Almost one year ago, I applied to be an editorial intern here on a whim. I saw the posting online and joked about it with one of my housemates, who said, very seriously, “You’d be perfect for it.”
"You think? I think I’d be terrible for it."
But I applied, because it was easy and through LinkedIn, and much to my surprise, at the end of my spring break road trip, they emailed me to ask me to interview. I couldn’t make it back to Chicago to officially speak with them, so I did everything over Skype in a locked classroom. It was a good interview—awkward, as most things on Skype are—and then it was done. I was turned down a few days later in what was the nicest and most prompt rejection letter of my life. It was competitive. A lot of people were interviewed and a lot of them had done much more than me. I remember crying for approximately two minutes and two minutes only, mainly because I thought it would have been a really fun way to spend my summer.
I moved on. I found other internships. I bopped around the city a lot. I took my food service job and that supported me then and supports me now. Lo and behold, I ended up getting back in touch with them because of that food service job. Ice cream brings all sorts of people to you. And I got back in touch and the message was, “We liked you, but you were young. You’re still young. We just wanted to see you do more things. Work on some other stuff. But no didn’t mean never.”
I had been emailing with them on and off for the past 12 months. I felt annoying most of the time, but they were endlessly respectful of my time and energy. “No, really,” I told them multiple times, “if you want me gone, I’ll go, but I think I can do this and do it well.” There tends to be a lot of negative feelings in the job market about persistence, but this felt worth pursuing for this long. Actually it felt like this. In the meantime, I read them and other related publications religiously. I freelanced. I did other odd writing and editing jobs. And earlier this year, an internship for my qualifications with good timing popped up. I reapplied a few weeks ago when I was in Michigan. In the meantime, I had turned down other offers. My parents were getting a little worried. I sat with them at a meal and said, “I’m giving it one more go. It’s been a year. A lot has changed. If it doesn’t pan out, I’ll be done, but I want to give this one more shot.”
I went in last week to interview and felt so good. It was the best kind of interview. I presented my best self—funny and weird and talked about being afraid of birds and writing and being both in love with and hating Chicago. I walked away from it and I felt so great. Feeling good doesn’t always mean anything, and I didn’t want to make any assumptions. I actually ended up missing the call this weekend—see: this tweet, good god—but I was left the most TROLLISH of TROLL VOICEMAILS. And for a little while, all I could say was, “well, they made fun of me on my voicemail, so I think it’s good news.”
They said yes, and it’s only for the spring and early summer, and who knows what comes out of it, but it feels so good. It feels good to have spent the last year working so hard and being able to show something for it. It’s all been very much like this too. It’s the knowledge that I said almost a year ago that I thought I could do this if I had more time to prove myself and do something with my time. It’s more relief than excitement, if that makes sense.
"I need you to be freaking out a little more," one of my friends said.
"I can’t," I told her. "Mostly I’m just thinking about all the work I have to do for them and how to make it really good. I mean, it’s just more work. It’s all work."
It’s 50 degrees out today. It’s sunny. I’ve broken both my pairs of boots for the winter, so I hope the weather stays more like this. Just kidding, it’s going to snow on Wednesday, but we can hope. I’m so excited for spring. I’m so excited to do do this. But mostly, I’m so excited to do more work.