Musing Mondays: Why Now Is As Good A Time As Any

Start doing the things you dream about today. Yes, Googling “How to do [insert whatever it is you want to do]” counts as working towards your dream. Reward yourself.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my future lately, and what I want to do in that future. And though thinking about all of this has left me more questions than answers, I have figured out a couple of things: 1) The office 9-5pm (or for entertainment 9-6/7pm) is just not my scene, and 2) I want to travel and experience the world.

Okay, so I didn’t really really just realize I hate working in an office and my desire to travel, but thinking about my future made me realize that these are things I should be pursuing now.

Why? Because why not? Why is now not as good a time as any other? As I get older, (hopefully) establish a stable career, (hopefully) start a family, I’ll only have more and more commitments. Down the road, when I get sick of renting (HA, already happened) and want to look into buying a home, I won’t have the freedom to spend (what little money I have) on travel that I do now. So why not? Sure, it means untangling a lot of logistical knots, sure it means trying to figure out an end plan for what to do/where to go when I get back stateside, but isn’t that worth it?

And I came to nearly the same conclusion about quitting the office lifestyle and going remote/freelance: Isn’t it worth buckling down now, building up work as a freelancer now, so that I can have the flexibility I need to focus on writing? Because the end goal is getting paid to write and stay home anyways, right? So why occupy all of my time at an office doing a job that won’t set me on the trajectory I’m looking for, when I can find work from home, and devote more time to writing. Sure, it means giving up a steady, stable, moderately cushy (for the likes of me) paycheck, but it also means the possibility of a more rewarding, bigger payout much sooner than possible when devoting my week days to an office.

This isn’t my big, public “I’m quitting my job” announcement post; I have starting formulating a short-term trajectory and plan to fulfill my travel dreams, and eventually transition to a remote work lifestyle. For now, I’m continuing to work and save up as much as I can. But I tell you all of this to say one thing:

Stop telling yourself no.

There will always be bumps, always be commitments that seem too important to set aside. As someone who grew up in the Midwest, raised under the mentality that a stable job and income was more important that pursuing a passion, I understand that it’s downright terrifying to give up the comfort of home, the safety of a close-knit family, and the familiarity of friends and a certain lifestyle to accomplish the things you’ve dreamt about doing. But you should do it anyways. Not because putting in the effort necessarily means you’ll be successful or accomplish what you set out to do, but because trying and failing is still more of a success than never trying at all. Don’t live your life in regret and full of wondering what might have been. Go out and do. You’ll be surprised where life will take you, and what you wind up doing might turn out to be something you had never even thought of, but that you love even more than your original dream.

Don’t put up walls–I don’t want to hear any excuses about why you can’t do something you want to do! Figure out how to make it possible! I’d love to know what you want to do, share it in the comments, and if I know of any resources that might be helpful, I’ll share them with you!

-tlc

The Thing About LA

Okay, so there are lots of things about LA, but here’s one that’s really been on my mind lately: the wealth disparity that is rampant in this city.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been searching like a mad man to find an apartment I can FINALLY call my own (and afford), or maybe it’s the countless Ferraris, BMW Convertibles, and Teslas I watch speed past the street buskers, vagabonds, and tent cities camped out on curbs everyday, but hot damn if the immensity of wealth and lack thereof isn’t plastered on the billboards out here! (Sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of Orange Is The New Black lately, so the voice in my head has been coming out a little prison-queeny, if that’s a thing.)

I’ve struggled off and on for the last nine months to like LA, and I’m telling you, it’s hard. It’s really, really hard. Don’t get me wrong, there are fantastic things about LA: the weather, the beautiful people, the horizon, the beach, the beautiful people, the iconic landscapes, the beautiful people–but even the beautiful people have a tough time making me forget about the smog, the traffic, and the shame that there are probably hundreds of beautiful, big houses that sit empty around this city, while there are thousands who go cold and hungry living on the streets every night. Check out this article about how Jessica Alba is turning her old house (which sat EMPTY) into a vacation/travel home for renters. I mean, I applaud the woman for her business savvy and wanting to do something to fill a need she saw, but come on! I know she’s not the only one with property just lying around this city going to far less use. And even though LA is full of employment opportunities (not just in the entertainment industry) rent is still too damn high.

