New Directions

Where to begin?

Over the past couple of years, I know I’ve insinuated that I may or may not have been looking for something more than running truelane full-time. Four years—how long I’ve been blogging as my full-time job—is as long as I’ve held any job, really. But over the last two, I’ve mostly felt lost. I tried to set goals and make plans, but the plans were mostly one-off phrases like “write a book” and “get out of debt” but never did I concoct a plan to accomplish these goals. Finally, something about my twenty-seventh year taught me to be proactive rather than reactive, and that has kicked off a string of spreadsheets that sprouted ideas and kept me on track and here I am writing a blog post about why I’m temporarily reacquainting myself with corporate America.

I feel like I’ve been living a double life all summer. Back in June, I re-enlisted with the temporary employment agency I worked for back in Minneapolis, but it’s been a brand new experience from the get-go. You’ll never believe what I did this summer—I worked as a pier agent for Royal Caribbean Cruises (I know! Not! Princess!) for one day, checking people in for a cruise to Alaska. It was thrillingly unbearable. Then, I spent a few days working the front desk for a Jewish social services center, which was overwhelming and stress-inducing. After that, I worked for about a month in shipping & receiving for Adobe on Lake Union, walking distance from my apartment; those 30 days were about the most bored I have ever been in my adult life. The reason I took these gigs was just for life experience, writing inspiration, and the fact that they had an end date.

I took a few weeks off afterwards to travel and see family and decompress from the bleakness of the mailroom job, and then on July 16, the agency called me in the late afternoon with two opportunities. One was an events coordinator at a valet and event rental company, which sounded like too much responsibility for a temp job—especially when they told me it was temp-to-hire, meaning I’d be working full-time as a regular employee as soon as possible. The other was for an office assistant at a property management company for about a month, and with a completion date in sight, I said, “Sign me up!” 

It started the next day. I woke up at six o’clock in the morning, hopped on the commuter bus downtown, and as soon as I walked in to the fifth floor office of this commercial real estate & property management firm, I had a weird sense of…place. Something felt—oddly—right.

I’ve been there every weekday, 8 to 5, since that Wednesday. Reentering the office world I left in August 2015, I’ve had a weird sense of déjà vu, but at the same time, a completely different experience from the corporate financial world I was in before. All of the corporate clichés are the same. All of the coworker interactions are the same. But there’s something different—maybe it’s the stage of life I’m in, maybe it’s just that the office and work are better suited to my personality. But it makes me wonder…maybe I didn’t hate working in an office? Maybe it’s just that I hadn’t found the right one. I look forward to going to work every day, and truly, I didn’t think that was physically possible for someone like me.

In fact, I look forward to it enough that they’re going to offer me the job—full-time regular—and I’ve decided I’m going to take it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a new career—this job is just an EP in the discography of my life. I’ve believed for a long time that I could someday be a full-time author, and I still believe in myself enough to go for it. In fact, I don’t mind sharing with you that over the summer, I cranked out page after page on my first novel. The first draft of the manuscript is over halfway done, and that excites me so much. But I’ll be honest, I want to be in a better financial place before I drop everything to write books. I’ll still be working on it in my free time, but I’m tired of stressing about putting a $7 latte on my credit card while I sit in the coffee shop and tell myself I’m living the dream of being a writer.

Things have been so shaken up since July 17 with moving, the job, family stuff, and more that I feel like I haven’t even had a chance to process these changes. But then, there’s been some weird change in me, and it feels strange to have been able to feel it so palpably. Although I don’t feel settled in my surroundings, I feel more settled within myself. I’m starting to wonder if it’s a early-twenties-to-late-twenties change. Patience is something I’ve learned over the last year, which I think was an instrument of fate because it is absolutely driving all of the situations in my life right now between moving and not being able to unpack or furnish my apartment right away, as well as the temp-to-hire process.

Let me say plainly that truelane certainly isn’t going anywhere—I won’t be quitting or cutting back on posts or social media, but the content will evolve, naturally, just as it always does when anyone else grows and changes. I’ve been joking that this new 8-to-5 office job is a side hustle I started to go along with being a full-time blogger and influencer. I shoot over my lunch break or write and email at hotel lobbies downtown after work. My early twenties have come and gone, but for me, the hustle is starting just now. I’m hoping that not having to seek out random projects every month to pay my rent will allow me to redirect my creativity into new directions and fresh avenues.

In the meantime—here we go again, corporate America. Ever since I moved back to this city of industry by the sea, I’ve been wishing for a new experience without knowing what it was. This job is giving me a chance to place myself in a new community, spend more time in unexplored neighborhoods, and be a part of something bigger than just myself. And let’s be honest…curate a fabulous work wardrobe.