On rejection.

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that job hunting and dating (man hunting, if you will) basically follow the same painstaking process—especially because both are mostly done online these days:

  • You search; spending hours scrolling and scouring different sites for a description that ticks all your boxes.
  • You apply; reaching out with a message and hope that the online version of you presented via resumé or profile is enough to incite mutual interest.
  • You wait; if you’re lucky, you won’t be left hanging too long before arranging an opportunity to meet in person.

(Of course, in dating, you could always go the more traditional route of meeting an actual person, realizing you’re attracted to them, coming up with what you think is a cute way to ask them out, and STILL watch it blow up in your face. Gee, I wonder what that’s like …)

In preparation, you spend an excessive amount of time analyzing your closet:

You want to look nice, but not like you’re trying too hard. Should you go with flats or heels? Flats are more comfortable, but heels are more professional (and also boost us short girls up to an easier kissing height). Hair up or down? Do these earrings match this top? Subtle make-up, a spritz of light perfume, aaaaand is any of this agonizing over physical appearance even going to matter in a couple of hours? Are they really going to remember what you wore? Shouldn’t the conversation be more important than this superficial nonsense?

But first impressions are everything. And a first interview, or first date, sets the tone for the relationship, working or otherwise, that may or may not come next. So you sit there scrutinizing each other, trying to suss out what you might have in common. “Tell me about yourself” has never triggered so much anxiety. It’s a game of 20 Questions and each side should be equally inquisitive; if not, there’s already an obvious disconnect.

By the end, you either feel that it went really well or maybe you’re still unsure, but you cross your fingers anyway and hope to hear from them again. If a week goes by and it’s still crickets, how soon is too soon to follow up? Should you wait for them to say something first? What if they don’t? What if they’re waiting for you? It’s an excruciating guessing game and make no mistake, it is a GAME that needs to be played very carefully or you risk the one outcome that job hunting and dating definitely have in common.

Good ol’ fashioned rejection. Continue reading “On rejection.”

On lowering your expectations.

NOTE: Gentlemen, never date a writer if you’d rather not end up as a character in a poem/short story/screenplay/script/novel or fodder for a cheekily-worded blog post.
You’ve been warned.

Is “cynical optimist” an oxymoron? So be it—that’s me. I’ve always had a tendency to look at life situations with a shrewd eye. I’m passionate, but calculated. Strong, yet sensitive. Pragmatic. Determined. And if it sounds like I’m filling out a dating profile … well, we’ll get to that later.

I’m a person you want in your corner when life gets tough or you don’t know which path to take, because I’ve struggled with carving my own path so many times over that friends often come to me when they need an “expert” opinion. As willing as I am to help people whenever asked (and sometimes when not), it definitely puts a bit of pressure on me. I’m no expert. I had no example to follow when I set out to become a journalist in 2010. I had to rough it and man, did I.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the relatively short time I’ve been building my career, it’s not just the fortune cookie sayings of “expect the unexpected” or “everything happens for a reason,” though those old stand-bys are certainly true in some cases. Nope, I would say that you have to prepare yourself for some cold, hard disappointment. And that’s the optimist in me talking. You have to, you guessed it:

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Continue reading “On lowering your expectations.”

On putting yourself “out there.”

anigif_original-grid-image-24777-1438697918-4So apparently 29 is your “danger year?” There’s a good chance that my coworker is just making this up, since I found nothing in a quick Google search, but rumor has it you’re supposed to use 29 as your last chance to get all the crazy out of your system before you turn 30 and … what? Life stops? You have to stop #adulting and just be an adult?

I’m always up for a challenge, so I’ll embrace this nonsense, though I’m not too keen on the connotation that it’s all downhill after the big 3-0. I’m already avoiding any and all BuzzFeed/Bustle/blah blah listicles with titles like “30 Things That Start To Happen When You’re Almost 30” and 30 Words That Have A Different Meaning After You Turn 30.” Just stop.

I think a good way to celebrate my year of danger is to finally cross off #1 on my bucket list (sky-diving). So that’s a goal before 2018. I’m also flying to Europe in June, which doesn’t technically sound dangerous but I’m actually a little nervous about it.

And … it’s time to start dating.

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Continue reading “On putting yourself “out there.””

On giving thanks.

Well, I’m thankful to be so busy these days that I seem to have lost the time to blog. And when I say ‘busy,’ I mean, three hours deep into binge-watching Gilmore Girls on any given night. I’ve loved the show for years and was thrilled to spend my Thanksgiving break on the couch completely devouring the six-hour revival with my sister. By the end, I reacted the way many fans did, but the one thing that stuck out to me was just how much Rory irritated me more than usual.

Rory Gilmore is the definition of entitled millennial. (Growing up with the financial ease of having rich grandparents able to write a check for an entire college career at Yale at the drop of a hat didn’t exactly help.) And while I always suspected as much, “A Year in the Life” finally vindicated my opinion that she also happens to be a crap journalist—read this, this, and this if you disagree.

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Trying to break into journalism? Don’t follow Rory’s example. A college education, even an Ivy League education, apparently only gets you so far—then you have to actually start working for the career you want, imagine that. No assignment should be beneath you. No publication or digital start-up is too insignificant to put on your resumé. Be grateful that someone wants to pay you to write and that there’s an audience out there willingly reading your words. Be hungry, nay, ravenous for every story thrown your way. No matter how dull a topic, there’s an interesting angle to be found. (Quite frankly, I thought the people-standing-in-lines pitch was sort of fun.) Thoroughly research the companies you want to work for and come prepared to interviews with a wealth of ideas. Oh, and uh, don’t doze off while talking to a source. One-night stands with them? Also frowned upon. Continue reading “On giving thanks.”

On finding your muse.

I’m used to doing things alone. Apparently doomed to eternal singledom (though I prefer the term “aggressive independence”) and with my friends scattered all over the country—heck, even foreign countries—I’ve been doing things by myself long before I moved 200 miles away from everything comfortable and familiar. It’s never really bothered me. As a writer, you spend a lot of time trapped inside your own head anyway. tumblr_mr0zstuqxj1qdj450o2_250Just you and your thoughts and ideas, picking apart your emotions to figure yourself out, and many an existential crisis. >>

People often mistake solitude for loneliness—usually the people who crave constant validation from others. They hate being alone. They’re uncomfortable spending time with themselves. Those are the ones I feel sorry for—don’t you dare feel sorry for me just because you’ve spotted me flying solo in a movie theater or shopping or, like today, hanging on a park bench people-watching and enjoying the gorgeous weather. Continue reading “On finding your muse.”