I’m at an odd junction of career and academic growth, which is to say that I’m extremely motivated and trying to find the next step. There is no romantic interest or relationship at the moment in my life, so marriage and baby-making are out for the moment as distractions(tick-tock, fuck-off). It’s hard out there for a gangster, and it’s harder out here when everyone wants to write blogs and magazine articles, and you’re trying to break into the same market with 2/3 of a degree. It’s also difficult when your other career of choice includes makeup artistry, and the bar is set equally as low for entry with a flooded market.
so what is one to do?
I admit to watching a lot of fluff entertainment, wedged in between my National Geographic documentaries and indie movies, lies such life guides as “Sex and the City”, “The Devil Wears Prada”, and “Atelier”. In the past two days, I’ve found myself rewatching “The Devil Wears Prada” a few times and found something a little uncomfortable: I wanted to defend Andrea’s work ethic and commitment to “Runway” and Miranda Priestly to her friends and her boyfriend. She starts the hellish employment as ungraceful, unstylish, and unprepared for the industry she is thrust into. “Andy” is schooled and forced to dive into the depths of “Runway” and after a trip to the “Runway closet” (the fiction equivalent of the “Vogue closet” of treasures) and the beauty department, in classic Anne Hathaway style, she seems to have dropped a size, whitened her smile, and huffed the hairspray to become quite the fashionista, and thus “Andrea” is born.
Newly minted Andrea becomes thankful for the industry, grateful for employment, dedicated to the magazine and Ice Queen at the helm, and shows interest in the fashion industry. As is mentioned many times during her interview and first few ailing days as second assistant, “a million girls would kill for your job,” and for real-life Vogue, they absolutely would.
Her friends and relationship start to fall by the wayside, as she has no time to foster them. She started out saying she would take the job for a year, and then she could work wherever she wanted. At the end of the movie, as she “comes to Jesus,” she gets her friends back (as is assumed when she requests her now-ex to come meet her for coffee so she can apologize), and she gets the “real journalism job” due in part to a recommendation from “the Dragon Lady” herself.
The entire “blip” of employment turns out to be worth it after all.
At this age, I see myself in this situation. My friends have careers and families, and I have my dog and a career. I’ve started taking it much more seriously than I had in the past few years, and I can see where relationships do fall by the wayside here and there. I’ll go a week without any correspondence with my best friends, and then we’ll text a bit. It’s hard when you’re in different time zones, and you’re really just making ends meet as you climb the ladder.
I’ll admit I have had some resentment towards friends when they had children. I still get sad because I now know that my future children will be younger and not in the same “play group” bracket as my best friend’s children are. But after talking to a few of them, I realize that they also want what I have: free time for me and my career.
There is no right or wrong way to spend this time of our lives, but there is a wrong way to be supportive, and that’s to not be. Through all of the life changes, junctions, crossroads, and shoots and ladders, we need to be supportive of our friends and their endeavors.
Be the underwire your friends need, and they’ll surely be yours as well.