Facing My Fears
I wake up Monday morning in my hotel room. I don’t remember feeling this nervous in a long time. It is almost a paralyzing sense of anxiety. I know why I feel like this. I have never gone after what I dreamt of in my life. The closest I came to it was driving cross country from Chicago to Los Angeles at the age of 26 to pursue my acting career. From the outside, that looks like going after my dreams. I was, but once I settled in Los Angeles, I didn’t take advantage of many opportunities to be successful because I was too scared of true success. This time it was different. I was going after something which, as far as I knew, would make me successful. It was also what I really wanted. This was a stark contrast to the last 15 years of taking mediocre jobs and settling on things that I didn’t want. All of these factors overwhelmed me. I had a real sense of fear come over me. However, I didn’t give in to the fear because I wasn’t going to let it sabotage me this time. I had flown across the country for this, and I wasn’t going to let any fear stop me. With that attitude, I got up and prepared for my interview. I decided to go out for breakfast that morning to help me mentally prepare for my big moment. I chose a restaurant that I had been wanting to visit called the Sunflower Cafe. It was a cute local Kosher restaurant with a great variety of breakfast foods. I had gotten to the restaurant fairly late but thought that since the restaurant had few customers that I could eat quickly and leave. I was wrong. This was no Barney Greengrass. My order came around 15-20 minutes after I ordered it! I ate quickly and when I tried to ask for the check, no one was around. Finally, after a few minutes, my waitress comes around and I ask her for the check right away “because I have a job interview.” She is kind and says, “no problem,” but then she takes five minutes to give me my check. I didn’t have any cash, so I give her my card. She comes right back and wishes me good luck on my interview. At this point, I am leaving a little late, so I rush to the train station.
To get to the office, I have to take two trains. The first train comes immediately and promptly gets me to my first stop. The second train is more stressful. I arrive at the station and look for signs for my second train. On my way to the platform, I see a sign that says that my train is not running and I need to take an alternate train, which is on the other end of the station! I head to the other train, but on my way there I notice that the setup is very confusing, and not something I have time to figure out. I decide to look up an alternate route on my phone and find another train to take. I head that that platform, which is very easy to get to. Once I arrive, the train comes. If I had arrived 30 seconds later, I wouldn’t have made it! I see this as a sign that I’m heading in the right direction.
I arrive at my stop, The Grand Central Station. The office is a good 10-15 minute walk from the station. I have five minutes. I walk as fast as I can and arrive at 11:10. The President of the Company said the interview was around 11 am, so even though I am disappointed that I am late, I figure it’s no big deal. I walk into the office and the President is in the middle of a meeting with her staff. Her door is open but I assume that she heard me come in. I sit and wait, thinking she will be done in a few minutes. Twenty minutes go by and she is still having the meeting. I hear her tell one of her staff to check to see if anyone came in. Her employee comes out to the main office and sees me. I chat with her, and when the President hears me, she says to her employee, “I didn’t hear her come in” and she sounds stressed. I decide to get up boldly and I walk into her office. I say, “Hi I’m Teresa!” She responds back to me in a rude tone, saying, “You should have said something! Don’t you know that when a door is open during a meeting you let the people know you’re there? This was confidential.” I reply with, “I apologize. I thought you heard me come in.” She responds with, “Okay well remember that for next time.” She tells me to have a seat and we get straight into the interview. I am nervous and during her questions, I forget some words and run over my sentences. Yet I still manage to share with her my employment history and my goals in an orderly fashion. The interview lasts four hours. A majority of it entails me writing and editing letters. The questions are asked by her, but the work portion is led by her and her husband, the CEO of the company. I immediately like her husband a lot more than her. He seems kind and sincere. From the beginning of meeting her, I feel like something is off. She is not only rude, but she doesn’t seem sincere. Regardless, I let my desire for the job overrule my instincts. At the end of the interview, her husband asks her if I am coming back the next day. She agrees with him, and tells me to come in around 8:30 am the next morning. I pack up my things and tell them I will see them the next day.
Once I am back on the New York streets, I do a victory jump, feeling so elated that I possibly got the job of my dreams because of my tenacity. Throughout my elation, however, I have this nagging feeling in the back of my mind. I ignore it and move on. A few days prior, I purchased tickets to “The Book of Mormon.” It was my first New York Broadway show. I thought it was appropriate that I was watching the show the same day that I got a job in New York. I worked so late that I didn’t have time to eat dinner, so I stop at a Hot Dog stand and have my first New York Hot Dog. I head to the theater and pick up my tickets. I buy a gin and tonic for an insane amount of money because I am celebrating my new job. I find my seat and wait for the play to start. I feel content and happy, something that I had waited to feel for over two years. I am sitting in a theater waiting to watch a Broadway Musical on the same day that I got a New York job. That is a dream come true. I faced my fears and conquered them. If only I knew the challenges that were waiting for me in the next month.