I slept in until 11 today and it was beautiful.
Today I had an interview across town, only a meager fifteen miles away. Normally when I think of driving fifteen miles I’m used to driving for at most twenty minutes. In the almost-two months of living in Los Angeles that belief has entirely left my system, but more on that later.
Interviews are very weird for me. I get nervous for some interviews and I am extremely confident in others. No matter how I am feeling going into an interview all feelings of nervousness are gone after we start talking. Today I interviewed for a job at a start up company. This wasn’t a job that I applied for, but was recruited. I was weary at first, but after looking at their website and the product they were offering, I decided to take a look. The office was absolutely beautiful: It was an open layout, people were interacting with each other, and they had In-N-Out catering. It looked like an amazing place to work, and I immediately fell in love. Not only did I become excited about the opportunity I also became confident.
Halfway through the interview I became nervous. The questions weren’t hard and I was breezing through them, but for some reason my stomach was in knots. Determined to dominate the rest of the interview I took a deep breath and ignored the alarm in my stomach. Moments later my final interviewer entered the room and everything began to come clear.
I moved to Los Angeles to chase my dreams. I moved 3000 miles away from everything and everyone that I know because I knew that this was the place that I would have the best chance of making those dreams into a reality. I did not move here to grab onto the first well paying job to fall in my lap because I was afraid of running out of money.
I’m the kind of person that likes to feel safe financially, and living in Tinseltown is anything but cheap. I hate the idea of living paycheck to paycheck, and most importantly, I like to eat. I can’t eat out all the time and pay all my bills if I don’t find a new job. Also, since I work in retail, I can’t visit my family on the holidays if I don’t find a new job. These thoughts terrified me into a frantic job search for anything with stability. So here I am, sitting in an interview for a job that I don’t want when I could be somewhere else chasing those dreams. Ten minutes later I walked out the front door of that office confident. It wasn’t the normal confidence you would feel after leaving an interview, but it was confidence that I was making the right decisions. One day I might end up in a “nine-to-five” job, but it will be my choice when that happens, and it won’t be today.
It is easy to lose yourself in the insanity that is Los Angeles. I’m tired of losing myself.
Remember earlier when we were talking about traffic? By time I got back to my car and got back on the road it was five in the afternoon. What happens at five in the afternoon? Everyone in the city gets off work and gets on the freeway. A drive that had taken me twenty-five minutes earlier in the day was now going to take me an hour and a half. Normal human beings would curse at the sight of the estimated arrival time on the GPS. Lucky for me I am far from normal and I had saved both of the Nerdist podcast episodes with Anna Kendrick just for an occasion such as this. It was a wonderful drive indeed.
Wait, I didn’t learn just one lesson today. While standing on the sidelines of one of Santa Monica Pier’s underwhelming magic shows I realized that I had made a grave mistake. Santa Monica performers usually call individuals to participate in their show as an incentive for tips when they are done. I realized a little too late that I was wearing a Harry Potter shirt to a magic show. I was too late, the magician was not. I spent the next twenty minutes being called Harry Potter and melting forks with my magic pointer finger.
What did I learn today? Don’t take a job you don’t want just because you are afraid, and if you are a generic looking white guy you shouldn’t wear a Harry Potter shirt to a magic show.