Jillian Anthony is a California girl in New York—writing, reading, seeing, eating, drinking, and obsessing about things.
A few weeks ago I put my two weeks in at Manhattan magazine, and my last day was Feb. 7. The next day I jetted to Hawaii to spend a week with my family, an impromptu vacation we pulled together after I finally decided what my last day would be. Now I’m back in gloomy Brooklyn, feeling…
Reblog for the late-night/California crowd
I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt. People don’t hold guilt for a woman.
— Michele Bachmann, congresswoman of Minnesota, discussing Obama’s presidential win and Hillary Clinton’s possible 2016 presidential run
Keeping with today’s “follow your dreams” theme.
A few weeks ago I put my two weeks in at Manhattan magazine, and my last day was Feb. 7. The next day I jetted to Hawaii to spend a week with my family, an impromptu vacation we pulled together after I finally decided what my last day would be. Now I’m back in gloomy Brooklyn, feeling simultaneously more excited and frightened to be living here than I have in maybe a year.
There were several reasons I left, including a negative work environment, lack of employee appreciation—the general workplace complaints I hear from so many of my friends. But in the end, I left because it had been so long since I’d produced creative, fulfilling work that I felt dead inside.
It’s been a couple of years since I have written something that piqued my curiosity, enveloped my thoughts, energized my waking hours. I love the world of journalism, and more than anything I love writing stories about people’s lives that are thoughtful and meaningful. Since I’ve moved to New York, I’ve done a lot of good work—I’ve been investigative reporter Wayne Barrett’s research assistant at The Daily Beast, special projects assistant at CNNMoney, and associate editor at Manhattan. But my opportunities to write in any of those positions have been few and far between.
Of course, a lot of the fault for the lack of creativity in my life falls on me. I haven’t been using enough of my free time to pursue what I’m passionate about, though people that work full-time, especially in New York, can testify how hard it is to pursue projects outside of your day job. But I’m done with any of those excuses. Somewhere along the line, I realized that I’ve been in NYC for two years working these media jobs that are great on paper, but have not gotten me any closer to my immediate goals professionally, or my personal happiness. I’ve been lucky to have jobs at all, and I certainly don’t underestimate the importance of what I’ve learned and who I’ve met, but the epiphany that I felt I was misusing my time and energy suddenly came on strong.
So I quit, and I’ve committed myself to a year of pursuing creativity and happiness. I really feel like I’m too young to pursue anything else at this point. I’ve spent my entire life on the “correct” linear path—went to grad school straight out of college, did a million internships, never took any time completely off other than the five weeks I was unemployed and destitute back when I first moved to Bushwick. So now is my time to get weird.
I’m applying to reporting jobs that would push me along the road to writing full-time, but if none of those work out, I have loftier, stranger goals in mind. I desperately want to work in Brooklyn, specifically Williamsburg so I can finally feel like I belong in my neighborhood rather than a foreign Midtown transplant. I’ll bartend and babysit and tutor and walk dogs and freelance and start bizarre blogs and join writers’ clubs and book clubs and anything it takes to give me the experience I hoped I would have in this city before I seek sunnier pastures in California… and I feel that time is in the less than distant future. I’ll continue to take improv classes at Upright Citizens Brigade and maybe be an extra and audition for some stuff and write a play and terrify myself by doing a standup open mic night. I live in New York and I am surrounded daily by so many opportunities, yet I’ve reached out and grabbed so few of them! That must change.
I’ve been making decisions in my life for a long time based solely off of career-building, status, and safety. Now I want to make decisions based off of what scares me—I’ll chase the unfamiliar and see what peril lies ahead.
Of course, if the right desk job comes along, I will take it, for god’s sake I’m not an idiot, I live in the most expensive city in the country, but I hope that at this point I at the very minimum have the insight to take a job where I will be producing work that makes me proud. Whatever is in store for me in the coming weeks, months, and year, I’m certain the personal growth and satisfaction I’ll receive for jumping into the unknown will be worth it. I’m pretty certain.
This fall I’ll be swathed in fashionable sponge, thanks to Moschino.
I’m fully enamored by the vibe and Brooklyn-themed wallpaper in my new neighborhood coffee shop, Den. I think I found my funemployment workspace.
Weirdest thing I saw today but not this week