another last day

Last day at the ol’ law firm job.

Not my first law firm job. My second. The one I had to take after I made a big fanfare about quitting my first law firm job and spent a year figuring out who I am and what I want to do with myself.

Well, I think I’ve got it figured out. For now, anyway.

Life, right?

Can’t wait for 5:30pm tomorrow. New chapter! Spring.

what I’m leaving behind

Only FIVE MORE DAYS at this law firm job! I can’t wait to get out of here.

I’ve been at this job for six months, perhaps the shortest amount of time I’ve ever spent in any permanent position. (Except for the few weeks in 2007 during which I was an executive assistant to the red-faced Napoleonic owner of a very wealthy construction company who closed his door each day and figuratively castrated all the grown men he could fit inside his office, but I’ve tucked that month away into the dark recesses of my mind only to be revisited when I finally write my book entitled “Crazy People: New York City Bosses and Why You Might Be Better Off Looking Into Unemployment or Developing a Street Drug Addiction”).

I can’t decide if my stint here has felt longer or shorter than the six months it’s been, so I’ll just say it feels like it’s been exactly six months. It’s no secret that I haven’t loved this job. That’s not why I’m moving over to my new position at the PIT (yay! can’t wait!) – I would have been interested in the PIT job regardless, but I’m still ready to get outta here.

I’ve spent these six months wondering if I’m just a broken employee – someone who never grew the right kind of spine to quietly tolerate a paycheck job that she’s not particularly into, since I seem to have such a hard time keeping my mouth shut when I don’t like where I’m working. I marvel at some of my friends who have paycheck jobs, don’t really care for those jobs, but continue to power through everyday without complaint.

Well, I’m not quite so valiant. I’ve mostly bitched and moaned since day one at this place. At age 30 I certainly wish I was more mature, but I guess I’m not. It’s a personal reality I’ve accepted.

I’m excited about a lot of things related to this transition.  One small but very lovely aspect of my new job is that I won’t be an assistant any more. As much as I’m still happily pursuing comedy, acting and writing, I’ve had a little voice in the back of my mind since I turned 30 that’s been saying, “If this acting stuff doesn’t work out, what “career” will you have to fall back on? Assistantship? You’re gonna be a 40-year-old assistant some day? LOSER!”

And even though I know that kind of negative chatter isn’t good for much, and even though I’m also well aware that to have any kind of stable career at age 40 or any other age is a wonderful thing, I’m pleased to finally have an answer for the judgmental part of my brain who likes to pose those rude, cynical questions. “I’m NOT going to be an assistant any more, you cruel, jealous bitch.” That’s what I’ll say to that bitch. And maybe I’ll add, “I also had a giant cookie this weekend. AND I ATE THE WHOLE THING. What do you think of me now?” She’s gonna be so pissed.

Anyway, all this is to say that I feel lucky to have such professional good fortune right now. I’m grateful to get to leave behind what I’m leaving behind, to get to move on to something I’m really looking forward to, and to have a whole week off in between to get pedicures and eat chocolates (or giant cookies!).

my big news

We just got back from a long weekend trip to New Orleans with family which was fantastic. We were celebrating my stepdad’s 50th birthday and I’d like to think we did so in style. I’d never been to New Orleans before and I can’t believe I hadn’t been – it was incredible. I loved the weather, the vibe, the flowing daiquiris, the amazing live music and the whole culture. We stayed in a big, old stunning vacation home and I’ll share pictures soon. All in all, it was a great trip and the perfect indulgent refresher from crazy city life.

Then, yesterday, I gave my two weeks notice to my boss at the music law firm. (On a Sunday because he left for a week-long business trip to London last night.)

When I started this job I didn’t expect to stay here for a very long time, but I also wasn’t sure what was in store. Maybe I’d get used to the comfortable salary and the free metrocard and stick around for a year or more. But it seems that wasn’t in the cards.

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i recommend

I recommend getting together with a group of like-minded women once a month for the sole purpose of supporting each other’s career goals.

Now you know.

I owe a sincere thank you to my friend, M, who came up with the idea to do just that and then asked me to be a part of it. Now we have a monthly brunch gathering with a small group of creative, hard-working New York ladies.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect out of this experience, since the goal was to gather women from all different fields and industries.

We have a photographer, a couple career and life coaches, a former actor, a birth instructor, someone who blogs about food, someone who wants to get her PhD in something fascinating, someone who owns a business with her husband, someone whose husband occasionally works for her, women with careers you’ve never heard of and careers you’ve envied and careers with impressive resumes. And I’m there too. 😉

In my free time, I mostly hang out with people in the entertainment industry. My best friends are comedians, actors, writers and filmmakers. My boyfriend is a talented director (and actor and editor and producer and and). My best friend is a Shakespeare director and teacher.

While these ladies, although some of them participate in my industry and understand it just as well as they understand their own, all come from very different career paths. But after only two brunches, I’ve gotten a ton of out of coming together with them. They each have their own struggles and challenges and their own unique perspectives to share about everybody else’s stuff.

Sounds pretty feminine, right? It is. We listen and share and have positive body language and drink mimosas and it’s about as girly as it gets. I’m grateful to be a part of it.

