You know that thing where you’ve wanted something your whole life but it seems like an intangible concept that only exists in the pure, earnest region of your heart that still harbors childhood dreams? What do you do when it starts to become tangible? When it grows wings and suddenly you can hold it in your hands and you know deep down that you’ve found it and you are the only person who can drop it or crush it or misplace it. What do you do then?
I’ve wanted to belong to the world of writing since the fourth grade when I first started writing outside of class, really since second grade writer’s workshop in Mrs. Petre’s class. Since undergrad, I’ve wanted to work in publishing, ever since my advisor Dr. Chaney described the Sex and the City like life of one of her former students who now resided in NYC and worked in publishing. While attending graduate school in Portland, the dream started to feel within my grasp, if I could only reach my arms a little farther. Then I moved to New York and I was so close my fingertips brushed against it, walking down the street and seeing the offices of the publishing houses I’ve read on book spines for years.
Last week I started my new job as a Publicity Associate. Walking through the hallways of my new workplace, into my office, I beamed at the sight of shelves and shelves lined with books. As I discussed with my boss what books I would be working on for the summer and fall season, I tried to center myself–this really was happening. I really am working at a publishing house, not as an intern like I’ve done so many times in the past, but as a full-time employee.
I have a friend here who has lived in the city about a year longer than me. She recently said to me that the highs and lows of New York are so much more extreme than in other places. The reality is that it’s more often lows, so that rare moment when something goes right, it’s euphoric. A week and a half ago I launched my first book in New York City, complete with a celebrity reader, an iconic bookstore, and a packed and attentive room. Afterwards, I walked along Broadway towards Union Square. The sun was setting and the buildings’ lights twinkled above the throngs of people strolling the sidewalks at dusk. I passed through the crowds, singular, bursting with pride. Hello New York. Hello career. Hello dream and happiness and accomplishment and make Mom and Dad proud. Hello change. Hello to all that.