If you’ve been following me on various spaces of the internets, you know I left all my ex’s in Texas to spend the summer in Phoenix, Arizona working as a blogger for the local alternative weekly. Expletive-worthy weather notwithstanding, this gig was the learning experience I needed it to be. One, I got to flex my journalistic and creative muscle. Two, I got paid for it. Real American dollars, kid. Mama, I made it!
Okay, okay, I have 20ish years before I reach the Big Time, but this was my first real stint as a working journalist. I was out on my own, 17 hours and one time zone away from my family, using my 6-month old journalism degree to cover the arts and culture section. I’m back in DFW now, and ready to reflect on my months in The Valley of the Sun. Here’s what I learned
(1) You don’t have to get head-in-bucket drunk to schmooz with the Boss
Welcome party with open tab courtesy of the company? Don’t mind if do! Again. And again. And again. I made the Brazilian caipirinha my drink of choice for the night (if you’ve never had one before, just know that even the bartender had to make sure I knew what I was ordering.) The higher ups had this uncanny ability to notice when my glass was empty, and I spent the evening hobnobbing with the best of ‘em. I’m notorious for not “acting” drunk, and I even successfully hung out with the other fellows in the program for a while after the welcome party ended. But then…I tried to lie down and go to sleep.
The room somehow turned upside down. And sideways. And upside down again. I felt like I was tumbling thought friggin’ outer space. It’s been a year since my trip to Brasil and six months since I was a “college kid”, so my liver didn’t know what the hell was going on.
My new roommate went into Super Roommate Mode and made sure everything that belonged in the trashcan made it to the trashcan, if ya know what I mean. Thanks, gurl. The next morning, I groggily read text messages and tweets saying “where are you??” and “you okay, Eve?”
Apparently I just got up and ran out of my room that night without uttering a word to my roommate and was gone for like an hour. Oh, I didn’t mention it? Yeah I was searching for a place to expel my insides in private. I was actually thinking of my poor roommate. I mean, who can fall asleep to dry heaving????
Next time, I’ll swap the sugar cane liquor for good ol’ agua, por favor.
See what had happened was…
I met him at a party. I was at said party by myself because when I get bored with life I do things like go to parties in a new city by myself. He was cute. We danced face to face #soiknowitsreal. Phone number politely requested. I said aight. He called me. I answered. Yup, we should see each other again.
Problem: Try explaining to someone that no, you’re not avoiding them, but yes, my 9-5 job is really a whenever I assign you something – whenever I tell you to turn it in job. So no, I can’t have dinner with you. I’d rather not plan a date at all than plan one and miss it at the last minute, so… don’t call me, I’ll call you. #journalistproblems
I was reluctant to hang out with him because (1) I’m only in Arizona temporarily, so what’s the point? (2) I know NOTHING about this guy. That’s when I realized dating after college/in a new city will be so awkward. I have absolutely no background on anybody.
There’s no third party telling me if he’s a good guy or not. No gossip. No rumors. No mutual friends. No scorned ex. No “oh I’ve seen him around campus”. He’s a perfect stranger. I have to take his word for it and get to know him by…actually hanging out with him. OH THE HORROR!
But being a woman of my word, I finally called and asked him out for drinks. Sure, I was leaving for Texas in a week (see how it was pointless??) but what the hell. The mini-date was nice and gurl *pops gum* he was cute but then he said he’d miss me and i was like
YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW ME, KID. Ugh. They all just want tha goodz anyway. *flips imaginary straight hair*
(3) There really are cool ass people to make friends with after college
Hey, sometimes you just wonder if anyone can even compare to your college friends. Of course I didn’t pack up my friends and put them under my bed to collect dust with my diploma, but as we move to different states and start our careers or whatever, you gotta wonder: is there life after the people you spent 4ish years with crashing wild parties and enduring completely avoidable allnighters?
I lucked out, because the other people in the program are the bee’s muhhfuggin knees. I had someone to share my frustrations with, someone to make fun of (lovingly, of course), and someone to make me laugh. We shared many a taco and Tecate this summer and took a weekend trip to the Grand Canyon.
Then, there’s my birthday. My birthday’s never been much of a big deal because it’s in the summer. I loathe all of you from elementary school who got to bring cupcakes or popsicles or friggin’ cookie cake and a cooler of chilled Caprisun and entice the entire damn class into celebrating the day of your gotdamn birth. **breathes heavily**
But leave it to my roommate to go into Super Roommate Mode again. I usually saunter into the office at 10, and when I opened the door, everybody screamed HAPPY BIRTHDAY! or SURPRISE! – I don’t remember which, because it was taking me way longer than necessary to process what was happening. Balloons? A banner? Party hats? OHMYGOD IS THAT…CAKE?
My face said “ARE YOU ON BATH SALTS?!?!” but I really appreciate everything they did. I honestly wasn’t expecting anything like that. Made a sista feel special n’ whatnot. *black gurl blush*
Now I got
hoes fine young individuals in all area codes.
(4) If you take the initiative and put in the work, people notice.
It’s one thing to know you’re capable. It’s another (more useful) thing to have an actual media outlet vouch for those capabilities. I knew video journalism was something I wanted to get better at. The company I was working for isn’t known for creating videos, so it was up to me to pitch story ideas and reiterate my interest in video. In the last two weeks of my fellowship, my editors gave me an opportunity to create all the video content for the website’s “Best Of 2012″ issue. It was definitely a time crunch, but I managed to pull it off and shoot 7 videos in about 8 days. If I was never vocal about my interests and published a couple videos for them already, they wouldn’t have trusted me to take on such a big task.
Welp. That’s all I got. I’m still searching (kinda) for full time employment. I also REALLY want to fly away and live in Magical Black Brooklyn, but I’d need several gigs lined up to make enough monies while I’m there. I have no idea what I’m going to do next with my life. So the story continues…