Ever since I was little I’ve known what the word “claustrophobic” meant. My dad would talk about his fear of being in small, cramped spaces and I figured, if someone as big and strong as my dad was afraid of that, it’s ok that I am too. But my fear has kind of transformed. I’m still afraid of small physical spaces, but now I’m more afraid of being stuck in any small space. Being stuck in my job, in this town, maybe even in my own head. I have no idea where I’m going or what I’m doing and it’s terrifying. I feel very stuck. Right now, today, in this situation. Very stuck. And I have no idea what to do to unstick myself.
I think the majority of my anxiety about the future of my career (and life) stems from the belief that I do not have a valuable skill set. I went to school for communication. That’s too broad to have gained a skill set worth anything. I worked in newspaper advertising for 3 years (which is practically defunct) and just now started working in digital advertising. My skill set here is based solely on other people’s impressions and and whatever the fuck an eCPV is. I feel like I’ve learned nothing to be able to make it on my own. Yes, I can make a media plan, but how does that help my future?? I feel useless and directionless, like a broken compass.
I like writing. I enjoy being able to express my emotions through words on paper rather than words out loud. When I speak my mind, it doesn’t make sense. Words come out jumbled, tripping over each other in a race past my tongue. They trample one another in order to reach the listeners ears and end up in a pile on the floor. But when I write, I can edit. I’m able to map out feelings and thoughts. They flow like a river, slow in some areas, racing quickly in others, careening toward the ocean that is a page. It’s comforting knowing that I have this outlet.
However the comfort doesn’t always last. So here I stand, surrounded by piles of helpless words. Watching the world pass me by, doing nothing to halt it, even long enough to jump into the motion.
Do I believe in God? Yes, I suppose so. But do I believe He has a plan for me and this life? No. Rather, I believe He is watching, waiting for me to make up my mind. He sits in his chair, preparing to judge the future I create for myself. But neither of us know or understand how this will work. All I can guess is that the feeling I get in my gut every time I realize I have no real plan for the next few years of my life is not somethings He is familiar with.
Or maybe He is. I guess I’ll never know.
Since starting a new job four weeks ago, a lot of my free time (not that I have much) has been spent panicking over my future.
- What will I do?
- Where do I go from here?
- How will I support myself as an adult?
- Do I really want to continue on this road?
- Where does this road even lead?
- Was this a mistake?
- Why did I leave my old job?
- Am I smart enough to be here?
- Do I even know what I’m doing??
At any given moment, these and countless other extremely frightening questions can be found swimming through my head, drowning any thought of happiness or contentment. My brain swells with thoughts that threaten to keep me awake at night, staring into the dark abyss, uncomfortably aware that I might never make anything of myself. Of course I can’t begin getting comfortable at this new place. Everything is wrong. I’m not smart enough to be here. I’m not smart enough to be anywhere! I’m useless and talentless. There is nothing more disheartening then realizing that you are mediocre, that you possess no unique talents, and that there are plenty of other people who can do exactly what you do, only way fucking better.
So then, the question becomes how does one make it through this unscathed? Or at least in one piece… Can I get better? I can take classes. I can go back to school. But do I really way to spend all my money for a masters degree in something I probably won’t like in 3 years? Could I even make it through the program? How much does a master degree cost? Would I be able to budget my time accordingly? I can’t commit to this… What if I don’t like it and don’t want to do it after a few days? Do universities offer refunds? This is way too much for me.
My mind feels like a WWE wrestling match. Right now, any form of delight I might have had over now working in Soho, or living at my summer house, or even the God damn weather, is getting beaten to a pulp with a folding chair in the corner of the ring, with its head lolling lower and lower and it’s nose bleeding profusely. I can’t tell if I’m frustrated about not having a general direction to run in, or if I’m completely terrified of it.
Having a goal would help tremendously. But as you can see, I’m goal-less. The way I see it, I’m basically spitting in the wind, hoping it won’t come back and hit me in the face. But I know it will. Your career doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you want to follow the current with, if that makes sense. This is not a “go with the flow” kind of situation. I can’t just see where the stream takes me. Unless I’m wrong. And while it is highly probable that I am wrong, I’m still pretty damn screwed, possibly more then originally anticipated. Because if your career is something that you want to lift your feet for and follow the current, I might not be able to relinquish control long enough to. I like to pretend that I’m spontaneous and adventurous, but if I’m being serious here, the most spontaneous thing I’ve done all week was stop to get gas this morning on my way to work when my gas light when on earlier than anticipated.
So what do I do?
