the latest

tax day: a nightmare IRL

Though it’s a great creative outlet and gives me some extra cash for luxurious things (like traveling, new shoes, and manicures), freelancing isn’t always a breeze. Cue: taxes.

I consider myself to be pretty financially responsible. I have a retirement savings plan, invest in the stock market, pay my credit card bill in full every month, and thrive at department store clearance racks. But taxes are a whole other game.

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Luckily, my trusty accountant (known to me as “Dad”) has been Turbo Tax-ing for me for the last few years. I’ve previously gotten sizable refunds, so this year, I was shocked to find out I’d be getting nothing…and instead, owed the government a good chunk of change. I’d been planning to upgrade my computer with the return I expected, but, alas, I wrote checks to the IRS.

As a freelancer, I got a stack of 1099s in the mail, chronicling my earnings for the various media outlets I write for. I started putting money aside last year to pay my 2017 taxes, and ended up transferring those funds to a high yield savings account. I earned about $100 in interest in a year, so I highly recommend it. (I used American Express.)

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I feel like financial security is something that’s often overlooked, especially by millennials. My parents grew up pinching pennies, so they’ve always been frugal, a practice that has rubbed off on me a little. I have expensive taste and don’t think twice about the occasional splurge, but I get most of my wardrobe from low-brow retailers like Zara, bring my lunch to work 90% of the time, and have drastically cut back on fancy coffees.

Anyway, I guess the lesson here is that I should start saving for next year’s taxes right now. Sigh.

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the latest

elements of a dream job, according to me

It’s been kind of weird realizing that work is, in fact, “work” and isn’t always fun. As I spend more time in the workforce and have gotten to peek in to various office environments, I’ve started keeping a mental list of everything there would be in my dreamy perfect corporate environment (though I doubt I’ll ever find a job with these elements). What’s on the top of your workplace wish list

An office dog.

I once worked in a dog-friendly office building and seeing pups in the elevator every day made me so happy.

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Somewhere to take a nap.

Or at least a daily nap-time allotment. Being an adult is exhausting, ok?!??

Diet Coke on tap.

Or seltzer. Along with plenty of ice. One place I previously worked had a whole soda fountain available for free…but it was disappointingly stocked with Pepsi products.

The ability to do my nails at my desk without feeling self-conscious.

When I was an intern, the girl who sat next to me used to do this and I always thought it was ballsy AF. Honestly, I’d probably do this now if someone would invent scent-free nail polish.

An expense account.

Remember that Seinfeld episode when Elaine goes a little nuts with her corporate card? That’s what I have in mind.

 

 

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the latest, Uncategorized

nobody ever told me i couldn’t be whatever i wanted

America’s recent presidential election has sparked a number of discussions about race, gender, class, and privilege across the United States. Like any other country, ours has its flaws. As a woman in the United States, I will receive an unfairly short maternity leave when I decide to have babies. I will never make as much money as a man who does the same job as me. I will be scared to walk home alone at night regardless of how safe my neighborhood is. I will go to professional meetings where men will look at my breasts when they speak to me. I will be “asking for it” if I wear a short dress. I will be “hormonal” if something upsets me.

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I am not pretending that my life has been filled with hardship. I was lucky that my parents started saving money for my college tuition the day I was born. I was lucky that I grew up in a place where you don’t have to lock your doors. And I was lucky that nobody EVER told me that I couldn’t grow up to do or be whatever I wanted to.

To my parents, my sister and I are exempt from every negative thing you hear in the media about being female. To them, there is nothing we cannot do, even though we are women and will have to work twice as hard, look over our shoulders when we walk home at night, and be belittled over the course of our lives.

Because of this, they have no understanding of how terrified I am that someone accused of multiple sexual assaults has been elected president of a country I have loved and been proud of my entire life. Because of how hard they have worked, they believe that nothing bad will ever happen to us–and I am not allowed to be a victim. I am not allowed to talk about how many times things happened to me that I didn’t consent to; how many times my feelings were brushed aside; how many times I felt ashamed to be a woman.

I don’t consider myself a political person (and this blog is not a place for politics) but as someone who hopes to one day live in a peaceful world, it’s hard to remain silent.

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the latest

a surefire sign of adulthood: getting real with your eating habits

It hit me the other day when I was checking out at Trader Joe’s that I eat like a five-year-old. I always have mini pizza bites and Morningstar buffalo wings in my freezer, and regularly eat a bowl of plain rice, polenta, or cereal for dinner. I drink apple juice out of boxes marketed for schoolchildren, and my favorite lunch is grilled cheese and tomato soup.

It’s weird because sometimes I feel like I come off as someone who’s all about organic food, loves to try new vegetables, and shops at farmer’s markets. All of these things are mostly true–but I also realized I’ve gotten to the point where I’m realistic about how and what I eat. Like when I make a salad at work–a year ago I would have loaded it up with a little bit of everything, and then ended up picking around certain things. I like the idea of tomatoes, but I’m not one to pop cherry tomatoes for a snack. And I’m probably only going to want one slice of cucumber. AND I’ll probably avoid that hard-boiled egg.

