my wedding. I swear to God I’m smart and can hold a steady conversation about other relatively important things, like the current political climate of the country, or a recently released movie, or the fucking weather. Literally anything people.

I am very ready to be married and done with all of this. And don’t even get me started on how much weight I need to lose.

Having a wedding is not fun, I think I’m doing this incorrectly.

The incoherent rambling of a wannabe writer

Magazines have always been a favorite outlet of mine. Their glossy pages and giant letters called to me and encouraged me to pay the $5 for the random issue that stood out in front of me on the newsstand that day. That’s how I knew I wanted to write. I wanted to be one of the people whose names were printed in small black letters under a grand article title. I just didn’t know how to get there. So I interned. I spent every summer from the age of 16 to the age of 19 working in the editorial office of KIWI Magazine where I did everything from fetch office supplies to research holiday gift guides in June. It was not what I imagined. So I went to college.

In college I studied communication, focusing on journalism. I pretended I knew what I was doing when writing essays at 4am or when researching for an article about “BENNYs” for the school’s newspaper. But I could never say my heart was fully in it. I never felt complete after turning in a mock article. But I remember loving the research. I loved being given a topic and thinking of only that topic for 3 days straight; spending hours in the library researching and printing, I practically had my own computer there. But this was school. Life would surely be different. It was this thinking that lead to a new internship. My cousin’s girlfriend was working in the advertising department for a beautiful food magazine. She sold advertising space to mom and pop shops on the East Coast. She told me her friend in the marketing department was looking for an intern to help out for the summer. I decided to give it a go.

That summer was one of the best I’d ever had. I was almost an adult, I worked in an amazing office, I made a few friends, but was only allowed into the editorial office when dropping something off. Apparently there is a hard line between the business side and the creative side of a magazine. And that summer I was on the wrong side. So instead, I took home back copies and studied the glossy pages. I worked on their summer events and followed the magazine’s publisher around as if she were a god. I don’t think she ever actually took notice of me, though. Didn’t matter, I was where I needed to be at that time.

Next summer I graduated college. I was given the opportunity to intern there again, but turned it down in favor of a paying job… One I did not have yet.

July 2013 I was offered an advertising coordinator position at one of the biggest newspaper publishing companies in the country, so I took it. It really is all about who you know. I assumed I would work at the newspaper during the day and write at night. And that is how this blog was born. My first post was sent from my parents house in Naples, Florida the day before I flew back to New York to start my first real job.

But as days passed into weeks, and weeks into months my writing became almost nonexistent. By the following February I had sunken into a full blown depression. I wasn’t mentally prepared to work in a windowless office in a position that required absolutely no creativity. I was miserable and couldn’t even hide it anymore. By March I had booked a trip to Europe. My favorite place in the entire world was Rome, I thought it was about time I had gone back. After extensive googling and convincing, I bought a slightly sketchy groupon for a 6 day trip that would bring me to Paris for three days and Rome for another three. That November, with my boyfriend of a year in tow (much to my parents’ chagrin,) I touched down in Paris and squished the two of us into a train with the morning rush hour traffic.

The next three days we met Paris.

I visited museums and ate croissants. I was dumb and hadn’t researched enough, but it was fine. I was in Paris after all! We walked around the city eating crepes and ogling  fancy stores. On the fourth morning we woke up early and left our Moroccan themed hotel for the last time. We shuffled our way into Charles de Gaulle airport with sleep in our eyes and pillows in our hand. While walking to our gate, I passed the French version of the Winter issue of my old magazine, and it definitely caught my eye. Snowflakes covered the magazine name and every headline was in French, bien sûr. I needed it.

I have only ever bought magazines on the stand. I enjoy having the ability to buy whenever I please. I don’t feel rushed to read it and can take a month or a year if I so choose. But today something was different.

This afternoon, while reading the beginning of The Art of Editing No. 3 I was given the option to continue reading if, and only if, I subscribed to the Paris Review. I had always enjoyed the Paris Review but hadn’t been a loyal reader. But I was entranced by the article. The interviewee had my total and complete attention and I wanted to be her. I wanted to know everything there was to know about her life and her work, her career and her current whereabouts, so I subscribed.  I was given the option to subscribe for one year of four issues, or two years of eight. Each option gave me a “free gift” of interviews from over the years and neither was cheap. I have spent the last two years deciding whether I want to spend the $6 to subscribe to Conde Nast’s Traveler even though I check their site weekly, but this morning, I deep dove into a $95, two year subscription of a literary magazine that I rarely read.

Is this what a stroke feels like?

Yes ok, that was dramatic of me to say. But I feel different. As I get older, more of me is looking to become the elegant literary buff I wanted to be as a kid and less of me is looking to write. My book collection has grown 10 fold just from last January, and I haven’t even read half of them yet. I think it’s funny that now I dress in mostly black, with dark sunglasses and avoid eye contact with strangers so that I seem more mysterious. None of this is intentional now. Now it is just me, the way I react to being here, in a job that requires no creativity. I guess I’ve accidentally decided to let myself sink into invisibility so that when I do let out my creative ideas people are surprised, instead of expecting them the way they used to.

Reading and writing have always been my hobbies, they were my wheelhouse, so to speak. They were where I was most comfortable. But now I tend to gravitate to words that are already written; concrete ideas that don’t need me to develop them. I shy away from writing and it makes me sad. But writing isn’t something you’re just good at all of a sudden. You need to practice. I just wish I had more motivation to.

The novel that never was

I’ve always wanted to write a book.

