eight years later!

Well, I totally dropped the ball on my promise to do some “good ol’ fashioned desk job entries” last week.

It’s Monday. And I’m still working an office temp gig this week (which has just been extended by a few days due to an unforeseen circumstance in the office). It pays well and I’m enjoying the routine. In fact, I think it’s making me more productive all-around. Interesting!

That said, I’m also busy as eff.

I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t point out that today is a special day for me. September 27 will always hold an important place in my heart because it’s the day I started losing weight in 2002. On this day eight years ago, I was a very, very heavy young woman. I weighed over 265 pounds, looked awful, felt worse, and had maaaybe owned three pieces of clothing I could fit into. It was a miserable reality.

Losing the weight and keeping it off hasn’t always been a cake-walk, but I feel so blessed to realize that eight years later, I’m so much thinner, happier, healthier and feel more at peace with my body than ever before. Changing my habits and behaviors wasn’t just a phase – I really DID it.

Do I still have to keep myself from eating too many french fries and force myself to workout? All the time. But those day to day mini-battles are meaningless (which is why I rarely talk about them) when compared to the big picture.

Eight years ago, on this day, I made a commitment to myself that I was going to change my physical reality. And I did. The old, fat me is screaming joyfully from the rooftops right now.

Moving on, here are a couple orders of business:

1.) My latest article’s over up at Spring!

2.) If you’re looking for a some direction in your professional or personal life my dear friend Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach (and one half of a coupla married cuties with whom Kevin and I love to double date), has partnered with her colleague and a very talented artist, Jessica Smith, to launch a brilliant new website and e-course called The Declaration of You! I love their plan and their passion, and I’m going to be taking the course MYSELF! So, maybe you should too?

the race + an update

Today was my first full day alone at the temp job. I didn’t finish working until 9:30pm! I went in for a few hours on Sunday too. Boo. Today was a race against the clock, filled with lots of important legal details I was terrified to screw up.

I honestly don’t think these two weeks will be that bad (and ca-ching, ca-ching! the money’s good!), but right now my back is on fire and I’m exhausted.

It’s funny to be revisiting this lifestyle where I can’t fit in a workout, barely have time to eat lunch and feel like my retinas are burned into my head on the hour-long commute home. That stuff, along with the disjointedness of coming home knowing I won’t have time to clean up or do laundry for a week and a half, is some of why I quit my job. I’m not build for the nonstop race, I need time to reset.

In other news…

Harvard Sailing Team‘s new short film will premiere at the Friar’s Club Film Festival this weekend, and we all get to go to the screening! We worked hard on our little movie and had a great time making it, so we’re excited to watch it on the big screen. There’s also an after-party and an awards ceremony. Should be a super-fun weekend.

Jen+Steve, my two person improv team, won our first round at the PIT’s Sketchprov tournament. Winner of the whole event gets $2500. You never know!

My Acting for Sketch & Scripted Comedy class starts October 21. I’m excited and nervous! Eep!

And I’m still doing as much writing as I can, whenever possible.

Fanny & Jane…I haven’t mentioned in a while – huh? Well, as you know, we took a summer hiatus. The unofficial and official answer about what will happen this fall is: we don’t quite know yet. We know we can’t have the same experience we had last season, which was very productive, busy and lucrative, but it was also SO MUCH WORK OH MY GOD. And not in a great way. So stay tuned. Decisions will be made soon.

Oh, and shut the front door, I’m turning 30 in a month and a half. Yeesh.

If time allows I’ll try to do some classic desk-job updates while I’m at work this week! It’ll be like old times. πŸ™‚

i remember now

I told you in my last post that I’m temping in an office for the next three weeks. I wrote, “I’m actually excited to go back to an office environment to remind myself what it’s like.

Well, I remember now! IT SUCKS.

I mean, it’s fine. But it’s not my thing.

So far I’m doing a good job, staying focused and not allowing myself to feel like a fraud. I’m keeping in perspective that I’m more than someone’s assistant. It also helps that I know it’s only temporary, and that I have a full, colorful career on the outside.

But I also remember all too well when this corporate world was my every day and I didn’t always feel so hopeful. It makes me sad to think about the years I spent feeling trapped and unhappy.

So, why does it suck? Well, first of all I’m exhausted! After an hour working on a legal document I need three coffees and a hard smack in the face. The harsh lighting makes me feel grouchy, my commute this morning almost resulted in the death of everyone in my immediate vicinity, and the stupid printer jams all the time! It’s 2010! How is that still happening?!

