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First Year After College


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First Year After College

Lindsay Bilezikian

 I am in the middle/end of my stay here in NYC. My story here is tumultuous. I never meant to land here. I never really thought in my life that New York would be a stop on my journey. I was dead set on the West Coast since I was kid. I knew that I would make it my home. In a way there is part of me that is waiting, which is why it makes sense that I am here and not there right now. Even though all the fibers in my being are pointing west. So I graduated in May of 2017 - I did not attend my graduation. I did not really connect with college. It was just four years of my life where I dedicated to finding myself more, loving myself more and making those four years work for me. I miss them sometimes, because I loved the focus of loving myself. I loved being in Boston even though I majorly took it for granted. But looking back now, my life was in a glass castle there. And here that castle is broken and gone. I am going to rebuild my glass castle but in a different way. Anyways, I was interning for Juice Press while living in Boston where my boss, was the most incredible leader I ever could have asked for. She made me feel like I was just winning life and yeah, I sort of was winning at life then. After 5+ months of interning and successfully establishing myself as part of the team there, I was sort of called up to the big leagues. I was asked in interview for a position on the marketing team in NYC. Which to me, felt like winning the lottery. I was so excited. I remember taking notes in my kitchenette with just so much adrenaline when I got the call. I scheduled weekends in NYC to interview, I met with everyone possible in the company. I picked out my interview dress in NYC and I felt like magic! I mean, a not-even-graduated-senior in college getting an interview with a popular, trendy company in NYC for her dream job.. I was over the moon. I did not know what to think. Except months of waiting time after that, whomp. It was tough, after I had time to think about this transition I started to question everything. And I mean all the things. I knew it was going to be so hard. I felt very hesitant. I even went as far as saying that I was most definitely not going to accept the offer. I told my mom, my friends and myself the answer is no. But when I got the call about the offer, I said yes. I took this huge jump. I made this decision to move. And I moved to NYC 10 days later with all my nerves and reservations. I had my graduation party on a Sunday in June and moved the next morning to NYC. It was the hardest day of my life. One of my memories that made makes me choke up a little bit even now is the time I had with my mom in the car on the ride to New York. We talked. We shared. We laughed. We cried. We sang. And she told me no matter what is was going to be okay. Life was going to be okay. We spent the net 24 hours in NYC together just mentally preparing myself for this new chapter. We sent to see apartments. We went to the store. She helped me set the tone. And then she was gone. She went home and left me and I was alone. I looked around. I looked at myself. And the big girl pants were on. Except I knew something was wrong. My dad came to NYC the next day. He wanted to be there for me after my first few days. I am actually so glad he did. We waited 2.5 hours at Sugarfish for weird sushi after my first day, he told me he was so proud. He told me I was going to be amazing. But after my first day on the job I looked at him and said “Dad, I made a mistake” and started crying. I knew I did not belong here. 

I spent for June 14th to September 5th with this company as their marketing coordinator. It felt like a lifetime that was emotionally, mentally and physically putting my all into a job where I would never be good enough to survive at. I spent those three months in fight or flight mode. I woke up everyday with a knot in my stomach, numb to the world and unaware of who I was anymore. Those four years of loving myself and learning who I wanted to be in college were taken from me. I was leaking my energy, my beautiful divine love and compassion for myself. I could have controlled it but my skin was too thin, my heart was too sensitive. I did not understand what I was doing wrong. I began to self destruct. My worth was destroyed. My confidence was ripped from my hands. My kind, gentle way was being thrown against a brick wall. My heart was shattered. When I began to have panic attacks before going into the office or had to call my mom every morning so she could pep talk me into walking through the door, I could not even look at myself. I could not even pick myself up. It was like I was back in my catholic elementary school days where I was being forced to go to summer camp and I would make shit up to get out of it and go home. But I told myself everyday that I was not that girl anymore. I was not afraid. I was not going to be bullied out of my own job. I powered through until the last possible second. 

It was a Tuesday. The first Tuesday in September! Just after Labor Day. Those thick weather days were behind us and the US Open was winding down - the company was sponsors of the event so I had just worked 10 days in a row for 10+ hours per day where I just was getting my ass handed to me. Running all over the place. Trying to be happy. And then I had a day off - was able to look at where I was and just breathe. Trying to connect again to that woman I grew up to be. That night I took a shower. I got out of the shower, bent down to pick up my towel and came up with medicine cabinet door open and slammed my temple into the side of it. — My eyes were squeezed shut. My vision was black. My breath tightened. My heart pounded. My hand went right to the side of my head. Warm feeling. Wet. I was able to blink my eyes open and drops of deep red. I looked to my left into the mirror and just burst into a panic. Blood everywhere, dripping down my face. Try to stop the bleeding. Cold ice wrapped into towels. And call mom. Stay awake. Don’t fall asleep. 

I was fine. I was traumatized. I told my boss I was going to the ER. And when I was there I almost couldn’t stay. There was a woman there of course who was on drugs having a vomit fit. My worst nightmare. But I pushed through. I brought my headphones. I was checked in. Taken into the ER, no stitches just a really draining day. All my fears were being conquered. I don’t know how I was able to make it through honestly. I was really being guided by love. Especially since I went alone. Kind of the biggest solo moment of my life in 2017. Shoutout to me. But after that day, I took five days off. I spent the entire day on the biomat. I did nothing but sleep. Think. Evaluate. Reflect. And then I knew what I had to do. I cried a lot during these three days. I cried more than I think I ever thought was possible.

The following Monday I woke up and knew exactly what I had to do. I put on my biggest ‘girl boss’ outfit I had. These black Mother Denim jeans, my favorite black turtle neck from Kit & Ace, my Acne boots and I made my hair look like I meant business. I even did my make up. I got to work earlier than usual. It was just me. The air conditioner starting up as I sat down gave me a blast of freezing air to keep my tears from falling down my face. I was startled by the person who was walking down the hall next, Jenna. Jenna was cool. Jenna wasn’t exactly someone who I had worked with but she meant something special to me for a reason I may explain later on here but I let out a sign of relief that it wasn’t my boss. Jenna sat down, pulled out her things, hopped on a call and I just kept looking at my notebook I opened to read the pep talk I made written myself. Jenna got off the phone and said “Lindsay I want to ask you about your reiki.” The most unexpected question I ever heard but in a way it was exactly what my mind needed. From there it was just like I couldn’t contain myself. I begin to blubber in front of her, telling her I was here to quit. I knew life had more for me than what this job was giving me. I was taking a huge risk by walking away. I was broken. I was admitting defeat. I was letting down my inner compass. It was the first time I said I was quitting out loud to someone. Then the room started to fill up with the regulars. And then my boss walked in. I didn’t wait a second longer, I said can we go talk please? And she said okay — I didn’t burn any bridges, I didn’t leave on bad terms. I did what was best for me. I did what was best for my mental health, my heart and my goals. But let me tell you this decision was the scariest thing I have ever done. I felt so guilty. I felt like a failure. I had to tell my parents. I told my friends. But for the most part I just kept moving. I didn’t let it tear me down. I went to California two days after I quit.. typical. California. It is my escape world. It is my fantasy. It holds the key to my heart. It holds the magic for me. I spent two weeks in the woods of Lake Tahoe. Building fairy houses, going to farmers markets, getting lost and hiking. But ultimately I returned to Manhattan. It was the first time I left and sort of missed it. I sort of missed the idea of it. I returned and it was already October. I found myself sitting in an interview two days after I returned and a new job just a few days after that. A job I never thought I would land. Something completely out of my zone. I went to work for a Shaman.