Who doesn’t need a dose of that once a month?

For me personally, I’m excited about what lies ahead in my career. Nothing’s perfect, but I’m learning to enjoy and make the most out of the process. I fully expect that optimism to take a nose-dive soon enough, as it always does for me, but that’s part of the fun, right?

talent. luck. discipline.

The hardest part about the career game I’m playing right now – the one where I have this day job that doesn’t exactly do it for me so that I can support the dream career I’m working toward in the meantime – is the waiting.

Sometimes I feel like I’m over here treading water from 9-5 while I figure out the rest of it. And sometimes I wonder how long that’s gonna take.

I know it’s different every time I post – I like the day job, I hate the day job, I can live with it, it’s really healthy for me, I want to kill myself. And as inconsistent as that might be for you who are witnessing this journey, it feels just as inconsistent for me. I really do hate the job one day and feel grateful for it the next. It supports me financially and affords me the opportunity to keep pursuing my goals, but not without a serious drain on my mental and emotional state.

I guess that’s called a catch 22.

Lorne Michaels’ was recently on “Master Class” on the OWN Network (yes!) and he said something that has since been running through my mind. He said that the three things required to make it in this comedy world are talent, luck and discipline. And then he added that even when you have all three you’re not guaranteed to succeed, but you have to have all three to even have the option.

Heartwarming and terrifying all at once. Of course there are exceptions to his rule, but he’s right. Talent and luck are obvious, and anyone I know personally who has been successful as an actor, writer, comedian, etc. worked very hard to get there.

Lying in bed last night, a list of my own popped into my mind. Not necessarily a list of things one needs in order to be successful, but traits that I personally need to keep cultivating to stay sane.

Patience, trust, optimism and discipline.

Maybe not it’s not the humblest move to selectively edit wisdom from the guy who created Saturday Night Live, but you won’t tell him, right?

The thing is, sometimes I wonder WHAT THE EFF I’m doing. I’m 30 years old and I’m still playing dress up, playing make-it-up, putting on little performances, little skitties, writing stories and giggling with my friends. I never grew out of it. And I want to make a CAREER out of that? Because I am who, again? Someone special? Or just another one of the people in the sea that is this industry, fighting to earn a paycheck.

But on the flipside (and drawing from that necessary optimism), I remind myself that there are jobs to be had in this industry, I’ve watched so many of my peers move to the next level, I get to do what I love almost every night of the week, and most importantly, nothing is more exhilarating to me than performing and writing.

Last Friday night, we did an HST show with only half the team because the other half was out of town. We play each other’s parts all the time but I was nervous about one particular sketch. I’d never done it before and it’s kind of intense. But I did it. It went well, people laughed and enjoyed themselves, and felt like a million bucks afterward. It reminded me how capable I am, and that I need to trust myself more often. It also made me feel like I’d just run a mile or eaten a really incredible meal.

I felt filled up. What other information do I really need.

So, I’ll pray for patience, trust, optimism and discipline…and the wisdom to defer to Lorne Michaels’ list too.

my job and my career

Kevin snapped this as he was walking home from the subway late last night. I was already fast asleep when he arrived and woke up at 7am to an email from a partner at the law firm telling us all to stay home. Snow day!

I’ve come off the ledge since my last post. Turns out I was experiencing some PMS-inspired moodiness. No one died and I’ve felt a lot better over the last few days.

This is the second time I’ve had a real snow day off from work in the last month. What could be better??

I’ve realized something recently that I can’t deny. This job is exactly what I need right now. I’m hesitant to say that because I don’t want to have to work there for a long time. But the circumstances of my current career situation being what they are, I’m grateful for this setup.

I’m surprised and delighted every single time I get paid. I have relative flexibility in the sense that I haven’t had to miss anything yet – I’ve been able to take off for important HST shows and I’ll get to go on a family trip in April. My health insurance just kicked in last week and that’s a nice feeling, and I’ve been able to make a serious dent in some minor credit card debt I’ve been carrying around.

PLUS, Kevin’s able to work from home right now managing HST gigs, working on his own projects (He and some colleagues launched SiCKPUPPY.tv this week!), playing Mister Mom to our two babies cats and doing some important research on what we’ll do next with Fanny & Jane.

My boss has been out of the office this entire week. It means I have time to put toward my own career goals…saying nothing of today, of course, which I’ve spent at home in my pajamas doing laundry and writing. He travels a fair amount and it’s always a welcome break when he’s gone. When he’s in the office, I generally want to be instantly whisked away to another world. But it’s all still bearable. And in exchange for the support this job is providing my lifestyle? I’ll take it.

I had a great time on Sunday at brunch with a few incredible women I’d never met before. The get together was organized by our dear friend Michelle (the When I Grow Up Coach), who knows us each personally and thought we might make a good group of ambitious Brooklyn ladies who can support each other in our disparate career journeys. It was a relief to meet and connect with these women, who are all exploring and uncovering how to navigate their careers as entrepreneurs and creative people. Our conversation was reassuring and comforting.

