A year ago today is when I officially launched the “Quarter Life Superhero” blog. I can wholeheartedly say that it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Since launching my blog, I’ve made new friends, opened the door for exciting opportunities, and discovered that I very much enjoy writing.
This time last year, almost everything in my life was different. I was in a rocky, long-distance relationship with a guy named Joey, and I had just started a job that I thought I would enjoy more than the previous table-serving gig.
Joey was visiting me the weekend before that school year started. He was about to start his second year of college and I, my fourth. We had gotten together with some of his friends from his hometown and had lunch at a burger joint in downtown Denton. I remember he and his friends were talking about other friends from their hometown and how one of them recently moved to California with his girlfriend.
“Why would anyone want to live in California?” one of Joey’s friend said. “I mean, yeah, it’s a nice place to go on vacation, but Texas is where it’s at.”
“Right?” Joey said. “I really want to live in Plano after I finish school. My dream is to be a pharmacist, and teach in a large school district part time.”
I couldn’t blame the guy for wanting to live in Plano. Plano is a great city for anyone wanting to work in the medical or pharmaceutical field, plus I received a quality education from Plano Independent School District. However, I’ve always wanted to work in the entertainment industry and live in New York or Los Angeles after graduation.
In that moment, so many thoughts ran through my head; “Do I really want to marry this guy eventually?” “Is there any possibility he might change his mind between now and then?” “Should I give up on my dreams and live a normal life in Plano?” “Maybe I don’t even have the potential to make it in the entertainment industry.”
I decided not to think too much about it and figured we’d cross that bridge when we get there.
At the time, I was working in a call-center that specialized in helping people fix their garage door openers. I’m grateful for the friend that helped me get the job, but honestly it was the shittiest job in the world. I would rather have been at Target pushing carts in the blistering heat. I would rather have been dealing with bougie suburban moms at the restaurant I was previously working. I thought working in a professional environment would be a breath of fresh air, but it’s very hard to be passionate about fucking garage door openers.
I had a cubicle and a company issued computer. Whenever I wasn’t being bombarded with an overwhelming amount of questions or complaints by asshole customers over the phone, I would search “music industry careers” and look for possible internships for the following summer.
A lot of the internship applications required writing samples, so I figured starting a blog would be a perfect way to create writing samples. My first entry was a fall music preview. I tweeted the link and managed to get my friends to share it as well.
About seven weeks later, I was notified via phone call that I had lost the job at the call center. I never received an official reason as to why I was let go, but I heard everything from “it was due to your busy school schedule” to “probably because you’re always working on your blog” from coworkers. I was so embarrassed that I had lost the job, I didn’t even tell Joey. I didn’t want him to think I was just a big goofball who couldn’t last in a professional environment. Albeit semi-thankful that I never had to set foot in that god-awful place again, I was freaking the fuck out because I needed to find another job that would pay me well enough so I could pay my rent and bills. Luckily, I managed to lock in a seasonal position at James Avery by the end of that week.
I continued to update my blog and have my friends share my links, and I continued to apply for summer internships. My friend Kali had told me about Culture Hype, a PR firm she had discovered at a job fair on campus. I wasn’t able to attend the fair because I was working that day, but later that evening, I went on Culture Hype’s website. I found the email address belonging to the owner, Amber, and I sent her a resume, a cover letter, and a link to my blog. She returned my email a few hours later, and we set up an appointment to interview in Uptown Dallas the following week.
The interview went very well. A few hours later, she emailed me “post-interview assignments” or writing prompts, my completion of which would ultimately determine whether or not I was suited for the internship. I completed the assignments within the course of 24 hours and submitted them to Amber. Afterwards, she invited me to a single-release party at for a band called Northern National.
I arrived to Reunion Tower for the single-release party that Friday night, and the first thing I do, after I step out of the elevator, is locate and greet Amber.
