Friday, April 11, 2008

Don't worry, this is just the prologue.

So. I guess I'll just decide right away how anonymous I want this to be, at least for now, and how much background information I ought to start out with. Well...I am twenty-two years old. I grew up in suburban New Jersey. I graduated in the spring of 2007 from a small liberal arts college in the Northeast, where I majored in English and minored in studio art.

I wrote a creative writing thesis, a novella which I think is pretty good, maybe even publishable if only I spent some time making a few crucial improvements, but which hasn't been touched since I graduated almost a year ago now. Despite the fact that I love writing and I think I'm fairly good at it, I was hesitant to pursue a real writing career straight out of college, because so many people do and fail and I wanted to try to be realistic and practical. And while I really enjoy painting and drawing, and I have taken enough classes to be decent if I really put in the time and effort, I'm not spectacularly gifted enough to really make it worth perusing as more than a hobby or at most, some illustrations to enhance something I've written.

Also, when I graduated, I had never had a real job. I've done general office work for my dad, who is self-employed, and I worked as a receptionist at a hair and nail salon for way too many summers, which I hated and only did for the free manicures and pedicures. In high school, I also worked at a ski and snowboard shop for about a week, and a clothing store at the mall for two days. And in college I worked as a writing tutor. But I'd never done a real internship or gotten up early in the morning five days a week and made a significant amount of money. So the idea of having a practical, grown up job simultaneously terrified and appealed to me.

I decided to look for an advertising job, because I thought it was the kind of thing I needed to do. I moved into an apartment with my best friend and two other girls in the East Village and used my uncle's connections to do a bunch of informational and exploratory interviews at New York advertising agencies. I was looking for an account management position, despite my creative background, because I didn't have a portfolio and I didn't want to devote the time and money and effort to going back to school and creating an advertising portfolio, knowing that advertising probably wasn't going to be my real passion in the long run, anyway. They all seemed to go really well, but nobody that I met was actually hiring at the time and nothing materialized.

I wasn't really happy with the apartment situation, because I was unemployed and the rent was actually quite moderate for Manhattan but obviously still a lot, and although I adore my best friend, living with three other girls who aren't quite as OCD as I am in one tiny fifth floor walk-up apartment with no air conditioning in sweltering hot August was kind of making me go insane. The other issue was my boyfriend/ technically-at-the-time-ex-boyfriend. We had been together since my freshman year, and I loved/love him more than anything, but he graduated a semester before I did and wanted to go to California to pursue venture capitalism, and I was like, "No fucking way am I EVER moving to California." And he kind of wanted to do it on his own for a little while, anyway. We knew from past summers that we both blow at the long distance thing, and there didn't seem to be any point in even trying, since I had no intention of ever moving to California and he wanted to do at least a couple years before maybe moving back to New York. (Oh, yeah, he's originally from New York, by the way.) So we decided to go on a break for a while. But although I was technically single for my last semester of college and my time living in New York, I still loved him and missed him like crazy. So that was yet another reason -- okay, probably the main reason -- I wasn't so content with my situation.

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