After I told my story, who I am and how I ended up where I am today, I heard myself saying “The reality of my life is that I could have to quit my day job in three months to write a movie, or I may end up having to go to LA to make a TV show next year. Or anything else…or nothing else…And there’s the bakery, and my writing stuff, and teaching. And it’s all exciting but it can also be a real challenge to be patient and let it all unfold.” (That isn’t exactly what I said, but who can remember.)

So as hard as it is to be patient, I’m working on letting it unfold.

FRIDAAAAY!

YES! Friday. The weekend awaits.

After a week of trying to re-acclimate myself to this lifestyle, I’m finally remembering the good stuff about having a job like this one.

One might ask oneself why I wasn’t able to hone in on these features during my last stint at a desk job, why I made a whole stink about quitting if it wasn’t so bad after all?

The answer is two-fold: First, I seem to have matured dramatically during this last year. I’m not as irritated by other humans as I used to be, I’m more patient, and I don’t take things as personally as I used to. Hurray. I definitely needed a year away from this environment to feel that way, though. And second, this particular job is So Much Better than the last one. In the world of office jobs, it doesn’t take much to make one job So Much Better than another, but those little instances add up.

One thing I missed about having a paycheck job was getting a PAYCHECK. I got one yesterday. I get another one next week. Is this heaven?

I also missed Fridays. In fact, from the moment I quit my last job I missed Fridays. You know, everyone’s saying “Happy Friday!” or “Have a great weekend,” everyone’s ready to bust out of the office and go do their thang – it’s like high school on a Friday but with more spending money and fewer raging hormones. When you work for yourself from home, there’s no such thing as Friday, at least there wasn’t for me. Every day was, like, a Tuesday. Or a really busy Saturday where you have to run a lot of errands.

I said to my friend Jess (of See Jess Run) in an email yesterday that returning to an office job wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I quit my last job, but working from home for myself ended up not being exactly what I had in mind either. It just wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be. Yes, I still plan to pursue a career that I’m passionate about, but now I have a new approach.

So. Learning. Adjusting. Moving forward. Blah blah.

Have a great weekend, all. And – you know – Happy Friday.

all too familiar

The first day of my new job was great. I met everyone, got a sense of the office vibe and discovered that the job itself is going to be easier than I expected. I also realized that I’m going to be treated like a grown-up at this office, which is unlike my last job. For instance, I don’t have to ask for permission when I go to the bathroom. Imagine!

The second day was a little less encouraging. None of the circumstances changed, but I started to realize that the job might be a lot less work than I thought it would be, leaving with me with the dreaded Not Enough To Do syndrome that left me feeling bored and depressed at my last job. Sure, having free time during the work day can be lovely, but it turns out I much prefer to feel busy and useful. (Please note: I’d probably also have a gripe if there was too much work. So.)

On the second day I also realized how much I want to avoid walking around with a chip on my shoulder all the time. And I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t do that with this job – that I would work on being kind, cheerful and positive as often as possible. I don’t want to end up being the ugliest version of myself here.

Today, the third day, I find myself trying to accept all these positive and negative feelings and be patient with myself as I readjust to this lifestyle. For the most part, I can imagine months passing by as I sit here in this chair in my dress slacks, sipping my coffee, trying to decide what I should have for lunch today. That’s terrifying and reassuring all at once.

There are moments when I have no idea how I got here, when I think this might be a dream, when I wonder if I should just walk out before it’s too late. The alternative, however, would probably find me sitting on my couch in my workout clothes, NOT having worked out yet, having woken up later than I’d wanted to, trying to figure out what to do with my day, feeling worried about money and unclear about my goals and wondering where the two shall intersect. Near the end there, the “dream” of working from home was often a penniless, boring reality because I didn’t know where to put my energy.

I spent the last year exploring, learning and making personal and professional progress. I have to remember that this return to a desk job is an extension of that – a chance to have some financial stability while I continue to work toward my own goals.

I just don’t know what my goals are yet.

…or maybe I do know what they are and I just need to do what I always tell everyone else to do: Trust myself.

my new job

I’m back in Brooklyn after a great week in Los Angeles. I had a blast on the trip, but I’m glad to be home – I am reminded how much I love New York City.

Today, Kevin made us brunch, then we did some shopping (new shoes!), and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge in the evening. It was perfect.

Los Angeles was an awesome experience for Harvard Sailing Team. We had so much fun together, got a lot done, and things are moving in a great direction right now – we’re definitely pinching ourselves.
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los angeles!

Our HST trip to Los Angeles has been a blast so far! We had a private screening of our new movie the first night we arrived, and we’ll do another screening plus a live show on Tuesday night at the UCB LA.

We’ve also had a productive writing meeting, gotten to see some sights, hiked up Runyon Canyon, and had a delicious BBQ at our friend Marina’s parents’ house.

I’m loving the weather (obviously) and having a great time driving around, which I get to do so rarely in New York. (It is a little crazy to look around on the freeways and see that most cars only have one person in them – seems like such a waste.)

I’m excited that we’re still here for another five days – I’m really enjoying myself and trying to relax before returning to the hustle of New York. This city seems like a lovely marriage of the urban and suburban experience. Plus, so many taco stands!