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true life: my 9-5 is killing me

I have always craved stability. When I graduated from college, all I wanted in the world was a standard 9-5 job. Though I didn’t land my dream job, I made enough money to pay rent, ball out a little, and still had time to work on my side hustle. I’ve since upgraded to a new position, but still feel like something is missing from my life.

Totally opposite to my craving for stability is my desire for a life worth living–and a fear of “settling.” One full of adventure, envy-inducing Instagram posts, and stories that will shock my grandchildren in 50 years. While I feel so incredibly fortunate to even be employed, I still feel like something is missing. I wish so badly that I would be content working at a desk job and living the suburbs. Life would be so much easier, but I know that it would kill me a little bit.

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When I was still in school, I remember looking at people like Yoga Girl and Chelsie Antos, waiting for it to be my turn to teach yoga in Aruba or go RVing around America with my hot husband. While neither of those things specifically will probably ever happen to me, you get the idea. I wanted to be mildly responsible, get my degree, make some money, and then start exploring the world. Now, I want my life to have a little more purpose: for myself (selfishly), and for others (also kind of selfish).

Until I can start making big moves (i.e. waiting for my lease to run out), I would love to hear your ideas for keeping life exciting in the space between M-F, 9-5.

Follow new york is my boyfriend on Instagram.

**Check out my updated (and very professional) portfolio

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i found my voice…again

The only truly bad thing about getting paid to write is that something I have always enjoyed has turned into something I have to do. Budgeting time to turn everything in on time, following style rules of different publications, and being as professional as possible via email to make sure I get paid. I started tackling assignments with a mentality of “getting it over with,” a significant switch in mindset since I used to savor the time I spent working on this blog.

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My blog has always been a creative outlet. I can use as many Oxford commas and semi-colons as I want. And it’s gif galore up in here! The only opinion on this website is my own–though that sounds a lot more egotistic than I mean. For the second half of my American educational experience, my teachers consistently complimented my voice as a writer. I didn’t fully grasp what they meant at the time, but as I started peer-editing my classmates’ work and copy editing for the school paper, I started to understand. I want my writing to feel like a conversation. It is unpretentious, it should hopefully make you crack a smile. I like to think that if we met in person, my voice IRL would sound like the one that comes through here.

In churning out as much work as possible to make that $$$, I realized that I started cutting corners on authenticity, and my voice wasn’t as bright as it used to be. Thanks to some recent job changes on my part, I’ve had time to think about the kind of writer I want to be. And I sure as hell better be one with her own voice.

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why my phone makes me smile for 2 seconds every day

I’ve been having a very bittersweet couple of months. My work life has been fantastic, and I feel that I’ve had some incredible opportunities as a writer and a professional. I moved to a new apartment in a new neighborhood, which has been really great. I had two weeks off at the holidays to spend time with my family and hometown friends. I also got to visit my college BFF in Austin, a city I’d been dying to go to.

Conversely, some not-so-good things have taken place. My grandmother passed away a week before Christmas, so it was a hard time for my family. I’ve had dozens of job interviews, but haven’t received any offers (note: I’m quite happy at my current position, but am always looking for the next best thing). I’ve also been struggling to come to terms with parts of my personal/dating life–more on that here.

I make a conscious effort to be a happy person. I exercise primarily for the endorphins. I eat food that I like. I watch TV shows that make me laugh. I write about my feelings, both on this blog and in a journal. But all of my negative, depressing feelings surfaced the other day when I was sitting at my desk at work. My heart started beating super fast, and I felt panicked and overwhelmed–by existence as an adult, my quickly approaching first solo trip, the guy who won’t text me back, my constant questioning of past life choices. I texted my mom and she told me to go outside, get some fresh air, and stretch my legs. Combined with an iced coffee, her remedy worked.

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Later that day, I decided that I needed some kind of mental sticky note–something to remind me to be positive, that I am great, that everything is ok. While I was setting the alarm on my phone for the next morning, I had an idea to set a kind of self love reminder. I set it for 11:30am, on vibrate, labeled “You deserve the world. Everything is going to be ok.” It makes me smile everyday, and reminds me that focusing on myself is the most important thing I can do right now.

Follow new york is my boyfriend on instagram.

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another year, another 3 resolutions

Well…2016 is finally coming to an end. I think a lot of people have mixed feelings about this past year–for me, it was definitely a rollercoaster. SO much has changed in the last twelve months. I graduated from college, got a 9-5 job, and moved twice. It’s kind of crazy how unprepared I felt for it all, and how many added responsibilities I now have.

2016 coming to an end has me thinking about where I’ll be this time next year. There are still a lot of things I want to do, like get a Master’s degree and live abroad (maybe I can combine these two…), so who knows if either of those will become a reality over the next twelve months.

This time of year is always overwhelming, between Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s eve, and my birthday (it’s a busy two months!), but I wanted to take time to make a list of my resolutions for 2017.

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1. Have dates with myself. I’ve found myself wistfully scrolling through Instagram and seeing cool gallery exhibits, pop-up eateries, and outdoor installations, yet never actually go to these things–even though tons of them are right here in NYC! I want to make more of an effort to actually go to these kinds of things, even if I can’t find someone else who wants to tag along.

2. Get my finances in order. I started working on this a few months ago when I realized that I have to pay taxes (yay, freelancing!). But I definitely want to get my expenses in order so I can invest and save the rest.

3. STOP CARING ABOUT BOYS! I literally sound like a broken record but I am so sick of spending time and energy on dead-end relationships. I promise to work on this so I can stop whining about it…

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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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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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interning 101

I’ve previously talked about how important my internship experiences were—I learned so much, and in addition to beefing up my resume, the jobs themselves were invaluable.

I got my first internship after my first year of college, when I still thought I was going to major in Art History. I emailed a local gallery in my hometown essentially offering to be their intern/provide free labor, and they took me on one day a week. Looking back, this was not a valuable use of my time—this position isn’t even listed on my resume because aside from being irrelevant to my career field, I didn’t learn or do much.

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One of the biggest things I’ve learned from my experience as an intern is that the quality of your experience largely depends on your supervisor—how willing are they to give you work? Are they going to teach you how to do new things? Will they trust you to do more than stick stamps on 400 postcards? Regardless, from my various internship experiences I’ve picked up several tips and learned a few unspoken rules that all interns should follow.

Take notes.

If a co-worker asks if you can help them with something, write down what they’re asking you. Try to ask all of your questions while they’re showing you how to do something or giving you instructions for a task so you’re not emailing them from the Duane Reade to confirm what size bottle of liquigel Advil they want. This is especially important if you have an editorial internship—why would you ever not have a pen and notepad in your hands at all times?!

That being said, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

I’ve always naturally been a bit introverted and shy, but I can guarantee that your boss would rather you ask five questions and do a perfect job than ask no questions and make five mistakes.

Be confident.

If you wrote a cover letter, had an interview (or two or three), and did an edit test or some equivalent to prove your worth, you deserve to be there. It’s kind of crazy how many people are fighting for the same unpaid internship, so when you get that offer you should feel pretty proud of yourself and know that you have a right to be there, and your boss clearly thinks highly enough of you to want to see you everyday.

Be on time.

I think this goes without saying.

Ask for what you want.

At the end of my final college internship, I didn’t want to leave. I spoke with my boss about the possibility of getting a real, grown-up job there, but unfortunately, the timing just wasn’t right. Even though I didn’t get what I asked for, I expressed how much I loved working there and I think it strengthened my relationships with my supervisors and coworkers long after I left.

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