What I Learned About Myself While Working My First Job As A Writer

When I was a pre-teen with an attitude I would lock myself in my room, learn fun codes for my MySpace Bio, and flip through the pages of Teen Vogue. At that particular time I began dreaming of a life where I would be cultivating the minds of magazine readers everywhere and working in fashion — basically I thrived to be Carrie Bradshaw. I wondered if this dream come true would be similar to The Devil Wears Prada in which I would be the frumpy-turned-fashion queen empress and work along side a snarky brit? Suppose it would it be like 13 Going On 30 where I could have that breath-of-fresh-air aura that allowed me to bring change and positivity into a cruel and blasé fashion world. Either way, I had fantasized this some kind of magical life as I cut and paste magazine clippings onto vision boards and transitioned from reading Teen Vogue to just Vogue — fantasizing the day when my words would one day fill up the thick glossy paper.

Fast forward to my first year of college and I am studying Education. Fast forward to my second year of college and I am studying Communication — still unsure of what I was to do in this world. It wasn’t until Junior year when I began writing out loud. By the time I graduated, I didn’t know where I was going exactly but I knew where I wanted to end up, writing in silk pajamas.

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In August 2015, two months after I graduated college, I had secured a position as an unpaid Editorial Intern at a local Society – Art – Culture – Fashion Magazine and I was extremely happy. I mean what is money when you snag an opportunity like this am I right? Knowledge is the most valuable currency and I was about to be rolling in figurative dollar bills! The high of working there lasted for roughly a month before I noticed that the environment had taken a toll on me. I was getting to write with and learn from brilliant people all around the office — it was fabulous — but I couldn’t help but notice the shadow of a different version of myself lurking behind me. It was there to tell me, this isn’t you.

While working there was such a valuable learning experience as a writer, it was even more of an experience as a person. It was my first time living in a world that wasn’t designed by a perfect system. No one owed you anything and success had to be earned over time. I learned that my patience level was extremely high but my will to fight the norm was not. I bought shoes that were $600 in hopes to impress and found myself wishing I was better. I felt the things that I liked weren’t as cool as the things everyone else liked and that my target purse just wasn’t up to par. I quickly learned my place in that world and I wasn’t satisfied.

After six months of being there I learned that my work ethic was just fine, my ability to communicate with superiors at ease was on point, but that my individuality had been a little shaken. Was I to let a job mold me as a person? I started to be OK with the fact that yes, everyone does have a place in this world but just because yours is different, doesn’t mean it doesn’t fit. I may not own Louis-Vuttion-Everything but I know that I have way too many Spider-Man collectibles and that is just fine. I am a writer and I knew that that was why I was there, Gucci or no Gucci.

I was sad to have to leave the Magazine only because I felt like I had just began feeling like myself and I was ready for them to see it too. However, I know that things always happen for a reason — and we can always learn from everything we do. Walking through the glass doors one last time was hard because I love what I do. Some experiences, when they end, often leave you feeling broken hearted and wishing you could have a little more time. I want that feeling to transcend into all of the work that I will one day do. I want to remember to hold on to who am I no matter the individuals and handbags that surround me.

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