After a job search that spanned 18 months, about 200 applications, a dozen dead-end interviews, infinity tearful conversations on the phone with parents, and two years at a filler copywriting job that paid well below the standard industry salary, caused an anxiety disorder and filled me with such immense hopelessness and self-doubt that I thought I’d never write, interact, feel or think like myself ever again, the incredible has happened.
I’ve been offered a new job. A great one. At a great company. It just happened. In an email. Poof, email, inbox ticked up by 1, poof, job, for you. “We liked you so much, we…”
And now I:
1) Have nothing, really, to whine about anymore, except for the wildly irritated warren of mosquito bites my legs are currently hosting, due to a weekend of outdoor celebratory partying. These should be gone within the week.
2) Am going to make more money. Not a million dollars. But enough dollars to not feel guilty anymore about 1) spending $8 on a pound of Boar’s Head cheddar at the deli last week, when Krasdale yellow American was on sale 2) getting my own Spotify premium account so I can stop sponging off of my boyfriend’s and mucking up his Joe Cocker playlists with my smutty Top 40 3) buying nice gifts for other people’s weddings 4) getting a goddamn manicure whenever I goddamn want 5) buying lingerie 6) every single cent I dare to spend on anything that isn’t rent, loans and healthy groceries.
3) Can stay in New York without feeling like a total pathetic stalker who can’t take a hint.
4) Am not regretting my entire education, nor the $60,000 in loans I drew to pay for it, nor ever being born.
5) Can pay for more than half of the bill when I go on a date with my boyfriend, more than half of half of the time.
6) Feel like I exist.
7) Don’t have to go to Midtown every day or ever again.
8) Know what it feels like to get that email, read that offer letter, make that phone call to my parents, shaking, nauseous in a stairwell, tell my friends and let them cheers me, give that two weeks notice while wearing my best outfit and my best eyeliner.
9) Have what I deserve, after feeling like, for two solid years, I don’t deserve anything, not because I didn’t deserve anything, but because this is how a person feels when a person doesn’t get 200 jobs she’s qualified for.
10) Am proud of myself in a way I never have been.
At the job I’m leaving, I will miss:
1) Free mini kit-kat bars, that’s it.
Mary Jo lives in Brooklyn.