Alright, Blog, Let’s Chat

There’s JET. There’s this opportunity at the FMF. There’s life. There’s liquor.

Tonight. I chose liquor after 14.77 hours of choosing the 1st, 2nd, and unmentioned fourth. I got to the FMF/Ms. at 9:00am this morning. I clocked out at Islands at 11:45 tonight. That’s a hell of a freaking long day.

I have JET – I could go to Japan and teach English for a year… paid… an apartment… in Japan… be abroad… holy shit thing I’ve sought out, things I’ve considered selling everything I own to do (to backpack, to travel, to live abroad) — all paid for, and paid for well, and I’d live abroad and gain global perspective and learn a new language and the benefits go on and on. But I’d be in Japan. Not in the US. Not starting the path of my career that I want to be on. That I’m passionate about. The one that I’m meant to be on.

Then I found out late last night that the exec. vice president of the FMF is hiring a new assistant; hers is leaving. I’m not an assistant person. Let’s all take a momend and be honest. Nobody that reads this NEEDED to take a moment. Me – in an assistant position – it doesn’t work. The math doesn’t add right. The equations don’t equal. To be a good assistant, one must be organized and a micromanager. Me? My Strengths? I’m an idea’ist, a big-picture person, a writer, an editor, a loyal friend, but I am not organized. I am not a micromanager.

But I interviewed today. With nearly (nearly) everything I am I interviewed today. I impressed myself. For a job I’m not entirely sure I’m cut our for and even more entirely sure Noelle is meant for (fellow intern – good friend), I surprised myself by how well I interviewed. I could feel it in my bones – I know when I do well, I know when an interview goes well – and then at the end?

Let me regale you with what she said. I’m so happily drunk, I may have spelled regailed… regaled? you incorrectly.

She said.

Almost nearly. I’d be stupid not to go to Japan. “I could make an argument for all the reasons you need to accept this offer in Japan.”

And I want to laugh, want to say – oh this is so my life – she basically offered Noelle the job in front of me, telling me how amazing I am, how much she admires my work and my writing, but saying she respects me enough to say with honesty that I’d be dumb to give up an opportunity with the salary of the Japan offer. But it was flattering and helpful, too, because she mocked teaching English. Actually sort of mocked it. In the way that only KS can do – becuase it didn’t come across condescending or cruel – it came across honest, more like I think about it and understand it than I’ve been able to describe to anyone.

“Let’s be serious. You won’t have to be teaching ESL [English as a 2nd language] forever. You think this will divert you from your career path, but if you choose to go into non-profit, women’s work, this will enhance your resume, make you even more valuable.”

She was the first one to speak to my fears about this issue and not just my heart. My heart will always say jump ship and be scared and be abroad. My fears relate to my mind, and my mind will always say fight for your career.

She combined it all and said – do it, and you will be fighting for your career.

So maybe, at the end of the day, KS FMF, taught me a lesson that no other interviewer, no other job position holder, no other key to my future, could offer; she gave me peace.

She won’t choose me. I know this. She’ll choose Noelle. And my ego will take a hit, but then it won’t, you know? Because tears come to my eyes when I think of how fit Noelle is for this position and just how destined I am to work in the editorial field – in some non-profit, for women capacity. I will start trying to freelance and try to build a career from there.

And I may not make the most realistic, down to earth, practical choices every time I come to these place of utter, stressful, absolutely impossible, difficult decision places, but I will always fight for what I believe in, for what i stand for, and that is one part, one line, of my failed interview today that I will always believe, to which I’ll always stay true.

I’ll freelance write. I’ll find an editorial position, some way, some how.

And when I’m stressed as i was today, I’ll end the night drinking Long Islands with friends, belting out “If I Could Turn Back Time” at the most fun of karaoke bars, reminding myself all the while that “$15 drinks” really means – “You made it to LA.”

Dreams do come true.

No matter what my choices, this is just the beginning… right?

Published in: on April 25, 2009 at 11:56 am  Comments (1)  

Cape Town: My One True Love

There’s a kid named Alex who goes to UNL who is currently studying abroad in Botswana (so envious!). He’s headed to Cape Town for the weekend, I’m assuming. He asked me what he should see/do while he’s there. I wasn’t online when he asked me this so I responded to him in a facebook post. I said:

everything – is your answer in cape town. everything. just stand in one place, turn in circles, take deep breaths, maybe close your eyes for a second and just take it in. it’s beautiful – no matter where you are, what you’re in front of – it’s just fucking breathtaking.

when you’re done with all that do Long Street. and i do mean DO. everywhere is amazing. everything is amazing. there is also what we dubbed the “gay strip” that’s fantastic if you like gay bars, but that’s not on long. robin island is amazing, of course. cape of good hope, the penguin colony, Canal Walk, amazing restaurants everywhere (eat pizza on Long!), and there are museums and all that jazz all around. but really – go spend a day at the beach and check out the mountains. it’s like almost painful how incredible it all is. drive/climb table mountain and see the view – it will blow you away. go abseiling and kloofing. you can see museums anywhere – go jump off cliffs while you’re in cape town!

I was struck by how much I both remember and have forgotten – I couldn’t remember the actual name of so many places, but the image and feeling of the places themselves was still so vividly with me. It also was surprising to see just how much I came to know and love a city after such a (relatively) short time. I know Cape Town. and then, it surprised me even more to realize that I NEVER did a museum in Cape Town. not once. and with all the history in South Africa, that should appall me, but it absolutley doesn’t. I did South Africa the way I want to do it again and again and again – at a completley visceral level. I felt it all, man. I jumped off cliffs.

After I wrote this – without much thought, all it just feeling and remembering – I read through it and couldn’t help but come to the strikingly clear conclusion that Cape Town may be the love of my life. I’d even chase it to an airport and buy a ticket to tell it I love it. This must be the real thing.

Published in: on April 18, 2009 at 10:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Turns Out… Rejection Letters Are So 2008

I applied to a Random House associate program – they hire recent graduates interested in publishing with a year contract. They encourage their own program members to apply for jobs in the company at the end of the year. I expected it to be quite competitive, I wondered if I could get in, I slaved over crafting the perfect cover letter and resume.

This is the response I received this afternoon:

Dear Cynthia,

Thank you for applying to the 2009 Random House, Inc. Associates Program.

Unfortunately, the program has been suspended for this year. Please feel free to visit our job board at for further opportunities that are of interest to you and that suit your background. Again, thank you for your interest in Random House and we wish you every success in the future.


Random House Human Resources

Apparently cancellation letters are the new rejection letters.

Intern Noelle applied for this, too and received this email (although if she had been accepted, my email would have been the best rejection letter ever). We took it as a “Welcome to the Real World in 2009, Recent Graduates $60,000 in debt with degrees that they thought promised them enough of a yearly salary to pay off that exhorbitant debt and, perhaps, maybe even provide benefits!”

We spent a solid three minutes laughing.

I think it’s my sign, my permission slip, to run off to Central and South America backpacking for a year.

….but, seriously, couldn’t they have at least told me whether or not I would have been chosen?!

Published in: on April 6, 2009 at 11:53 pm  Comments (1)