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This mentality of having an internal discussion about what I’m actually going to eat has translated to grocery shopping. You know those cardboard cartons of soup? I’m not gonna finish that before it expires. I’ll probably heat up one bowl, and then forget about it in the back of the fridge. Bagged lettuce? No way am I going to eat all that before it starts turning brown and squelchy. (Wow, for a food writer, these descriptions are on freaking point.)

I deeply believe that life is all about balance. Sure, I’ll have Kraft mac & cheese for dinner every once in a while, but I also eat a banana for breakfast everyday. I ate a donut yesterday, but I also spent 45 minutes in a cycling class. So even though, @TraderJoesCashier, the only things in my shopping basket the other day were cookie butter, Gouda cheese, avocados, yogurt, and fruit leather, I PROMISE you I bought a salad for lunch every day this week.

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Uncategorized

5 things i learned after 5 months of freelancing

Even though I have a regular 9-5 job working at a magazine I’ve always admired, my side hustle has been especially lucrative lately. I’ve been doing a lot of freelance writing, simultaneously bulking up my portfolio as a writer and making some extra spending money. There’s something wonderfully appealing about freelancing…you can work from home (or anywhere in the world with an Internet connection), have flexibility with deadlines, and get to write about things that interest you.

I know some people do this full time–I’m not sure I ever could, since the money varies month to month, but so far it’s been a great way for me to profit from something I’m passionate about–and something I’d literally be doing for free, anyway (cue: this blog). Here are five things I’ve learned since stepping up my freelance game in June.

1. It will take forever to get paid.

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Between waiting for invoices to be approved and checks to go in the mail, expect to wait a month until you see payment for your story.

2. Keep track of EVERYTHING.

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I write for multiple sites, and it quickly became difficult to keep track of who had paid me and who I still needed to send invoices to. I use Google Sheets to keep track of every story I sell, and note within this document which pieces have been invoiced and paid.

3. Follow up.

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Editors are busy–you’re probably one of many writers they deal with, so if you don’t hear back for a few days, don’t take it personally. Don’t be afraid to follow up…especially if they owe you money.

4. Use a dedicated workspace.

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Some people are good at working from home, and while I like the idea very much, I’m not one of them–though that may change once it gets colder and I don’t want to leave my apartment. If I have an overwhelming amount of work to do, I take my laptop to a local coffee shop and stay there until the battery dies.

5. Pitch as many ideas as you have.

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I send dozens of pitches a week, knowing that only a handful will get picked up. I’ve learned that I have a better chance of getting more stories picked up if I pitch more in the first place!

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the latest, Uncategorized

i’m not sorry

I’ve recently noticed a lot of Internet literature (like this and this) regarding the habit of over-apologizing that plagues millennial women. I’d always thought that in addition to being used for a formal apology, saying “sorry” was just a polite thing to do, even if you haven’t done anything wrong.

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I say sorry when I feel like I’m bothering my boss too much via email, when I really just want to make sure I’m doing things correctly. I say sorry when I ask the cashier to pack my groceries in a reusable shopping bag. I say sorry when a waiter brings me a regular Coke instead of diet, even though I know I ordered correctly. In reality, I shouldn’t be sorry for any of these things–my existence and my preferences aren’t an inconvenience.

“I think along with ‘I’m sorry’ comes the fluttering eyes and bad posture and maybe the raised shoulder as if to protect yourself from what’s coming. I’m asking women to own up to that, to stop saying they’re sorry, and to stand up straight and to look at people in the eye and be cool! Just be cool with yourself.” -Mika Brzezinski

I recently resolved to reduce the amount of airtime I give the word “sorry.” It’s been a difficult task–I usually don’t even realize when I say it, so I made sure to consciously avoid apologizing (unless, of course, I was in the wrong). Someone knocks on the bathroom door while you’re using it? There’s no need to apologize for occupying it. Don’t want to get drinks with a guy who keeps badgering you? You shouldn’t be sorry for not wanting to waste your time.

Here are some more things to stop apologizing for:

  1. Asking someone to clarify something.
  2. Someone else’s mistake…it’s not your fault if the barista at Starbucks gives you whole milk instead of skim, even if she makes it seem like it’s a major inconvenience.
  3.  Declining an invitation somewhere. Say “no, thank you” instead.
  4. Leaving work early or calling out sick (as long as you’re actually sick).
  5. Not knowing the answer to something.
  6. Asking someone to move over on the train so they only take up one seat instead of two, so you can sit down.

blair waldorf gif from giphy.

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pin-spiration, Uncategorized

pin-spiration: new england

You may know that I’m a New England native–I grew up in a super small town outside of Boston, right on the beach. Newburyport is incredibly beautiful, and is the ultimate in quintessential, colonial New England. Cobblestone streets, beaches lined with hydrangea bushes, and houses built in the 18th century.

People were surprised that I wanted to go to school so far away, and as I continue to build my life in NYC it’s bittersweet to realize that my idea of “home” is changing. When I go visit my parents in Newburyport for the weekend, do I still say that I’m “going home?” It’s kind of funny that I still consider this place to be my home even though I only spend a handful of weeks there every year. There are a lot of things I miss about Massachusetts, and these pins are some of them–though I’ll never miss the snow.

all photos sourced from pinterest

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