“Oh good! You made it,” Amber said as she gathered her other employees. “This is Alex, he goes to UNT,” Amber said “And he’s also our newest intern!”
I was definitely not expecting to be told in that exact moment, that I had landed the internship. I was freaking out with excitement, but trying to also maintain my composure. She noted that she liked my writing style and how I was able to complete the assignments in a timely manner.
Joey was the first person I told, and he congratulated me. He and I met up at a Starbucks in Plano later that month, as he was visiting his family for Thanksgiving. We discussed something that had been on both of our minds; the future of our relationship.
“I promise you, I still like you just as much as I did when I met you,” he said. “But the distance is getting to me, and I don’t know how much longer I can do it.”
I wasn’t confused or hurt by what he said. We had both previously talked about how distance, albeit doable, isn’t ideal.
“I’m not breaking up with you,” Joey said. “I just think you and I both need to take some time to think about this.”
Two weeks later, he broke up with me over the phone.
Of course, I was distraught, but my friends and my coworkers all helped speed up the recovery process. Plus, I had a lot to look forward to; my trip to New York, and my internship with Culture Hype.
My week in New York was hands-down, the best week of my life. One of the most important experiences I had was meeting up with my middle school choir teacher, who had left Plano to pursue a career in performing arts. She had mentioned that she divorced from her husband prior to moving to New York.
“It needed to be done,” she said. “I couldn’t continue to put my dreams on hold and I knew I couldn’t bring him with me. I can tell you now, I am a lot happier.”
This was a big wake-up call for me. I learned that I should never put my dreams aside for a significant other. I learned that in order to accomplish your goals, making big changes to your life, no matter how scary, is essential.
For the rest of the week, I continued to explore the city in the style of a local New Yorker. I was crashing on the couch of one of my brother’s friends, as opposed to staying in a hotel, which allowed for a feel of how actually living in the city would be. I enjoyed getting to and from places via mass transit and I loved experiencing the intermixing of a multitude of cultures. It didn’t take me long to conclude that I want to live in New York City after I graduate college.
I came back to Dallas, the spring semester began, and I started my internship with Culture Hype. Over the course of those next five months, I learned a lot about media outreach, event planning, maintenance of company social media handles, upkeep of company websites and building connections with influential people in Dallas. I finally began to get my foot in the door of the fields that I’m actually interested in working in.
Around April, I received an email from Warner Music Group saying that they want to interview me over the phone in regards to a summer internship. I was ecstatic. Landing this internship would’ve been a dream come true. After the phone interview, I was told that I would know by the first week of May whether or not I was selected.
I, ultimately, was not chosen, however, many great opportunities have come my way since.
I am currently interning for a very cool event listing agency in Dallas, which allows me to get into some events for free. I am also freelance writing for a mainstream/top 40 Denver-based radio station. I still complete assignments for Culture Hype whenever Amber sends me something via Asana. Also, I recently wrote a piece that was featured in a local publication.
I have since re-branded my blog under the name “Alex G From Dallas”, giving it a more personal feel while still preserving some sort of anonymity.
Since launching my blog, things have only gone up, in terms of my career and opportunities presented to me.
I have changed my major from psychology to integrated studies, focusing on psychology, sociology, and marketing. I figured it would be very hard to land a job in the entertainment industry with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, so I decided to add the other two fields to my career plan. This will, however, delay my graduation to May of 2017, but I’m not bothered by it. Besides, who graduates on time anyway?
As far as the future of my blog, I plan on posting more frequent updates. I intend to deliver an honest message to my readers without coming across as self-righteous or preachy. I also intend to bring attention to Dallas-based artists and highlight our rising music and art scene.
As I grow older, I plan on embracing and learning from the mishaps that occur ever-so-frequently in my life . I plan on living my life with the intention of acquiring new knowledge every day and growing from adversity.
I am thankful for everyone who has kept up with my updates and supported me every step of the way. I look forward to sharing more stories, updates, and adventures in the future.