Blowing Smoke

de9uL9L7RSmzV4SAoAO5_Lauren and Winona Under a pass-1I’m glad most people that read and liked the various articles about me living in my car won’t see this post. This entry is a bit of a turn from the vibe that those car-dwelling articles were about.

Blowing smoke

Ever heard that phrase? Apparently it’s a common phrase yet I had never heard it until recently. There is this version of the phrase that I just put up and there is also a slightly extended version. Both mean similar things. The expression of people giving you compliments and saying they will do something…and then never do.

When the article came out, a handful of people talked about how my story was inspiring, humble, and so forth. I didn’t really understand it considering I just lived in my car to get through college, but nonetheless I went along with it. I knew things were going to die down soon enough. Many people I talked with mentioned that they would try to help me get set up with jobs and careers. They said I could reach out if I ever needed help.

Well, I’ve experienced my fair share of people blowing smoke lately. I was told about a likely job offer only for it to never happen. Then a handful of people got in contact with me and talked about introducing me to potential job leads…only for it to never happen.

I didn’t realize what I was doing wrong at first. I had told the people I was talking with about the types of careers I wanted, the skills I had, and that I was open to moving anywhere in the country for a career I wanted. Things seemed good at first. I was talking with a few people, they were sending information and so forth. The fan fare died down, however, and things have hit a (sort of) brick wall.

I’m no closer to knowing what my future career entails than before the article was released. It wasn’t my intention when writing the article to have it boost my career in any way. It’s just that when I started getting in contact with working professionals saying they wanted to help me, I thought “Hey, maybe a potential lead could come out of this.”

This was far from the reality.

I thought working hard, living in my car freshman year, and taking a full load of classes would get me prepared for the job hunt.

I thought having good grades, a handful of internships, and student involvement would help me secure a job for after graduation.

I thought, I thought, I thought…

I graduate college in 6.5 weeks and I have no idea what comes afterward. This is a weird feeling since my schedule is packed right now. I’m taking 15 credit hours, working a part-time job at a public relations firm, running an organization, and writing my first novel. However, once December hits, most of these things (except for the novel) will go away and I will have an open schedule.

Slightly (okay, very) frightening to say the least.

I always laughed at Lena Dunham’s character in Tiny Furniture. Now I feel like I might become the character.

I’ve always dreamed of moving somewhere else after college (either Chicago, NYC, or Seattle). Lately, I’ve been toying with the idea of going to Chicago for the improv scene. Pretty foolish, right?

On top of all of the lost leads, I haven’t had much time to devote to my novel. It’s my first novel and I’m writing it right now, something I’m proud to be doing, yet I don’t have near the amount of the desired time to do it. It sucks having to put a passion project on the back burner for things like writing papers and studying for tests. Whenever I’m not doing that I’m working my job, whenever I’m not doing that, I’m running an organization. I clock in only a few hours a week toward my novel.

It is the one thing that I can look forward to after graduation…yet I don’t even have the desired amount of time to devote to it. I hate it.

Not exactly how I planned my last semester of college going. Originally I wasn’t going to have the internship at the public relations firm this fall. Not having it would have freed up a lot of time to job search. I socked away money in my savings account and had a good enough financial aid package to get through the semester without working too much. Well, my place of work extended an offer for me to continue the internship through the fall. I wanted to say no but my bank account told me to say yes.

Anyways, what I’ve learned the past few weeks as my college graduation nears is that nothing is guaranteed. People will tell you things then won’t do it. Opportunities will arise, then they will disappear. The only way to get through is to keep moving forward (thanks Walt Disney).

I monitor my time more closely now and put any free time I have toward finishing my novel. I don’t exactly know the type of job I will have but I know the person I want to become.

Last fall I promised one of my teachers, Mr. Zmikly, that I was going to be a speaker at our college’s Mass Communication Week. I even set a date for it, October 19, 2015. This date is starting to make me nervous considering the thought I have of me working in a crappy low pay job and not really seeming all that qualified to be a speaker.

There is something keeping me from believing this. It’s like there are two people in my head: one thinking I’m going to be an unemployed bum and the other thinking “hey, even though this will be freaking tough, I can get through it and come out on top.”

A big thing I learned at my college’s Mass Communication Week last week was simple:

Make things. Get stuff done.

Trei Brundrett of Vox Media said this during a panel. I freaking loved it. Constantly I’m being instructed to have a perfect resume, thoughtful cover letter, 3-5 internships, good GPA, and have a know-how of many different skills. Several of my teachers and the career advisors have jammed this into my (as well as other students) heads.

Thinking of all of this can get overwhelming and leave a person forgetting to do an activity that matters: make things. 

So, even with the lost leads, disappointments, and rejections, I’m going to keep moving forward and keep making things. The “thing” right now include finishing my novel. There is a mass communication job fair tomorrow. Things will move forward, I just have to take the first step.

As Kenan & Kel (mainly Kel) would say, “Aw, here it goes!”

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