LA is difficult because it’s a lonely city, and the traffic issue bites residents in the butt in more than one way. Consider: yes, getting anywhere during high traffic hours is stressful and, frankly dangerous, but more so than that is the fact that you can’t go anywhere without a car (which costs money), you can’t park anywhere for free, and if you aren’t EXTREMELY careful, you’ll earn yourself a traffic or parking ticket of some sort, (which costs a BOATLOAD of money). Needing a car to get anywhere makes LA extremely isolating, but it also makes it difficult to split an apartment with multiple roommates–something New Yorkers have down to an art. Often, apartments in LA don’t come with enough designated parking to even match the number of bedrooms within an apartment–frequently, they don’t come with designated parking at all. And as I’ve just said, parking in LA is hardly ever free. If you live on a street where there is always ample street parking, count your blessings because you have found a gem, m’dear.

So, the need for parking and the isolating factor of the city’s culture and structure makes it not only difficult to meet potential roommates, but also finding that sweet balance of fitting the needs of everyone you live with and still being affordable. It’s hard enough for me–someone with a full time job AND side jobs (so I actually have some money I can put towards savings)–I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for someone who works a similarly paid gig while having to support a family, or someone who can barely afford rent but also needs a car for work–you get my drift. And all the while, I only have to look towards the hills to see those sparkling mansions with their private pools and 5-acre yards.

To get to the point, I guess what I’m saying is that I am starting to like LA. (What? That didn’t come across in what I’ve just mentioned?) No, really, it’s grown on me a lot since I got here, and that’s why I care so much (well, that, and also because social injustice). But the wealth disparity is a real hard lump to swallow.

So, if you want to move to LA, just know that there are still very visual injustices in this world. But the weather is nice.

-tlc

Taking the PCH of Life

No, PCH is not a drug. It’s short for Pacific Coast Highway. 

So, as many of you know, I’ve been doing a series on transitioning from college life into the big scary world of real-ness.  As I write this, I am sitting in quad-like area between the Beverly Montage Hotel and the building where I intern part-time. I am surrounded by a vibrant buzz of voices–to my right sits a Jewish family from France, to my left, an Italian couple, behind me, a lesbian couple and their daughter. Still more people surround us in this green plaza. LA is full of people. And cars.  There’s so much traffic I can hardly find anything else to talk about. 

But really, a description of Los Angeles is not what I sat down here to write. What I want to tell you is this:

Everything is going to be okay.  

Honestly, it is. It’s not easy, but it will be okay.  The key is to keep your head about the water when you feel like life is rushing in at you.  There will be times you are miserable, there will be times when you are so anxious you can’t seem to sleep. And, there will be times when you are just so terrified of being where you are that you can’t stop the waterworks. For hours, maybe days. But, it will all be okay.  

In the weeks, days, and hours leading up to my move here, and my father’s departure back to Kansas, I was so filled with anxiety that I barely had an appetite. I kept a smile on my face as much as I could by pushing off the knowledge that I was moving over a thousand miles away from home and that if I got homesick, it would take a little bit more than a two hour drive to visit home. It also didn’t help that in the few weeks I had between Texas and California, I developed a sudden nostalgia for the open plains of Kansas and the quiet safety and comfortability of my parents’ home.  

But, I came. And my dad left. And I cried so much he left me one of his hankies, because I ran out of tissues. I cried so much I couldn’t stop the tears when I tried to visit with the woman I was living with. The woman who I had only known in person for a few days’ time.  Lucky for me, she was kind and understanding, and I didn’t worry so much about weirding her out. And then, you know what happened?  The tears stopped. I went to my internship. I thought it was weird that I was interning instead of getting paid for work, and the first time they sent me out for coffee, I could feel my Bachelor’s degree crying a little bit, deep in my chest. But I also thought it was awesome. Both places were I intern are filled with posters from the movies that the company, or the company’s many executives, have helped produce. Movies like Ghostbusters and Disturbia, Caddyshack, Hook, and even Black Swan.

