It’s two days before Thanksgiving, and I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about it this year. I’ve lived in New York for a few weeks shy of two years, though it feels still like I just moved here, and things have changed for me so much in the last six months and in the last year.
When I moved here, I had no job, no friends, nothing except an unpaid executive assistantship (disguised as an internship, but that’s what it really was) and my savings account. After four months, the internship ended and I moved to Brooklyn from Westchester county, again sans job and with a smaller bank account balance. I started working “part time” for a fab lady retail company, by which I mean I was a part time employee working full time hours to scrape enough together to make ends meet. It wasn’t enough, though, and my parents paid my rent for five months until I got promoted and also a second job as a social media consultant/coordinator for a start-up. I’ll never be able to really tell them how much I appreciate their support. I basically spent most of that year killing myself working and not doing much else, because I still didn’t really have many friends. I did meet my permanent friends and Harry near the end of the year, but I would consider that the major high point of the year.
In January, I left my second job and in February became a manager for said fab lady retail company. I did that until September, at which point my dream job tapped me on the shoulder and said it was time. Here I am, three months into the job I moved to New York to get, and I have to say that I’m still blissfully happy, thrilled to be working in and learning about the book industry—a dream I’ve had literally since middle school. That’s also something I think I pitched in my interview, by the way—I really threw it all in there when I came in, knowing this might be my only shot at the industry, and I guess it worked.
To be honest, I spent most of this year killing myself working, too. But the difference is that I’ve been doing real jobs. Working in retail management may not be most people’s dream job, and honestly it wasn’t mine, either, but I loved a lot of things about it and I learned a lot about effectiveness and efficiency, all of which translated easily to my current position. And now I’m working full time in a job that I love, with real pay and real benefits
I didn’t think this was going to be one of those Thanksgiving posts, but I guess it is.
The last two years have been hard, but I knew it would get better—and it has. I have friends and family who love me, most importantly, but I also have the job I want and I’m living in the city I love. It doesn’t hurt that I have two cats now, either. I know I had a lot of help getting here, and I’m thankful beyond belief for that. I know I talk about the last couple of years of my life a lot, but they really meant something to me and I think it’s important to talk about the hard times as well as the good ones (As an aside, talk about your feelings! Don’t keep them inside and be sad!).
But let’s get back to the now. The hard times are, for now, over. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been incredibly lucky and am having one of the best years ever that has to end sometime, but then I think about how bad the last six or so years were and wonder if this is my good time. I think it must be. I think I deserve it.
The office is slow this week because people are taking vacation to visit their loved ones for the holiday (and hopefully get out before this alleged huge storm hits). People here love to take vacation and to encourage others to take vacation, and I love that. People here genuinely want everyone to be happy, from the top down. It’s bizarre and like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Working for a major book publisher means being surrounded by people who are thrilled to be directly impacting the industry, and thrilled to be doing it every day.
There are good days and there are less good days, but there aren’t really bad days here. Maybe those are to come, but I’ve yet to run into people who were having a really bad day. It’s easy to have a good day when everyone has a common goal and the industry is doing well, finally, and effective visible change is happening every day. It’s easy to have a good day when you wake up and go to your dream job every day. It’s easy to have a good day.
Anyway, all of this to say that I’m happy, I’m what I would consider successful, and I’m ready for 2014. Let’s do the damn thing.