Month Four Taylor, On Not Going Back to School (Sort Of)

September 18, 2015

Taylor First Year Photo

Taylor Name Plate

day 134. Went ‘back to school’ in a minivan

Breathe in. Breathe out. Ahhh. I am so happy to be back.

Since you last heard from me, my life has managed to flip and flop and turn itself upside down like a shitty bundt cake. New job, new city; new home, roommates, routine, new nail salon, new coffee spot (these last two are of utmost importance): new normal. Wild to think that this tiny crater of the Internet moon could make me feel so at home and so like cool, confident me – but then again, little moments make you big, don’t they?

Isn’t it frightening how much can change in such a short amount of time?

Isn’t it frightening how much can change in such a short amount of time? I almost envy the Pre Graduation Taylor whose biggest complaint was that she “just needs change already!”

Then I remember that the greatest variation during my days living at home in my post-grad, pre-job limbo was which flavor of creamer I wanted in my coffee each morning. Suddenly, not having any coffee because I woke up too late again and had to rush to work doesn’t seem so bad after all.

Here’s the skinny,* which I’ve so dexterously organized into list form (being a professional has taught me the power of being brief):

  1. Unlike many of my comrades, I don’t live in the corporate world; I live in a much scarier, riskier, sweatier place: the start-up world. A few months ago I wrote an article for a start-up publication website, The Rival, about a start-up delivery service, goPuff. If back then I knew that said article would lead me to my most current position as goPuff’s Social Media Manager, Kelly would’ve had this article on time when she asked for it over a week ago. Alas, I did not know and still have zero time management skills, so here we are.
  2. I’ll always be a New Yorker (my affinity for graphic t-shirts and purposefully distressed Knicks hats won’t let you forget it), but I won’t always live in New York. My new home: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sure, the Declaration of Independence was signed here, but all 56 of those signatures belonged to bigoted, elitist white men who in addition to birthing the United States also birthed the pronunciation of water as “wood-er” and gas stations that serve (admittedly delicious) sandwiches. It’s a strange place that I submit may need me to shake it up. And for the times when I’m the one who needs to be shaken up, The City (there’s only one – you know either get this or you don’t) is a quick couple of New York minutes away.
  3. Number 1 and 2 could not have been further from “brief,” so I’ll end this tangent here.

Four paragraphs later, I should admit now that real reason we’re all here isn’t to hear me ramble (not entirely, anyway). The existential topic at hand: how the first-years are feeling about not returning to school for the first time?

Well, sorry to rain on your thoughtfully outlined parade BossKelly, but joke’s on you, because I did return to school this year!

My unorthodox fifth year went something like this: the first project I was assigned as Social Media Manager was on the Go Puff Yourself Tour (it’s okay, you can laugh), in which goPuff’s marketing team took to college campuses across Philly, Boston and DC for some guerilla warfare promoting. For me, that meant back to GW! On the first day of school! Surrounded by people I equally adored and abhorred! Wearing a brand new outfit! One that read “goPuff” on it! …Maybe the joke’s on me.

All jokes aside, the return to my alma mater did leave me reeling. There I was, right smack in the heart of the place I called home for four years, tangled up in classrooms and cafeterias and kids trying to find their way to “Smith? Where’s Smith? Anybody?!” Education was all around me, a waft of learnedness in the thick Foggy Bottom air, and I couldn’t feel it. Because it wasn’t for me anymore. Just the frizz swirling above my hairline. That was definitely for me.

Isn’t it frightening how much can change in such a short amount of time? I almost envy Pre Graduation Taylor who’s biggest complaint was that she “just wants to read a scholarly article on something other than queer theory or gender binaries already!” Then I remember that I have no marketing experience for my new marketing job, accidently call my 22-year old “boss” a shithead, apologize and request that he teach me everything he knows, and suddenly, not being back at school doesn’t feel so bad after all.

Because I still have a lot to learn, but this time, I’m excited it won’t be in the classroom. Real world: let’s get real.

*Why do we call it this? We should be saying “here’s the big fat fatso,” because nothing happening in my life right now, including but not limited to my body mass index and workload, is anything close to undernourished or small.

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