Still, I was feeling pretty useless, and going through bouts of worry that I was wasting valuable time–time that I could be working, getting experience doing a real, grown-up job, getting paid, being able to afford my own place, and the ability to start investing for my retirement and large future purchases, like a home. Or a new Macbook, obvi.

But then something great happened last Thursday–I got to sit down with one of the assistants at one of the places where I work, and go over my coverage with him. Now I was terrified of critiques; I just KNEW my inexperience in the film industry and my smallish knowledge of films was going to show through. I had also been feeling depressed because some of our assistants recently had birthdays–28ths and 29ths–and I was thinking, “If I’m still just an assistant by the time I’m that old, then what am I doing in this industry? I don’t want that–I want to be steadily on my way towards a successful career by the time I’m thirty. I want to feel like I’m working in my career by the time I’m thirty!” But he sat me down, and I could hear my heart beating in my chest. He said, “Honestly, I don’t even know what to say. If I could give grades for coverages, this would be an A+.” And I about fainted with such a blood rush to my head! I was so happy I laughed–not like a cool laugh, but one of those dorky giggles mixed with a weird cackle type thing. You know, typical awkward me. Then he did something even more amazing: he talked to me about the company, what projects they were doing, where the company was going, and what sorts of projects the company was potentially interested in. In our discussion, I realized that, even though his title had ‘assistant’ tucked into it, this dude, as well as the other assistants in the company, were really vital parts of the company, and had a serious hand in the development aspects of the company’s work. Maybe it’s not so bad to be almost thirty and still working as an assistant.  

He also walked me through some ideas for employment ideas after the internship–where to look, how my internship experience and the company could help me land interviews that will set me on the right track to becoming a writer’s assistant and eventually–if all goes well–a writer myself.  It filled me with a new hope that all was not for nothing after all.  

And I want you to know that, too.  No matter what you’re doing right now–whether you have employment, are still in school, or still wandering in that in-between stage–know that it isn’t for nothing.  You are gaining something valuable, be that experience or education, and as long as you continue to strive and to reach for the opportunities you want, it’ll all be okay. Your life path will not always be clear or straight, but it will always be okay.  

As a parting sentiment until my next post, I want to leave you with a speech Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe from FRIENDS!) gave that really resonated with me: 

Lisa Kudrow Commencement Address 2010

Until Next Thursday,

Yours truly,

tlc

 

P.S. Was this helpful? Do you have specific questions you’d like me to answer in my next post? Let me know in the comments!

Questioning Everything

Graduation is three weeks away. I have one Monday left of classes after this week, and then I have finals week. Then, my life as I’ve known it for the last seventeen years ends. I’ll be shoved out into the “real world,” trying to claw my way through jobs and finances, trying to make my life.

I know I’m starting to be a bit of a broken record, but,

I’m terrified.

Last week I announced my summer plans and my tentative plans for the fall; while those have not changed, I’ll admit that, thinking about all of the preparation that must go into my plans, and thinking about how I will get a roof over my head and food on my plate is frightening.  I’ve known since before I left for college that ultimately, in order to really discover myself, I was going to need to leave Kansas. I’m excited for it–I’ve never been to San Antonio, and it’s been ages since I’ve been to LA and I am practically a stranger to the city. I’m ready to gain a new perspective and indulge in a new subculture of America. But I am going to miss my family and friends here. In a way, I feel almost as trapped thinking about my inability to visit my family whenever I want to once I move, as I do when I contemplate the idea of never leaving Kansas and living in any place new. It is a terribly lonely prospect to move far away on your own.

However, I suppose the only way I can take it is as an opportunity for growth.  Just like college, only this time, instead of worrying about grades, I’ll be worrying about money. Perhaps I can learn not to worry so much about that, either. I’ve heard that it can be an incredibly freeing experience to accept a certain level of poverty and still find a way to live off of it.

And perhaps my friends and family, being a little more financially stable than I will be, will take the time to come visit me and keep in touch with me frequently in between visits.

