Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Smashing Pumpkins - "Thirty-three"

About two weeks, I quit my job in hospitality. It ended a chapter of my life that had run for too long, boring its readers, boring its writer, a section that dragged on and on, unable to conclude its rambling prose. It was five years of my life. Five years ago, I was unemployed, some party-loving twentysomething who did enough odd jobs here and there to barely make ends meet. Based on a friend's anecdote about how much the S- Hotel was going to pay, I decided to apply there, knowing very little about hospitality, but liking the sound of making what sounded like a lot of money at the time. It was a strange interview experience and my lack of knowledge about hospitality paired with my life of partying all the time made me what they were seeking out, some idea of cool to help represent their hotel in its opening rather than people with any actual discernible skills relevant to working in a hotel. And because I worked with other people who just wanted to party and have fun, it was a beautiful place to work for a particular moment in my life. I had a lot of fun and time blurred, and soon enough, a couple years had passed and somehow, without me ever intending to, I was working in hospitality.

I moved to the N- Hotel a couple years ago, wanting to do something different, seeing perhaps more opportunity to grow with a hotel, wanting a change of that hectic pace that for a while I had found so exhilarating, wanting something a bit more adult, sedate. 

Somewhere in these five years, I turned 30. That was a big moment of self-evaluation for me. I became really aware of where my life was headed, that all this time had already passed and it would be so much easier for time to keep passing and me to soon enough be a grumpy hotel manager in my forties, in my fifties, grumpy because it was a job I had never set out to do, because there were dreams of other things, because I would have felt that there were skills unused.

Something needed to happen, some change. Jacob broke up with me and that further inspired these thoughts about what to do with my life. The happiness I had from being with him distracted me from the world and what I was doing (or, really, what I was not doing). With the source of this distracting happiness gone, I saw things I hadn't in a while. The rose colored glasses were gone, smashed on the street. I saw that I was some person doing a shit job I didn't really care about and which often brought out the worst in me, a defensive sassy, over-it queeniness, just a general crabbiness. 

This could not continue. At one of Nick and Diego's house parties, I met a copywriter and talked to her about her job, intrigued by it, wanting to know more, it sounding just like what I should be doing, that it would be the best way to monetize the skills that I know have, that I am good at, skills that I would like to put to use as much as possible, even in some commercial capacity, writing copy for brands, selling the world stuff it probably doesn't need. She recommended that I look into portfolio schools as a way to build my book so I could get a job.

And so last summer, I started going to portfolio school in the evenings after work. For the past year I have been running on empty, getting maybe four hours of sleep most nights, working during the day at the hotel, going to school at night so hopefully I could someday not work in a hotel, and taking long subway rides seemingly all the time.

The hotel job ended about two weeks ago. My last day of class was about a week ago. Also a week ago, another birthday passed. Time is marching on and on, and I am scampering up behind its fast legs, trying my best to keep pace. I started interning a week ago at a big ad agency doing copywriting. The hope, the prayer really, is that by the end of the summer, I can convert this internship into a job. 

I am making my bed every morning before I leave my house from now on. Today was the second day I did so. I am finding myself really into the World Cup. I am really emotional these days and just want to hug everyone in a way that will convey my joy, my love, to these people. I am trying to be an adult. I am trying to remember to be good, to be nice, to be the human I want to be. I am trying to keep front of my mind always the knowledge that I am in charge of what I do, of where I go.

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