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.

I’m pretty thankful to know that my life won’t look like Rory’s by age 32. I’ll have carved a clear career path. I’ll have achieved some goals. I’ll have paid my dues at small-town papers, dabbled in digital, and read my byline in two national magazines (plus one regional). And if I’m still employed at the HSUS, I hope I’ll still be as happy to be there as I am now.

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For the past four months, I have been nothing but thankful. I’m insanely proud to work where I do. I was very lucky to be plucked from the mass of hopefuls to even be hired and luckier still to be moved into a different role more suited to my strengths after only a month of employment. Lucky to be valued for my skills. To have an impact, no matter how small, on animal welfare. To be inspired by my colleagues. To be contributing to such an incredibly massive effort to change laws, minds, and lives. And maybe the honeymoon phase will eventually fade, but for now, I continue to wake up every day excited to go to work.

If you can say the same, be thankful for that.

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