I will say that, though I have been met with some skepticism from those concerned for my financial well-being (my parents and a few other caring mentors) I have been met with twice as much enthusiasm, particularly from those who live out in LA already, or have family and/or friends living out in LA. I’m taking this as a good sign, a reassurance that this move will be alright. I’m not sure if it’s out of sheer politeness, or if people are honestly this excited and supportive, but I truly appreciate it, and I thank God for it, because I’ve been praying for his guidance a lot lately, and, though I feel that I typically have a difficult time discerning his will, I think this feels like a pretty clear sign to me.

So, yes, I’m terrified. And yes, I will bawl like a baby when graduation comes, and a weekend full of goodbyes will be necessary. KU has been an amazing experience, and I’ve made some lifelong, amazing friends. But it’s time. It’s time to move on to the next step. And I can finally say that, while it’s a terrifying step, it finally feels like a step, and not a jump, or a leap. I can finally say that, though it took some time, I am beginning to accept this transition.

Until next Monday, when I hopefully have something a bit more interesting to discuss,

Yours truly,

tlc

 

Tina Fey: A Response to “5 Reasons Why Amy Poehler Should be Everyone’s Role Model”

Yesterday I happened to read a great post by Thought Catalog’s Jessie Garber on why Amy Poehler should be everyone’s role model (if that wasn’t clear in the title).  I think it’s great, I really do.  Being a funny (well, hey, I try) girl myself, I love that people love strong women with strong senses humor and big hearts and minds.  The simple fact that a woman like Amy Poehler can have a huge fan base, mad respect and success in her craft–which, as far as success in comedy goes, is still largely a male-dominated talent–is incredible. High-five humanity.

However, being an avid Tina Fey fan, I think this opens up the perfect opportunity to point out why TINA should be everyone’s role model, because, let’s face it, she is the type of awesome that everyone NEEDS to strive for. So with that, I give you:

5 Reasons Why Tina Fey Should be Everyone’s Role Model

BOOM.  Let’s start this off right with #1:

Amy Poehler may be hilarious, but Tina Fey is HYSTERICAL. Also a fellow Saturday Night Live alum, Tina Fey wrote AND starred in Mean Girls and also starred in Baby Mama, but more importantly, has starred in films like Date Night along such comedy greats like Steve Carell. She wrote and starred in her hit show, 30 Rock, in which she played the strong, though relate-ably awkward, female head writer for a semi-successful comedy show.  The characters Tina plays, like Liz Lemon, are strong, successful women who are down-to-earth and keep a strong head on their shoulders.  Tina shows us all that you can–and should–laugh through all the ups and downs, and you should never stop working hard, and never stop pushing for your goals.

“I want to go to there” -Liz Lemon, aka Tina Fey

#2: Tina is a jack-of-all-trades, and her humor is transparent. She’s also three steps ahead. In 2011, she published her super-hilarious autobiography, Bossypants, a book which details a incredibly inspirational and uplifting story about a woman navigating her way through a male-dominated business, learning and loving along the way, dealing with her body and her body image, and balancing work, marriage, and motherhood in only a way Tina Fey could achieve.  Not to mention, she then did the recorded version for the audiobook edition herself, and it was even more hilarious.

#3: This awards speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vLFYs2n9Go

Need I say more?

#4: She is an inspiration for all young women. A self-proclaimed “supernerd,” Fey fearlessly admits to spending her adolescence indoors, enjoying game nights with her friends, instead of falling into the endless drama and woe that is teenage dating, or getting caught up at parties or in drug use. She realizes that most teenagers are self-conscious about their social lives, and to that she says, hey, it’s okay.  Be safe, have fun, be happy. You don’t have to party to have fun or friends.

#5: Along with several charities and causes that she supports, as well as her endless resume of comedy, acting, theater, show-hosting, and writing, Tina Fey is also a wife and mother to two daughters.  Like Amy Poehler, Tina is outspoken about body image and women’s rights.  Her talent, success, and ability to navigate the waters of business and home life should be an inspiration and role model to us all.  Move over, Amy, your best friend would like to share the spotlight.

And that’s my two-cents.

-tlc