Man oh man. You know when you’re speeding on the freeway, then all of a sudden, you’re forced to slam on your brakes to keep from crashing into the car in front of you? That’s exactly how I feel right now … but in a good way.
Two weeks ago, I started a new job as a digital media producer for a TV network. It’s a promotion and a significant step up from the daytime talk show I worked for, but I guess it depends on who you ask. People who adore Dr. Phil and Maury might disagree. It’s like I’m little orphan Annie when she first enters Daddy Warbucks’ mansion, “I think I’m gonna like it here!” See below. There are shiny elevators, Outlook 2010, conference rooms with long, cherrywood tables and floor-to-ceiling windows. A 401K! Marketing brainstorms! And, perhaps the most luxurious thing of all: managers, directors, vice presidents and presidents who actually believe in what they’re working toward, and realize the value of every single one of their employees. But while I’ve moved upward in my personal career path, I can’t discount the incredible learning experience that was two and a half years at a mid-grade daytime talk show. I am a completely different person than I was the first day I walked into the web department, wearing slacks, heels and a creme crocheted sweater, eager to start my big writing job at a television program. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but it wasn’t what I’d imagined. Computers were out of date, people were unfriendly and one time I was verbally abused for using the word “discover.” Our department director was MIA most of the time, and when she wasn’t, she was either yelling, lying or talking about Botox. But the upsides to all those things were, it was up to my team and me to run the web department by being incredibly hands on and staying resilient when production used us like toilet paper. It was basically “The Little Web Department That Could,” and because of that, I walked out on my last day with a thicker backbone, better writing skills and a thousand tons of knowledge.
But my escape from daytime TV didn’t come without sacrifice (albeit arbitrary and wow I hate myself.) My commute went from 15 minutes to 50. I can’t cut out at 4:30 just because I feel like it. I definitely miss some of the people/friends I worked with and the food on the Paramount lot. And maybe the biggest sacrifice is, my new position doesn’t involve writing, which is probably why I felt the need to write this blog post. While writing for the daytime show’s website wasn’t fulfilling after just a few months, it’s still something that makes me happy for some unexplainable reason. I’m hoping that the lack of editorial duties in my current position will inspire me to write on my own, about things I care about. And look! I’m sort of doing that right now! If you’re reading this, you caught me in a moment of realization. Another thing I should probably mention is, if it weren’t for The Little Web Dept that Could’s lax hours, I probably couldn’t have finished the book I wrote. Update: I sent it out to five agents, and got five rejections. I know that’s not even the tip of the iceberg, but I’m taking a breather from that monstrosity of a project. At this point it’s a very love-hate relationship.
I compared myself to a speeding automobile in the introduction because, ever since I put in my notice, I’ve been celebrating non-stop. Eating, drinking, staying up ’til dawn. It’s like 29 is the new 21, except less vodka and more wine. Then, starting the new gig has expanded my brain like the world’s biggest sponge (it’s still growing RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!) and holy pineapple-upside-down-cake it’s wonderful … and exhausting. Last night (Friday), I left work at 8 p.m., got home around 9 and hit the brakes by collapsing into bed after eating for the first time in seven hours. And you know what? It felt really great.
The point of my story is, I love everything I learned from my old job. I love my new job. I love sleep now more than ever. And lastly, my tendency to blog about my career changes is something to consider. Am I a workaholic? Or am I just boring and have nothing better to talk about? It’s 10 a.m., I should get out of bed now.