Now that summer’s over, I find myself reflecting on these past couple of months of living in the post-grad, real world. And what I’ve discovered is what you probably already know — life is not always fair and can be hard.
I recently had the unfortunate experience of being hired and fired. Within the same week. Within three days, actually. I like to say I was “broken up with” instead of being fired because I literally got it’s not you, it’s me’d by my boss. That line is already a terrible dating cliché, but when you add a desk and a Bluetooth headset to the mix, it’s even more depressing. UGH!
Aside from the total embarrassment, the bruise to my ego and anxiety about how to quickly delete the job off my LinkedIn account, the biggest bummer of all was the fact that, once again, I would be turning to my parents for financial help. "Financial help," I think, sounds so much more adult than “asking for money.”
Don’t get me wrong, my parents love me and have been my two biggest supporters for my entire life. When I wanted to try horseback riding a few years ago, they took me for lessons. And when I walked straight out of the stable because I found out I needed a helmet, they walked straight out with me. Instead of convincing me to play a quieter instrument, my folks bought me my first set of drumsticks. And when I started Googling film schools in seventh grade, my parents told me all about a magical place in a faraway land called USC.
It’s weird. You’d think that with such support and love I’d be a little more relaxed about it all, maybe even try out this “funemployment” thing everyone seems to be hashtagging like crazy on Twitter. Instead, I’ve amped up the pressure of finding a new job as soon as possible. I mean, how sad would it be that if, after twenty-one years of keeping me alive, sixteen years of schooling, plus shipping and handling (living 3,000 miles away in California), I couldn’t even land an entry level job before Thanksgiving? I owe and respect my parents too much to ever let that happen.
I reached a point a few weeks ago where I was so stressed out, I just wanted to fly back to Maryland. When I called home, my parents gently reminded me that I love the industry I’ve chosen, and also of how competitive and selective it is. In other words, they told me to chill out, and that was the second wind I needed to get back into the zone (and by “zone” I mean sit in a coffee shop, write and apply for jobs while a snarky waitress asks me if I want “another” refill).
So, sure, life is not always fair and it can be hard. It will probably continue to be that way until it isn’t, but I know that I’m lucky. Since I don’t often have a chance to say it, I’ll say it now: Mom, Dad — thank you for everything. For your consistent support, your unwavering love, and your genes that allow me to tan and not burn in the summertime.