I also can’t stand the fact that I’m always hungry, thirsty or really have to pee when I’m sitting at that desk. I can’t seem to strike a balance of physical contentment no matter what I do.

Still, I have had a few positive reminders that I’ll definitely take with me when these three weeks are over:

1. After lots of years of experience, I’m good at this type of job. I don’t like the work, but if I was so broke that I didn’t have another choice, I’ve got this skill set to fall back on.

2. Making it my business to do a good job no matter what task is in front of me is more fun (fun?) and easier than being pissed off and resentful. Taking notes instead of pretending I’ll remember everything helps too.

3. Getting older makes some things harder, but it makes a lot of things easier. I remember when I started my first-ever law firm job at age 23. I was terrified. Now I’m just amused.

4. If you’re not happy in your job you don’t have to work there. I’ve already passed so many people in the halls of the office who look a little dead inside. I want to slide them a note that says “Remember, you have options…”

another perspective

I’ve had a great weekend but I’m glad it’s over. I drank way too much both Friday and Saturday nights, had so much fun, got to catch up with a bunch of good friends, and we did our first HST show of the fall season, which was a blast. But I’m really paying for it today. My tongue feels fuzzy and my eyes ache.

What’s worse is that I had to work today. On a Sunday! I landed a great temp gig at a law firm. (A law firm?!! I know, I know.) It’s very temporary, just three weeks, and the money is good. I’m actually excited to go back to an office environment to remind myself what it’s like. And temping for these three weeks will give me room to do a lot of fun, creative stuff this fall.

I went into the office for just a few hours today, met the woman I’ll be assisting and did some work. It was easy and fine and I’m eager to do a good job.

One of the big things I’ve realized since leaving my desk job last year was how much I allowed myself to feel like a fraud when I worked there. That fact has been at the forefront of my mind so often lately that I wrote an article about it for Spring this week called “Job Fraud.” I felt like a liar at my old job, like I didn’t belong, like I had to pretend every single day that I cared about what I was doing and wanted to keep doing it.

But going back into an office today for the first time in 11 months made me realize that I don’t have to feel like a fraud just because I’m working a gig I’m not passionate about. There’s another perspective.

I’m trying to make my living as a writer, an actor, a comedian, a blogger, and whatever else comes up that inspires me – and I work hard on those pursuits every day. They’re careers that take time to build and don’t pay a lot when you’re starting out, so I still have to have some paycheck gigs to make ends meet right now. But for the first time in my professional life, I don’t feel resentful about the paycheck jobs. I feel grateful for them. Because I’m using the rest of my energy to build something better.

So, I’ll let you know how it goes!! Assisting an attorney again will be a little like I’m visiting an old life, stepping back in time, but armed with the wisdom I’ve gained in the last year.

I don’t have to feel like a fraud. I’m a creative professional whose fab office skills will pay her rent this month. And I’m proud of it.

will work for margaritas

WANT.

These are chicken mole tacos from the cute little Mexican place near our apartment. I’d love a plate of these bad boys right now, along with a blood orange margarita and a scoop of their incredible guacamole. But I just got back from Las Vegas, you say? Where I drank margaritas the size of footballs? Yes, well. I’m not ready for the summer party to end.

A scrumptious dinner out isn’t gonna happen this week, though. And probably not next week either. It’s shaping up to be a very busy month…and I’m discovering that October will be similarly packed.

Between writing, rehearsing, performing, babysitting to help make ends meet and working on a few other fun projects, I’m almost as busy as I was back when I was working the 9-5 shift. (The difference now is that I actually like what I’m doing with my time.)

One of the best parts of 2010 so far has been all the traveling I’ve gotten to do. I was married to my office job schedule last year at this time so trips out of town were few and far between. This year I’ve had time to go to Montreal, Chicago (twice), Vegas, and this fall I’ll go to Philly and Florida…AND to Los Angeles for the first time in my life!

The LA trip will be a whole week with Harvard Sailing Team. We’re doing a show and taking care of some other biz on the West Coast – can’t wait! I loved being near that part of the world this past weekend, so I’m excited to go back in just a few weeks. I’m looking foward to the weather, the change of lifestyle pace, and catching up with a bunch of old college and high school friends who live in Cali now.

In the meantime, it’s still warm and sunny here in New York and even though the kids are all marching back to into school this week, it doesn’t quite feel like summer’s over for me yet. Maybe I can talk Kev into a Mexican night out this weekend. πŸ™‚

a perfectly good job

This morning while cleaning out some old stuff on my computer I found something I wrote last year after I quit my job. There were about six weeks between the day I told my boss I was quitting and the day I finally walked out of there for good, which was just long enough to make me a little crazy.