Ever since I was younger that was always my goal; it was something I could wrap my brain around, it gave me something to word toward. It almost got to the point where it seemed like that was what I was working toward in school, going to college, getting a journalism degree, and writing a book, in that order.

I’ve always accidentally been traditional. It’s not something I do due to the sheer joy of tradition. It’s just something I was able to get comfortable with.

Once I was in college I started so many stories. Each one so different than the last, having nothing to do with each other, or me. I related to all of it and none of it. But each one only got about a chapter or two deep. None were given the follow through that they deserved because none of them was the book that I was writing, they were just practice.

I always practiced writing; whether it was for the school newspaper or for class. And I read. I studied the way other writers wrote, where they wrote most comfortably, how drunk they were when they were writing. I dreamed of one day owning an old wooden cabin by a lake, somewhere I could bring my own typewriter in order to purge all of the thoughts that were stuck in my brain. That was where I was going to write my book.

Now I barely write. I have notes in my phone, random story ideas, but nothing ever comes to fruition. I’ve labeled all of them “book idea” so that if I ever needed to search for them I could find them, but what would be the point?

I miss writing, I just don’t even know what to write about anymore. I’m not able to finish a sentence, never mind a story arc. What I wouldn’t give for some good, old fashion inspiration.

Day 4 of Employment

So… I got a job.

After about 6 weeks of doing the bare minimum to stay alive (including netflix and cold brew) I’ve transitioned back into reality. Because I was so proud of myself for surviving my first day of employment, after work on my first day I bought myself an $80 candle and a $14 LIFE magazine issue about the secret life of spies (which has been thrilling thus far.)

And so it begins.

Today is my forth day on the job, Friday the 13th. I know literally nothing. None of the google docs I have opened make sense to me. My manager flew in from Austin to New York to train me for my first week and I’m a little terrified of disappointing him. But to be fair, he was well aware of the job I was doing previous to this and how it has very little correlation to my new job.

So we wait.

But since it is now 10 to four on Friday afternoon, I think I’m safe. The last few days have been be a whirlwind of note taking and brain explosions. I’m excited to know more about the company and my position but I’m still terrified of fucking up…

However, In an hour and 10 minutes it will not matter because I will have survived my first week at my new job!

Oh the excitement of being an adult.

Day 6 of Unemployment

My mom keeps telling me to use this time to plan my wedding. So now I’m trying to actually care about it. Hopefully visiting venues and seeing what each has to offer will help me give a shit about the wedding. All I care about is the being married part. I’m excited to wake up next to him every morning, to get home at night and him be there. It’s the part that involves a priest is what I don’t care much for… wish me luck.

Day 2 of Unemployment

Today is the Friday before Labor Day weekend. I won’t lie, things could be worse.

Every year, at the end of summer, my grandparents make tomato sauce in their backyard. The entire block smells of boiling tomatoes and hard work. In their old age, they’ve moved into the summer home they’ve owned since 1978; a newly renovated beauty in a beach town that has the second highest concentration of Irish-Americans in the US, called Breezy Point, NY. They’ve always been the “odd man out” here, not truly understanding the Irish customs or traditions that their neighbors celebrate and vice versa. But, after emigrating to Brooklyn from a small southern Italian town in the ’60s, they’ve learned to keep their heads down and cause no problems.

Anyway, today was the day for sauce. I was the lucky one chosen to pick up the tomatoes this morning at 7:30 and make the traffic-filled trek out to Breezy Point with a pickup bed full of tomato bushels and a Nesquik in hand.

After MANY hours of work, we have finally added the finished jars to the heat to seal and preserve them. Today was full of annoying issues and difficult situations, but finally, all 20+ bushels are done and we can celebrate. As all 16 of us sit around the table for the first taste of our newly made sauce, it’s great to remember that I wouldn’t have been able to help today if I had a job, I wouldn’t have been able to carry on the tradition.

I guess we can consider that the silver lining.

Day 1 of Unemployment

Last night, at about 5:50pm in New York, I was asked to meet my managing director in a conference room to discuss a media plan I had been working on. I was already not thrilled to be at work, I knew today would be a “late day” and that I wouldn’t get home before 9pm. There was still much to be done and multiple media plans due the next day.

Instead, I was told not to worry about the plan. The company, as a whole, wasn’t doing well and no advertising money was coming in at the moment. As a Planner for the Sales Team I was well aware of their lack of incoming dollars, but stupidly assumed my job was safe; they needed both sales planners in order to handle the amount of proposals that were being created and distributed in order to combat this.

Apparently I was wrong.

Therefore, at 6:03pm last night, I gathered my snacks from out of my desk drawer, took my office sweater, and left without a word to anyone, never to return.

I can’t say I’m angry about how this went down. It was an unfortunate turn of events, especially because I have been discussing a new job with another company that won’t come to fruition until at least the end of September. But still, it’s a disappointing feeling knowing that you failed at something that takes up the majority of your time.

Slowly my team is sharing the news with the rest of the company. Last night as I was getting of the train I got my first “I’m sorry” text. I imagine it will be similar to when a family member dies, people will be awkward and tiptoe around the subject, afraid to be too direct and risk too much emotion at once.

But in reality, what am I to do?

Today is the Thursday before Labor Day weekend. If I would’ve known this would happen, I would have planned a trip. But that’s silly to say, since, if I would’ve known this would happen, things could have happened very differently.

So here I sit, with a shitty protein shake that I made this morning for breakfast, slowly trying to figure out what I want to do and where I want to go from here. Maybe a little traveling would be nice. All I know is that I have all the time in the world to write, so there goes that excuse.