My “weekends” from my full-time job typically fall during weekdays, since retail work hours are not like traditional 9-to-5s.
You’ll find me in the corner, hunched over my laptop clicking between 15 open tabs, occasionally pausing to sip a small mint mocha.
I lost my headphones during St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Newport, so depending who sits next to me, I learn how to deal with emotions during and after pregnancy; or how not to plan sports fundraiser; or how to guide your children to apply to the right colleges; or how to help your 20somethings “adult.”
A part of me enjoys the neighborly eavesdropping. Some coffee talk conversations are more insightful than others. Then another part of me wants to scream. I’m always around SoulCycle addicts and PTA committees, but Suburbia, CT belongs to them—I’m the one who shouldn’t be there. I should be writing or working somewhere in Western Europe, or at least at a cafe in Manhattan with other people my age.
Even Manhattan has barely been more of a consolation compared to the suburbs.
The last time I went to the city for an event, I felt so out of place. I wore a plain open cashmere cardigan, a basic silk tank and flat, black Chelsea boots. Many of the attendees were around my age and they looked so cool. Edgy. Sexy. Boss. My look—the outfit, combined with my barely-there makeup regimen and my bedhead hair routine—was a yawn in a room full of perfectly undone layers, tasteful designer handbags, seductive eyelash extensions and blown-out balayage blondes.
A third glass of champagne at the after-party made me realize that trying to squeeze into an unnatural mold isn’t a solution.
I love New York City and its opportunities, but whenever you’re around Manhattanites, you realize how much you’re not one of them. Suburbia, CT has been an incredible place to grow up, but its protective filter becomes suppressive.
Living in Rhode Island has brought many happy moments, but I know that I can always come back to them.
Graduation was three years ago and I feel like I’m only waking up now. With the love and support from the right people, unyielding persistence and a willingness to trust the unknown can create a positive reality that I want. I need to keep pushing my ideas and my creativity into action…
Falling in love and buying a one-way ticket to Paris is the furthest thing from an awful start.