Category Archives: post college life

Grown-up things

This week I got my tax return. Exciting, right? It is if you’re a 24-year-old with her first full-time job. I got a REAL tax return. I’m talking more than $20 here people! Throughout college my tax returns were only good for a round at the bar,  and a very cheap round. Not anymore. Holding my hefty tax return was one of those tiny wonderful adult moments. 99 percent of the time I’m juggling work, freelancing, and bills, all while trying to hold on my social life. But sometimes being an adult can be kind of wonderful. Which of course got me thinking about some other little “adult” blessings.

1. 10pm happy hours with my coworkers. Working 1-10pm can be a little rough, especially when your friends are out you know, having fun.  Luckily I’ve got some stellar co-workers who have no problem moving happy hour from 5pm to 10pm.

2. Late night grocery shopping. Most people hate this chore, but I kind of love it. Especially when it’s 10:30pm and I’m the only one at Giant Eagle. Not only do I have the store to myself, but I can shop all for myself. Which means my dad can’t judge me for buying four boxes of cereal and a $12 Wilton pastry sifter.

3. Paid vacation > Gap discount. No matter how stressful work gets, my job is a million times better than Cracker Barrel, Target, Gap, Panera and my stint with Kent State’s Dining Services combined.

4. It’s my money and I’ll spend it if I want to. If I want to use my big girl tax return to buy new clothes and get a new tattoo, I can. Because it’s mine.

5. I’m not alone. Even when I feel like I’m totally fucking up this whole process of growing up, it’s nice to know my friends are right there with me. 

Unemployed no more

I got a job.

I didn’t know how to start this post, so I told myself, “Hey, why not just get to the point straight away for once?”

After one year and three months, 209 job applications, two part-time jobs and several embarrassing episodes of tears and ice cream, I am finally employed.

In two weeks, I’ll start at PR Newswire in Cleveland as an assistant editor. It’s not a job I had ever even considered, but after hearing about it and saying what the hell, I applied. The amazing people who work there and the fast-paced atmosphere cinched it for me. I read a lot about the company and it’s nice to know I’ll be working for an innovative company that isn’t scared of social media or the web. (A nice change from the doomsday predictors found in most newsrooms.)

I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am to be going back to Cleveland. I love the city and fortunately, many of the people I love are also in the area. I’m leaving home, but not really.

I suppose this is the part where I give some hopeful message to job seekers. But that would just seem incredibly lame and pompous. The truth is, I would rather pull my toenails off then relive this last year. It sucked. There were few hopeful moments. Mostly, I was angry, discouraged and depressed by the bleak outlook for journalism. But…(because there’s always a but) this past year taught me more about life than four years of college.

Life is messy. It will chew you up and won’t even bother to spit you out. But sometimes it’s kind of great. Sometimes things work out and you’re able to forget about the crappy times because in the end, the good always outweighs the bad. When I got the job offer, everything else just fell away. All of my hard work was for something. I felt validated. That moment was, well it was amazing, and the feeling still hasn’t worn off.

Naturally, I started packing the minute I got home. As you can see, I started with the essentials.

In two weeks, I'll FINALLY be able to unpack all my stuff that's been stored away for 15 months.

This messy thing called life

I’m starting to realize that whenever I blog about some new change I plan to make in my life, I always end up doing the opposite. If I was smart, I’d stop announcing it to the entire online community, but I’m not one to keep things to myself. Let’s hope I never run for office. I’d hate for my opponent to label me a flip-flop after coming across my blog. But blogs, like your twenties are meant for making changes.

About a month ago I blogged about the end of my relationship with journalism. After a year of job applications and dead ends, it began to feel like my journalism career was coming to a dead end before it even got out of the driveway. I was burnt out and ready to give up and find something else if for no other reason than to throw myself into something new.

For a couple of weeks, I was content with my decision. But then that nagging voice started chiming in, the one that felt the need to constantly repeat the same line: “You’re meant to be a journalist.” Voices can be a pain, especially when you kind of wonder if maybe they’re right.

Around this time, I plopped down in a chair across from my dad and wailed, “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life!” I must say, it felt quite nice to actually say that out loud. Sure I’ve written it on here, but admitting it out loud felt like I knocked the air out of me, but in a good way. My dad, never one to say more than is needed, said to me, without even looking up from his grocery list, “You just gotta keep plugging away kiddo.” Sometimes voices aren’t annoying. Sometimes they’re utterly true.

So that’s what I’m doing. Brittany is plugging away. No more grand announcements about giving up on journalism or moving to New York for an unpaid internship or running away to New Jersey to convince Caroline Manzo‘s adorable son, Albie to marry me. (Although if you’re reading this Albie, tweet me!)

The title of my last post was, “Now is the time for realists.” Although the post is in a sense null and void now, the title still rings true. Now is the time for me to admit that I’m totally confused and a bit lost and utterly terrified of what the future holds. And that’s the most real thing I can say.

So right now I’ve picked up my job search again. I’ve already applied for 10 this week. I’m still studying for the GRE which I’m scheduled to take in July. I’m dreading it, but the results are good for five years so grad school is still an option. And I’m still continuing my glamorous job at Panera with my amazing coworkers.

My life is stressful and messy and confusing and mind-numbing boring at times. But for now, that’s life. All I can do is plug away.