Thursday, October 22, 2015

Post Grad You Are Terribly Beautiful

So I'm digging up some real dusty writing here. I wrote the first entry back in September of 2011, shortly after graduating from college and while living in St. Louis.

I was eager to start work in my field and frustrated with the less than glamorous post grad life I was leading. 

September 18th, 2011

Oh, post grad; you dreadful, beautiful thing you. I thought college was hard with tests, math problems, early classes, and using public bathrooms. But no, post grad you take the cake.

You have me working two jobs that are completely and irrevocably unrelated to my major. Instead of planning events, I eavesdrop on a group of men that are holding a lunch meeting for an events planning committee in the restaurant I work at.

Casually refilling waters with inconspicuous grace, my heart lusts to be the one examining the goals for the snazzy gala they've been commissioned to plan.

The men lazily peel the labels off their buds; drum their waxy, seemingly under-worked hands on the table before them - unaware the my hands are coarse and dry from washing them too many times to rid them of the grit and grime collected from picking up other people's forks.

But hey, this isn't me complaining. This is me just stating the facts.

Beyond sweeping bread crumbs, evading creepy male costumers, and stealing dinner rolls, my budding college grad career also entails helping other people spend their money. Yes, I work in retail.

The glittering shopping center I once frolicked in as a middle schooler is now my prison. Cold wrought iron bars made up of the latest fashion garments hold me captive to one particular clothing store.

When I'm not an absolute zombie folding clothes for hours on end, I'm scurrying around the store in uncomfortable (but dress code necessary) ballet flats heeding to the barks and demands of manages and customers alike.

"A size six, in black" or "Fetch some more hangers you squally maid!" are some of the usual orders. Alright that last one was a bit of a stretch, but you get the picture.

This all sounds nightmarish and at times it is, but there are a few redeeming qualities to post grad life. One of those being my adorable studio apartment that sits nestled on the 3rd story of what looks to be a decrepit housing unit.

"No, no" I assure my guests, "That's the right place. No, you won't be held at gunpoint approaching the front door; I'll be right down to let you in."

It's just like that old saying, you can't judge a book by its cover. Because once the pink letter "T" adorned door to number 38 swings open, you'll find yourself in the bright, cheery, and oh so humble abode of a twenty two year old girl.

Apart from the vintage mauve dresser, Chinese cherry blossom fan, robin's egg blue curtains, and canvas futon, there isn't too much to take in.

But it has my taste, my influence, little impressions, and even a touch of class. Retro poinsettia embellished TV trays replace where most would have a proper table, but that darn retail job just doesn't seem to leave much room for such extravagances.

Heck, I'm blessed to have a microwave (thanks Brit). 

I mentioned redeeming qualities of post grad life in the plural senses. While the bulk of these qualities are encompassed in my having my own place, self-establishment, blah blah, independence, there is one glorious element that resides outside of the physicality of having my own place. There is HOPE.

You see, while I'm crawling and scraping to get by, coming home with aching feet, making ramen noodles for the thousandth time, and saying no to the "looks like it was made for you" dress at the store - I know that things can only get better from here. 

With every cover letter I write, a little bubble of hope takes off into the sky.

And I wait. And I hope. And I trust.

Because my God takes care of me and I know that someday a reply E-mail will come riding in like a white knight on a valiant steed, ready to scoop me off my feet and inform me that I've been requested for an interview.

And I'll land the entry level job of my dreams, or something close to that. I'll start at the bottom, and things will still be tough for a while, but little by little things will get better.

I'll start buying chicken to cook instead of ramen noodles, and I'll be darned if I don't buy a cable/internet package. And most importantly, I'll be doing what I love.

Post grad you are terribly beautiful.

October 19th, 2015

I look back on this messy little rant and chuckle inwardly. Twenty-two year old Taylor bummed internet off of the local Starbucks to post this piece as a "Note" on Facebook back in 2011.

Pardon my sounding like your great Aunt Bertha, but my how times flies.

I'm grinning at my keyboard with knowledge that I am approaching my one year anniversary at my current job as a Project Manager, Social Media strategist.

The stolen dinner rolls, clothing hangers, and over-washed hands are now but mere flecks in the vast vault of my memory bank.

To those of you impending upon post grad or to those of you in the miserable thick of it, it does get better.

Keep applying, keep sending cover letters. Scrounge for just the experience even when you desperately need the salary to go with it.

Take the waitressing job, pay your bills, make friends, grow some tougher skin, learn a little about fine wine, and most importantly: Keep looking. Don't settle.

Leave your best blazer and heels out as a reminder. 

And you'll get their my friend. Post grad, you are terribly beautiful.

I'd love to hear any of your comments on post grad life. How is post grad life for you? Is it what you expected?

Post your comments below! :)

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