Ladies and Gentlemen,
I found employment. In New York City.
To say that I have mixed feelings about leaving LA is an understatement. After I decided to take the offer, I cried at least 3 times a day and didn’t sleep for a week. And then I had to pick myself up the ground and downsize my walk-in closet wardrobe (perhaps the most tear-inducing part).
Believe me — I know that I am leaving one terrible dating scene for an arguably worse one. But I didn’t take this job to find Prince Charming in the dungeon kingdom that is New York City. I took this job because it was a great career opportunity and it seemed like the right time to take a chance and go on a new adventure.
This new adventure will end the chapter known as LAMatchbook. But hey – you never know – maybe I’ll find inspiration and create NYMatchbook. Lord knows there are plenty of douchebags in NYC; they are just dressed better.
Thank you all for your support. It has been such a fun journey to share my LA dating fiascos with all of you.
This is not Good-Bye. I’ll see you in the Next Life.
The sad reality is that I turn 30 in a few days.
I never really had a vision for myself at 30, much less at 40 or 50 or 90. I just wanted to be healthy, happy, and employed in a challenging job. Thus far, I have succeeded at 1 out of 3.
A good friend of mine turned 30 one month before I do and I was really impressed by a list she made in her late 20s, which catalogued 30 things to achieve before 30. Around age 28, I thought that I should write one for myself. But somehow I never got around to it, which is probably very indicative of my very nature.
Recently, upon the harsh realization that I could no longer deny that 30 is almost here, I catalogued what it was that I did get around to in my 20s. It turns out that I did okay. And you know what, okay is good enough for now. Here goes:
- Eat a meal alone. I actually now love walking to a bar in a restaurant, ordering a glass of wine, and enjoying a meal on my own. I have business travel and unemployment to thank for this. And guess what — you meet a lot of interesting people this way.
- Go to the movies alone. Again, unemployment really got me out of my shell for going to the movies alone. How else was I supposed to spend a hot Tuesday spring afternoon in LA?
- Fix a clogged toilet. I lived with my parents for 3 years in my mid-twenties (hey, it was the recession…) and the house’s plumbing was out of the 1930s. So I had to constantly call my dad for advice on how to plunge the toilet. At age 29, alone in said house on a getaway weekend, the toilet clogged. And for the first time ever, I fixed it by myself. It was the most triumphant Friday night I had in years.
- Learn what you want to do in a job and what you don’t want to do in a job. Want to know why I’m still unemployed? Because I said no to 3 jobs I knew were going to make me miserable all over again. It’s fiscally stupid but morally responsible to all parties involved.
- Learn to take criticism.
- Save money. The only reason I’m surviving on California’s unemployment payments is because I saved so much in my 20s. I have a family who welcomed me in to save on rent which I recognize is a unique situation but there are still little ways to save money. I religiously read resources like Learnvest and The Muse which have great tips.
- Try and fail. I tried and I failed at many, many things. And I’m stronger for it.
- Smiling despite all odds. Trying doing it during your darkest hours — it really helps.
- Travel the world.
- Learn how to cook basic meals. I have unemployment to thank for turning me into a banana bread-baking Martha Stewart. My waistline is not as thankful.
- Just say yes.
- I know the difference between a Phillips screwdriver and a slot screwdriver. Do you?
- Have hope.
- Find good people. Surround yourself with them. LA is full of phonies but even I found the few gems in the rough.
- Kill bugs in your house. I actually got over this phobia at age 8 going to camp in Wisconsin but it’s an important thing to learn to deal with, ladies.
- Recognize that you’re only 30. The sky is the limit.
I certainly didn’t make it to 30 accomplishments but I can’t help but thank Carrie Bradshaw with leaving some very wise words that speak to all generations: “The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.” I have a feeling that I’m only skimming the surface of that relationship.
Recently I flew up to the Silicon Valley area for an interview at a major internet company. LAX’s computer broke down that afternoon so I had no choice but to entertain myself in San Jose airport for 4 hours. Naturally, my first intention was to head to the bar. I learned:
- I need a portable iPhone charging device. For the woman on the go like I am.
- Your family wants to hear more often from you than the infrequent times you are delayed in an airport in California (which btw, I have forgotten in my spoiled SoCal life: airport delays are quite frequent in climates that aren’t constantly sunny & 78 degrees).
- Fun fact: free wifi in the SJC airport! For Tindering engineers and such!
- There are no cute young men business travelers in San Jose.
- However, there are an abundant amount of businessmen from your dad’s generation who will have a beer with you and tell you that your generation is screwed in this economy. To which I gamely replied, “I’m aware, unemployed, have a 401k, and am up here for an interview subsequently. And, yes, I have zero hope for my generation. But I don’t think that’s Obama’s fault.” (Cue the crickets; we were near Palo Alto after all.)
I called my mother the other day to say hello as it was 2 PM on a Tuesday and I was job-less and bored. She did not ask me about my day or job search and immediately launched into Future Grandson Watch — Day 263. For 15 minutes, I got to hear the disturbing ins and out of my sister’s Braxton Hicks cramps (no, I do not know how to spell that).
For a split second, the younger child in me got upset that no one was paying attention to me and my latest unemployment drama. Then, it hit me: the pressure is off. A.’s sad single and unemployed state is inconsequential in the bigger game of the future grandson’s arrival. For the next 1-5 years, my mother will not ask me about my latest, saddest dates, why I haven’t met anyone nice, and when she’ll become a grandmother. Instead, all my family cares about is:
2) If I get a job soon.
3) Which family member has to take me in which I inevitably can’t afford my LA lifestyle any longer.
The bar has been set THIS low. And damn — it feels good.
On to the next adventure in unemployed–