Do Something Crazy

January 27th 2015

Story originally written and experienced: December 17th 2012

I felt like a cheater.

My heart     a c c e l e r a t i n g   with every forward

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I took >>

“I shouldn’t be doing this.” I kept telling myself. On a reel. In my head. “I shouldn’t have snuck out the back door. Told a lie. Packed my purse…

And my portfolio too.”

My boss had no idea.

That I was 7 steps off the E Train into Chelsea, Manhattan.

Ready to embark on an offered interview with Ralph Lauren.

For a new job.

A job I might want.

A job I might like.

A job that would…

 

Be different…and somewhere else.

“I shouldn’t be doing this.” I kept telling myself. On a reel. In my head. “I shouldn’t have snuck out the back door. Told a lie. Packed my purse…

And my portfolio too. This is crazy.

I wore a blue dress. Straight hair. And the most unreliable stockings I’d ever owned. Not on purpose. It was an accident. I was in a high-energy hurry getting dressed that morning. Focusing mostly on my practiced responses whilst attempting to keep a poised profile at my current place of work.

Ding.

I had arrived.

“I shouldn’t be doing this.” I kept telling myself. On a reel. In my head. “I shouldn’t have snuck out the back door. Told a lie. Packed my purse…

And my portfolio too. I like where I’m at. What I’m doing. This is crazy! What if I get it? What if I don’t?! Wait.

I realized something.

When the elevator

doors               opened

That.

I had been there before.

As an intern. Delivering packages. To this exact same location. But now. I was back. With a blue dress. The worst stockings (fantastically rolling down my hips via unreliable waistband.) Straight hair. And this time, delivering—just. me.

I dialed the number at the door to tell them I had arrived.

*** – ***-**** #

She answered right away.

“Hi. Olive, right?”

“Yes.”

“Come on in.”

“Thanks.”

The office was impeccable. Sleek desks. CLuTtErEd tables with fabrics and imaginative madness. Big screens. And a

p  a  n  o  r  a  m  i  c       v  i  e  w

of the Hudson River with skyscraper lights twinkling off the water’s edge.

Not a bad view.

Not a bad view.

 

“This way, Olive.” she told, guiding me to her stark white office and pointing to a stark white chair.

I nonchalantly and discreetly shif> <ted my stockings from my hips to the center of my body the moment eye-contact was broken. Finessed my blue dress, and sat down with my portfolio in hand.

“I shouldn’t be doing this.” I kept telling myself. On a reel. In my head. “I shouldn’t have snuck out the back door. Told a lie. Packed my purse…and my portfolio too. I like where I’m at. What I’m doing. What if I get this? What if I don’t? Is this crazy?”

“So. Olive.”

My thoughts were interrupted.

“Yes.”

“I took a look at your resume. Oprah Magazine, Calvin Klein, Nautica and Kipling?”

“Yes.”

“How old are you?”

“23.”

“Interesting…well, okay. Let’s get started then. I’ll give you a brief interview here, and then I’ll move you to that desk over there and set you up with a writing test. Is that okay?”

“Of course.”

“Great.”

And so it began.

The interview went well.

And the writing test too.

And I felt good about it.

And that’s what scared me the most.

 

When I left the office, I passed through the faintly familiar hallway again, back into the elevator doors and off to meet friends for a late dinner nearby.

I decided to walk there. Clear my head. Figure it out. All the while distracting my brain with nonsensical activities like, setting up my voicemail on my phone to nervously keep my mind at bay.

Beep.

“Hi! You’ve reached Olive. I can’t get to my phone right now but if you leave your name and number…wait. What was I saying? SHIT Shit.”

“If you are satisfied with your message, please press pound. If you’d like to re-record your message, press 1 now.”

1.

Beep.

“Hi! You’ve reached Olive. I can’t get to my phone right now but if you leave your name and number…I’ll get back to you as – “

Buzz.      Buzz.      Buzz.       Buzz.

Incoming call.

It was my friend. Calling me perfectly on cue to see how everything went.

“Hello?”

“Hey! Tell me how everything went.”

“It went well actually.”

“You don’t sound so enthused.”

“I mean, I am…I just…I shouldn’t be doing this. I shouldn’t have snuck out the back door. Told a lie to my boss. Packed my purse…and my portfolio too. Is this crazy?”

“Why would it be crazy?”

“I don’t know. It’s a big decision. And I’m comfortable where I am.”

“But do you want more?”

“Much. More.”

And then he paused. And told me this:

“Listen. Change is scary as hell. But, it’s going to happen whether you stay, or whether you leave. So let’s say you do stay. Things might seem pretty ordinary and regular for a while, but, pretty soon your co-workers are going to change, the restaurants around your workplace will change, the management will change and the office will change too.

And then.

There you are.

Same job. Same person. In a now unrecognizable place. And you’ve adjusted to it, and you’re still comfortable with it. But. If I know you, and I’m pretty sure I do.

You take leaps and you don’t regret them.

Right? You’ve done it multiple times. Moving to New York, traveling Europe, climbing a mountain, confronting your best friend in a bar bathroom and asking her if she was gay, putting a professional soccer player in his place, taking a gamble on love, and after all of that?

You got a job, made some damn good friends overseas, saw a sight at a moment no one had ever seen it before, became a confidant to your best friend’s best-kept secret, wrote a story about that soccer player and figured out what in the hell a relationship was, all along the way. So if your track record says anything at all about taking risks, and wondering if they’re worth it? I’d say you’ve got some damn good things coming your way.”

“…Really?”

“Really.”

I told him I had to go because I was walking into a restaurant to meet my friends for dinner at a place nearby, but that I would talk to him soon. But, thank you. So much.

And later that week.

I decided to not take the job.

Because I thought about what he said. And I thought about it a lot.

How.

Risks make sense. And they’re worth it. If you know in a sense. A strong sense. That it’s what you want.

I didn’t want that job.

But.

I did want change.

The timing was                   off. But the desire was still there. Even a year later. When I got another offer I couldn’t refuse.

Somewhere else. Somewhere better. Somewhere great. But more importantly.

Somewhere that felt right.

Still crazy.

But right.

Thing is.

Changing to change can be perfectly great. But. Taking a risk on something. Anything.

Career.

Love.

Cities.

A damn adventure.

Will always seem a little scary. A little uncomfortable. (Especially if the world’s worst stockings are involved.) But if you think about the risk. And you’re enamored with the potential reward.

And it’s what you want.

Then maybe.

Just maybe.

It won’t seem like such a crazy idea after all.