the latest, Uncategorized

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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the latest, Uncategorized

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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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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people, Uncategorized

why rachel green doesn’t get enough credit

Even though numerous people and Buzzfeed quizzes have told me I’m most similar to her, Rachel isn’t my favorite Friends character (see Chandler Bing). But after re-watching the series for the umpteenth time, I realized that she doesn’t get nearly enough credit.

She didn’t marry Barry because she wasn’t in love with him, even though it would’ve been the safe thing to do and her family wanted her to.

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She paid her dues and worked her way up to her dream job.

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She was an amazing friend and not afraid to speak her mind. Maybe I should aspire to be more like Rach!!

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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

sound bites

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Things I found and enjoyed on the web this week.

I’m pretty loyal to Polar, but this DIY LaCroix can designer is a fun way to waste some time.

How to make my favorite pasta dish by one of my favorite New York chefs.

Apartment advice from one of my favorite Man Repeller writers.

News about vodka that could actually be good for your liver. (Also a shameless plug for my writing.)

This mesmerizing video recipe for chocolate cake that I will be making ASAP.

I got Rory on this quiz.

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rejects

things i wrote that i thought were good but nobody else did

As someone who aspires to make a living by writing, I pitch a lot of story ideas to various websites–I’ll think of maybe 10 ideas, and be thrilled if the editor likes two or three. I’ve also written quite a few personal/human interest pieces that I’ve submitted to major publications that were met with rejection…which is totally fine! I just don’t like my time to go to waste, so I’ve decided to share these literary rejections with you. Here’s the first! (Submitted to Hearst’s “The Mix” before it was shuttered earlier this summer.)

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Almost daily, I take the 9:23 commuter train to work. And almost daily, there’s a woman a few seats in front of me who spends the entire train ride doing her makeup. I am by no means a morning person, but I really don’t feel like 9:23 is painfully early. I always manage to give myself plenty of time to fix my hair and put on my makeup before leaving the house. Unfortunately, many of my travel companions seem to lack these time management skills. I’ve become familiar with some of my fellow commuters who clearly depend on the 25-minute train ride to transform from bedheads to beauty queens. Foundation, powder, eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara are, admittedly, masterfully applied with one hand while the other holds a compact mirror.

It’s one thing to touch up your lipstick, or dab a little concealer on a zit, but it’s another to contour your face on a moving train. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always thought it was worth it to wake up an extra ten minutes early so I can attempt a smoky eye at the comfort of my own vanity table.

This public application of makeup bothers me so irrationally for a couple of reasons. The first is that I value my privacy so much that I can’t imagine putting on makeup while a train car of disgruntled commuters looks on. I have a hard time just letting the salespeople at Sephora show me how to use a kabuki brush in a store full of people, let alone paint while balding businessmen peer over their newspapers at me. For me, makeup is a part of getting ready–in the same category as taking a shower and getting dressed. (All of which I like to do in the privacy of my apartment). Also, isn’t it frustrating to have to pack up a little makeup bag every single morning? What if your mascara wand falls on the germ-covered seat? Or worse–the floor?

The second is that it says something to me about your priorities and time management capabilities. Anyone who knows me will tell you that one of my biggest pet peeves is lateness. While I can appreciate that you’re applying makeup during your commute to save time and not be late to work, I’d appreciate it more if you managed your pre-train ride morning routine a little bit better. As a non-makeup professional who has made a routine of makeup in two minutes (concealer, a few strokes of bronzer, liquid liner, and some mascara), it’s puzzling to me that you would need to spend over twenty minutes putting on makeup for work. Sure, when I go out at night I’ll take a little more time on my makeup, but I keep things pretty clean and simple at the office, as do most of my co-workers.

My point is, there are other ways to manage your time efficiently that doesn’t have to include publicly applying your makeup. Put on your foundation while you wait for your coffee to percolate. Apply lipstick while you’re waiting for your mascara to dry. And please, please paint your nails the night before so I don’t have to breathe in acetone for breakfast.

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