The 5 things my Mom Never Taught Me
On my 13th birthday, after blowing out my candles, my Mom came in the room with a laundry basket and detergent wrapped in a bow. “You are a Young Lady now, Abbey. It’s time to start acting like it.”
I took on the role of “Young Lady” very seriously. I followed the rules, I never drank in High School, I was on the Homecoming Court, won Best Dressed, worked a total of 6 internships/jobs throughout my college career, never earned anything below a B, dated a few guys, moved out of the house within a month of graduating. I learned so many things throughout this time with my mother’s guidance. I was responsible, courteous, kind, hardworking… I thought my mom had taught me everything I needed to know about getting a job, moving to the city and growing up. I was wrong.
The 5 things my mom never taught me:
- You will HATE your first job – I’d like to attribute some of this to the fact that we are “millennials” and have some sort of underlying feeling that if we work hard we will get want we want quickly. I’m afraid that is just not how it works. After being a shining star in all of my internships throughout college, I thought I was impeccably ready for the real world – I was ready to take on the big projects, talk big ideas… After all, I had landed my dream job at a startup. I ended up doing a lot of work that a glorified intern would. Packing and shipping boxes, note taking, assembling and dissembling the projects our team got into, restocking product, answering customer emails and complaints. It was draining and I dreaded the sound of my alarm every weekday morning. I had this passion inside me that kept saying, “you deserve to be more than this, you deserve to have a say and an opinion that matters.” I have come to learn I really wasn’t the only person my age feeling this way. Turns out, you have to take on the role of glorified intern and ROCK it. Make the best of it – who says packing boxes has to be miserable? (somedays I would write an extra note to whomever it was going to, knowing that a simple note could make someone’s day). Long story short – We all have to the do the grunt work, and your first job certainly will not be your last. It is a stepping stone to the rest of your career. A place to learn, absorb and adapt. Once you put in the work, you’ll start noticing that your opinion does matter.
- It’s okay to quit, sometimes it opens new doors – The above mentioned first job, I ended up leaving after 6 months. While I understood that I needed to do the dirty work to earn an opinion and prove my worth, I also understood that the work environment I was in was just never going to be one that I could thrive in. I felt like every day ended in defeat, another rejected proposal, disappointment in myself and no way out. At around month 5, I had hit one of the lowest points in my life. I had moved to New York City for this “dream” job, paying rent I could hardly afford, homesick for my family and friends, and just deeply disappointed in the outlook of my career. After many 1AM phone calls with my mom – I decided to quit. Without another job lined up. It was the best decision I’ve ever made (besides transferring to UMD in college – Go Terps!). A month later, a contact from the first job introduced me to the company I currently work for, and I never looked back.
- Doing laundry in New York City is a pain in the A$$ –– Sorry mom, but the laundry basket and detergent doesn’t get my clothing clean like it used to.
- Going to a bar as an adult is the polar opposite experience of going to your local watering hole in college – My first single bar experience in NYC was horrifying. First off, people are rude. People will hit you and shove you because “OMG Matt, where have you been all of my life.” In college, you walk into the bar knowing most faces, if not all of them. Now, you walk into a bar and you have no idea what’s going on. Everyone is a complete stranger. If you think a guy is cute you ponder to yourself or your girlfriends, “He will think I’m so weird if I go up and say hi,” “He probably already has a girlfriend,” “I think we just made eye contact but I’m not sure, does that mean he thinks I’m cute?” Meanwhile, Miss OMG Matt has taken him by the hand and walked him out the door. All is fair in love and war, I suppose.
- It’s okay to miss your mom/family/home/friends – Plain and simple. It’s okay to be vulnerable at times.