Even though I’d been planning my escape for months, those six weeks of in-between time gave me plenty of opportunity to reevaluate my decision and reconsider my motivation. It was confusing – once I finally had an end-date on the horizon the job became so much more bearable that I almost enjoyed it. I knew I still wanted to quit, but I couldn’t help but wonder if I was giving up a perfectly good job. I wrote:

It’s not a matter of this job being so awful. I grew out of that a while ago. It’s a matter of it being too easy to stay. It’s a matter of it being a “perfectly good job.”

It’s not challenging. And I don’t have to move around too much. And I can call in sick from time to time. And if I surf the internet for a whole day, or for whole days, I don’t get in trouble. The people are mostly nice and sometimes we get free lunch and I can wear casual clothes and go to the gym on my lunch breaks. So why am I quitting?

I’m quitting because staying might lull me into complacency for the rest of my life. I refuse to be 30 and have a job that I don’t care about. I want to have a career that I love. I want a big, dreamy, crazy, fun, exciting, suitable-for-me career.

I’m not quitting because I hate it, or because it’s torture, or because it’s sucking my soul – it’s really not. I’m quitting because if I don’t leave now, I might stay forever. And that’s not good enough.

I was right. It was a good job, but it wasn’t good enough. As I’ve said dozens of times in the past year, what I’m doing now isn’t perfect either, but it’s so much more ME. I’m more professionally fulfilled than I’ve ever been. Best of all, I’ll never have to wonder what-if…because I’m finding out.

lessons from my summer

How pretty is this little girl? I was so happy to see her and her brother this morning when we got home from the airport.

I’m back from a Labor Day weekend in Las Vegas! I was a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding at the Mandalay Bay – we had a lovely time. And the bride and her new hubby looked beautiful and happy. (Thanks for a fun weekend, Mal!)

Wedding activities aside, Vegas kicked my ass. We partied a lot, rode the giant coaster (on which I broke my glasses), won some money, lost some money, won some more, and everything in my suitcase smells like cigarette smoke and that weird floral scent they pump into the casinos.

I hadn’t been to Vegas since I was 15-years-old. I love it there. Love the weather, the lights, the 24-hour party, the gambling, the people-watching. I could never live there, but I’ll visit any day.

Now we’re back in NYC and a new week will begin bright and early tomorrow morning. I’m reflecting on what a weird, but unexpectedly life-affirming summer I’ve had. It’s been spent worrying sometimes about where my next paycheck’s coming from, and celebrating sometimes exciting successes along my new career path. I feel hopeful and curious about what the coming months will bring.

This summer has taught me a few key lessons.

1.) Money is fluid. It’s meant to come in and out of your life. To bring yourself to a state of panic when funds are low does nothing but cause you unproductive discomfort. Do what you love and the money will come. It’s true.

2.) Support other people. There is enough success, love, money, happiness, fulfillment and inspiration to go around. Being genuinely happy for other people doesn’t take anything away from your own path – it makes you feel good. And being selfish or competitive is transparent.

3.) You can be your own worst critic or your own best friend. It’s up to you.

I’m so excited for fall, you guys. I’m looking forward to a lot of travel, a lot of work, and my 30th birthday in exactly 2 months. I’m also looking forward to some exciting changes on the blog in the month of October.

Have a great week!

thank you!

Yesterday I vowed to combat my Blackberry obsession (it’s really more like a neurotic tic) for the next few days, at least. It’s the perfect week to be less connected since half the world is on vacation, plus I’m headed to Vegas tomorrow for my cousin’s wedding! I can’t be medically dependent on my phone when I’m trying to win jackpots, you guys. Get real.

So when I checked Twitter last night before bed, my jaw dropped to discover that The Frisky had posted my article yesterday afternoon! I had no idea it went up.

And I was even more surprised to find a bunch of really thoughtful, positive comments. So thank you for reading, commenting and for your emails, tweets and Facebook messages. I’m truly, truly humbled by all the generous and warm responses.

The truth is, it’s a little intimidating to post such a personal story on the Internet. I’m not a particularly private person because I don’t see any need to keep secrets. But telling a story like this in all its scandalous glory on such a widely read site still involves some letting go on my part.

More than anything though, I am reminded that I have nothing to hide. In short, I went through an incredibly difficult time in my early twenties that felt like a death as it was happening. Sure, there are some embarrassing details associated with the whole mess, but I can’t be ashamed of any of it. It happened. And it’s a story I’m compelled to tell.

If readers can relate, are moved, or if it helps them with something in their own life, I’m honored.