Do I spend the money, go back to school and hate the masters I’m only a quarter of the way through with?
Do I try and stick with the current plan and work to be an advertising sales representative, even though I know full well that I’d be the worst salesperson in the whole universe? Or do I just quit, steal a cardboard box and sleep on the beach in Breezy Point for the rest of my life?
I have no fucking clue. Maybe I need a life coach.
I haven’t been fired yet. And from what I understand, the New York office is here to stay so unless I screw up a whole lot, I may just be able to stay.
That little heart attack last week wasn’t exactly fun but it did it’s job; as long as its intended job was to stress me out. Because if that’s the case, it succeeded with flying colors.
Some other nice news is that I might be contributing writer for a legit website. Like a real one. With actual readers. And writers that aren’t just me. I’m not sure how I feel about the website yet because I’m only allowed to write “listicles.” But As long as they publish my writing I’ll be ok.
I’m going to be published!
My company is going through some changes. Not like, hot flashes or needing viagra, but like extremely well know CEOs getting fired “effective immediately” and managers on the edge of their seats because they’ll be next. It’s not even like its a private affair; as a public company all of it’s dirty launch is completely out in the open. That being said, in the last two weeks, I have found out more about the hirings and firings my company has been up to from newspapers than I have from my boss. I guess once it’s in the paper there’s no hiding it from the lowly peons anymore. But what’s a girl to do?lToday, a coworker silently sent me an IM with a Capital New York article (a website of which I had never heard of before today. Probably not a good sign.) The article basically said that the CEO that was hired last Tuesday (surprise!) will most likely be flushing out all of the people the old CEO (who was fired effective immediately) hired when he started here less than a year ago.
Last year at this time a very similar situation was happening and my old manager and her boss were given the boot, as were most of the higher-ups in the company across the country. If this is going to be an annual thing, I don’t think I can handle the stress.
The difference between last year and this year is that this time around the new CEO may be looking to close down my office all together. According to the article I was shown today, the new guy is looking to consolidate all of the advertising people into the two offices on the other side of the country. I believe the words were that he wants to “concentrate management in Tribune’s two flagship cities.” Now that could mean nothing, it could mean that CRO’s and VP’s will move to other cities. But it could also mean that my VP, who is my manager and the leader of the sales team here in New York, may be on his way out.
So, here I am, on the bus home after a conference call with the CRO (who was also “let go effective immediately”) not sure where I’m supposed to go from here.
It would be easy at this point to want to abandon ship, get out while I still can; but in all honesty, I’ve been browsing job sites since I started working here out of college. The problem is that I may not know where I’m supposed to go, but I don’t even know where I want to go. And therein lies the difficulty of being a 24 year old with barely enough experience to keep your current job which you potentially may be about to lose.
Today I decided to work from home by telling my boss that there was a good chance that if I tried to come into work today I’d be stuck on a bus for days.
NYC is currently being blanketed with new snow, just when all of the old snow was finally almost gone. In all honesty, I say I hate snow but I only really hate how inconvenient it makes things, like getting to work, or trying to buy eggs like a normal person. So I’m home. Sitting in my bed with my laptop on my lap, getting very few emails and listening to the news about the crane falling in TriBeCa.
Today I finally received word that I will officially be given a promotion, and an announcement will be made on Monday. This is my first promotion… Like ever. Since I started working at this newspaper corporation’s ad department in July of 2013, I have shaken hands and kissed babies, stayed late, arrived early, and worked my butt off in the hopes that I would one day be able to climb my way up the corporate ladder. I may not want to stay in newspaper advertising forever, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try my hardest in order to accomplish as much as I possibly can while I’m still here. I recently read an article (ok it was a snapchat discovery article from Cosmo) that women don’t celebrate promotions enough, most deeming them not as worthy as baby showers or weddings. The article went on to say that while baby showers and weddings are fantastic and should be celebrated, they aren’t the only things that are worth celebrating. So I plan on celebrating my promotion.
I bought a bottle of rosé and will be having tortellini and rosé for dinner tonight because I can. My two sisters are coming home from college on Friday night so that we can drink champagne in our backyard to celebrate. When my parents finally get home from their two week gallivant around Italy Saturday night I will update them on my new title (and paycheck) and hopefully we can eat smuggled Italian goodies that came across the Atlantic wrapped in cellophane and hidden under clothing.
Celebrating life’s little moments is a big deal. But celebrating life’s bigger moments is a great idea. So here’s to small moments and big moments and small cans of wine and bigger bottles of wine and lots and lots of tortellini.