Good things come to those who wait

Though I used my previous blog entry to list my endless amount of technological frustrations, there’s little for me to gripe about today, and that’s saying something since Mondays can be overwhelming. My week got off to a good start this morning, even though I was disturbed to hear about the 4.0 magnitude earthquake (which was initially reported as a 4.3) that struck northern California at 5:30 a.m. Pacific time. A few minutes after I turned on my computer at work, my Twitter feed exploded with earthquake chatter, so being the worrier I am, I phoned my mom in a panic. Though people closer to San Francisco reported waking up to the quake, the only thing that awoke my mom this morning was my phone call. She was of course fine and said the earthquake was nothing more than a fart. We’re unfazed by anything below 5.3, so it makes sense that she slept through the quake.

The start of the month brings obligatory expenses like rent and — if you’re me — gym fees, but today New York Sports Clubs shipped me a complimentary box of fitness center merchandise including a NYSC mug, pair of bike shorts, and backpack, among other things, all because of my Tea to Friends post on their rockin’ services, so that as a nice surprise. Receiving free stuff is not a bad way to begin the week!

This evening, my friend Liz also did a phone interview with me about my childhood hometown for her nonfiction blog about hometowns. She talks to different people about their formative years and writes stories about each of their lives. I’m interested in seeing the final product for our interview and what kind of portrait she will paint of my childhood. Like many of her interviewees, I shared tons of negative memories about my hometown, but ended the discussion on a positive note by mentioning the friends who helped me through the rough patches I endured. Crystal, Nikita, and Lauren were with me for most of it, and to this day I rely on them for a lot. I still view New Years Ever 2011 as the best night of my post-college life, and I attribute that to the presence of Lauren, Crystal, and the three breathtakingly gorgeous guys we hung around all night.

Hey ladies!
Lauren and Laura

Not to get all Kelly Clarkson circa 2002 on you or anything, but some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this, and I’m lucky to have spent it with close friends. In truth, the amazing start of 2012 led me to believe that the year would be perfect. Things are spectacular now, especially since I have returned to the news industry, but January was a pretty miserable month for me. January is known to bring people down, and thankfully I got back up on my feet in no time. I’m finally starting to remember why I had such a good feeling about 2012, and I know the year is only going to get better and better.

I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned my friends’ blog Tea to Friends yet, but you should check it out. Lyzi and Anna started it in late January and have been floored by its instant popularity. Anna and Lyzi have a background writing about serious topics such as education and politics but also enjoy talking about Ryan Gosling and what not, so the blog is basically a safe haven for whatever you want to explore. I’ve written on everything from my embarrassing memories of Disney actress songs to my fear of orphan life, so there’s room to reflect on pretty much anything here. Though I hate to label it a “ladyblog,” Tea to Friends is a really successful one at that and had already inspired many newcomers to hop on board and contribute pieces of their own, so you should definitely click on over and read some of our bold confessions. Two posts in and you’ll be motivated to join the tea party (not the conservative one).

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Just a laptop and giant duffel bag

A little more than a year ago, I flew from San Francisco to Washington, DC with my Toshiba laptop and giant red suitcase in hand. I took a taxi to Falls Church, where I would be moving the following day, to stay in a Best Western for the night. Though I’d secured a place to live, my situation was unsettling at best. An unemployed new college graduate, I still believed that applying for jobs on Monster.com and JournalismJobs.com would actually get me somewhere, so I emailed my resume and cover letter to the listed DC area position openings that night.

The hotel

Meanwhile, the hotel was poorly lit and without an elevator, so I yanked my large rolling bag up the stairs step by step until I got to the end of the hall. Once I reached the hotel room, I called my mom, who hadn’t stopped crying all day.

She wasn’t sad that I’d moved across the country, but experiencing guilt for forcing me to do it alone. A few weeks earlier, I’d asked her to accompany me on the trip, but she said she was too busy to offer a hand. This was uncharacteristic for my eager mom, so I assumed outside sources had advised her to take the tough love approach. Nevertheless, I was a little hurt, not because I was incapable of pulling off the move alone, but because I’d wanted someone around for moral support. When it came time for me to fly to DC, she felt awful about refusing to join me on the stressful endeavor.

Though a little nervous that evening, I knew I’d be fine without her assistance and could always call friends for some words of wisdom and pep talks. What I really needed, though, was some food, so I looked out the hotel window to see if there were any eateries nearby. Of course, there was nothing in sight, so I resorted to the hotel Mexican restaurant, Miguel’s.

My burrito was marginal at best, but I should have expected that. I’d known since 2008 that the east coast produces awful Mexican cuisine. I could barely stomach half the meal, which was making me nauseous, so I paid my bill and headed back to the lonesome room. Though exhausted from my early morning wake-up and cross country flight, I couldn’t sleep that night at all. I was nervous, uncertain, and worried about my choice to move to the DC area. What if I couldn’t find a job by December? Would I be able to afford my rent? What if I had to settle for something outside of journalism? Would I ever have the chance to write again?

A while back, one of my co-workers said her younger sister always makes last-minute, spontaneous choices that seem to work out no matter what. She waits until the last second to find a place to live or a job, but somehow she makes both of these things happen. In some ways, I’m a lot like my colleague’s sister. Everything comes together. When I graduated college with zero job prospects in May 2010, I felt as if my younger friends couldn’t fathom my decision to go to France and take a few months to figure out where I’d like to move. Some said my Europe trip was irresponsible, but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to stay in the south of France for a month and a half after graduation. I began working when I was ready and somehow landed an amazing first post-college job. As I’ve said a million times, I’ll never, ever be able to thank Tucker enough for taking a leap of faith and hiring me before Christmas 2010. No matter what critics say about him, he gives young, hard-working individuals jobs when most places wouldn’t even return the phone call of an entry-level applicant. I was beyond lucky to have been employed there right out of college. Anyone is lucky to be part of TheDC.

Considering the thrilling whirlwind of the past year, I’m not too concerned about tomorrow. With my laptop in one hand and red UA duffel bag in another, I’m boarding a train for New York City to start working at The L (L) office, get a feel for the city, and finalize my living situation. There are tons of uncertainties ahead and I’m nervous, but my mindset is much more relaxed than it was a year and several months ago when I landed in DC as a jobless, inexperienced, bright-eyed 22-year-old. I’m off to a much larger city and an amazing position, so there’s less to fear. I’ll produce great content consistently and continue bugging friends of friends about getting together for coffee, so exciting things are bound to happen.

This time around, I didn’t think twice about the fact that I’d be tackling this alone without my mom. It’s probably better that she stayed home last year during my DC relocation because now I’m calmer and more prepared to move to NYC alone.Of course, I’m not completely alone in any of this. My Brooklyn buddies Emily and Hillary have offered to take me under their wing in the event that I need some help, my colleagues have been 110 percent supportive and patient with my move, and many of my college and DC buddies have hooked me up with their NYC contacts. Besides, ten of my close DC friends showed up to my goodbye happy hour tonight, so I’m immeasurably grateful for those who care enough about my accomplishments to see me off the evening before I leave DC. Thanks to those who showed up tonight: Joey, Evan, Lisa, Alec, Boyle, Will, Derek, and Josh, many of whom joke about popping up in this blog. Well, you’re in here again, and you’re all here to stay <3Lisa and Laura!”

Boyle, Nikki, and me in May!
With Joey at First Friday!
Alec!
Lisa and Laura!