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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the fantasy

As the year draws to a close I’m thinking a lot about what I was doing this time last year.

The entire month of December 2009 (and most of November too) was dedicated to the Fanny & Jane holiday rush. In fact, my blog entry last December 1 announced our December One Day Sale. And the remaining entries in 2009 went on to be about little other than baking and running a small business (without a lick of experience).

What a difference a year makes.

I had only recently quit my desk job this time last year and I was still basking in the glow of not having to go to work at an office every day. I adored not being beholden to that stupid office.

But I was simultaneously so stressed out, exhausted and nauseous from inhaling sweet treat fumes all day long and battling worry-induced insomnia every night that I could barely see straight.

I am eternally grateful to the fates that be – and to my own decision-making skills – that I’m not in that situation again this year. It was the right move for Kevin and me to put that project on the back burner for now. I honestly don’t think the world has seen the end of the Fanny & Jane menu, but I know I can’t run the business in such a hands-on way anymore.

And then came the few months of the late summer and early fall where I only wrote, performed and babysat little kids. That was also a wonderful but stressful (read: broke) time.

So here I am working at a desk job again. It’s over a month in to my time here and it’s still totally fine. It’s not, as I’ve said before, what I want to be doing, but it’s a necessity right now, and no one ever said this following bliss bullshit would be easy or without sacrifice.

For the most part, I get up every day, come to work wearing some ridiculous outfit that I would never otherwise wear if I didn’t have to play the role of business casual drone and push through the day focusing on the tasks at hand while dealing with my own career stuff as it comes up. Then I head off to whatever class, show, rehearsal or meeting I have scheduled for that night, finally get home around 11pm and spend a few minutes with Kevin before stumbling in to bed.

It’s not glamorous, my hair is often a mess, choosing what to have for lunch and dinner is always a hassle (?), and I feel grouchy and drained at the end of most days. Thank God for my boyfriend and my cats who make coming home at night more than worth it.

It’s also not that different from my old “desk job” lifestyle except that I’m older and wiser and know myself a lot better. And I’m more patient this time around, more willing to tolerate these circumstances and to let what will be unfold in its own time.

That place of patience can admittedly be a very difficult place to live in, but I don’t think I have another choice.

I do find encouragement in moments. I can sometimes catch glimpses of a potential future where all the things I do, love and want to pursue effortlessly come together in some magical career that fits me perfectly. One where I get to travel sometimes, work in an office sometimes, work at home other times and have a flexible schedule and go to the gym when I want to.

Sounds perfect, right?

I’m also like three inches taller and we finally found the right rug for our bedroom floor in this fantasy.

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.

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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fanny & jane 2010

This post doesn’t contain my “secret,” but it doesn’t contain a detail a few of you have been begging me to reveal!

What the heck is the status of Fanny & Jane this holiday season?

The short answer: We’re not opening the bakery for the 2010 holidays. Waaah!! I know, I know.

Here’s why:

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…and the season has changed

There we are at the premiere of our short film “Another Psycho” at the Friar’s Club Film Festival last weekend! We’re standing with the incredibly talented gentlemen who directed, edited and produced our idea into a fantastic little film. The premiere was a blast. I wish I had some better photos but I left my camera battery at home (Boo!! Hisssss!!!). For those who have asked, I’m not yet sure when we can show the movie to everybody, or if it will be online. I’ll definitely let you know.

Other than that, where the hell have I been??

I’ve been working! Still temping at the attorney’s office, which has been busy and exhausting. Today’s actually my last day! (Phewf.) I’ll be working from home for the rest of the week, rehearsing, writing, planning my class, etc.

And then on Saturday I’m going to Los Angeles for a whole week with Harvard Sailing Team! I’ve never been to LA before, if you can believe it. So I’m excited. I’ll get to see some old friends, enjoy the warmer temps, and we will be performing as a team for the first time ever on west coast. Cannot wait.

I am gonna miss Kev and the kitties and the beautiful autumn weather we’re having here in New York, though. I’m loving October so far. It is definitely (and finally) fall here.

So, I have some pretty big and surprising news to share. Major changes are underway. No, I’m not engaged or pregnant. It’s news relating to this professional journey I’ve been on the for the last year! I can’t tell you just yet, though. Sorry. That’s so lame, I know. Soon enough…

I can say that in two weeks it will be one full year since I quit my boring desk job. When I left that office on October 16, 2009, I could not have imagined or anticipated the path that would lay ahead of me. It’s been a year full of excitement, surprise and even frustration and disappointment at times. But all in all, it’s been one of the smartest things I’ve ever done for myself.

Hope you’re all having a happy Monday.

More soon!

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.