… not actually faking it. But pretty close! Since vowing to be riskier and fearless on my birthday/as my new years resolution, I’ve done just that.
I got hired as a marketing intern at Locks and Mane, a start-up in Toronto that is revolutionizing and changing up the WHOLE hair-extension game. At first, I was incredibly reluctant. I’ve been to Toronto plenty of times, but only for weekends at a time and for leisure purposes. I have a few friends in the city right now, but would for the most part, be living by myself. I’ve never worked in a workplace that was directly related to something I wanted to pursue, and have miniscule experience in marketing. Everything was unfamiliar– this wasn’t one of those Communitech start-up’s in the Kitchener-Waterloo Region (no offence to them!!) that’s doing something data analysis something machine learning client-side user friendly buzzword buzzword buzzword, that I was used to. Locks and Mane is truly an entrepreneurship with real people, real beliefs, and a very real history that started from the bottom. I was so scared of letting them down.
On top of that, I was a little late to the game this semester. I had to find a sublet for my room in Waterloo, and find reasonably-priced, reasonably-placed housing in Toronto. If you’ve read any news in the last few years, you know that the housing crisis in big cities is off the charts. My chances felt really slim, but in the course of about 3 days, I got a few other interviews for other marketing positions (because Locks and Mane is only a few days a week, I wanted other work), found someone to sublet my apartment in Waterloo, and found a lovely place in Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods neighborhood. All of the stars were aligning– I just had trouble convincing myself that this is what’s best for me.
Every night leading up until the day I moved, I would have a mild anxiety attack and get cold feet about moving. I didn’t want to be without my friends, my free bus pass, and the crappy Chinese restaurants a 5 minute walk from my apartment. My mom was upset that I was deciding to take off a few terms of school in order to gain valuable work experience, and that made my decision all the more difficult. Thankfully, my close friends and older sister were there to talk me down everytime I wanted to give up on the whole ordeal. They told me that I’m strong, smart, and capable– and they truly believed that I would be successful in whatever I decided to take on.
So, on February 1st, I started my first day at Locks and Mane. On February 2nd, I went in for an interview at a legal start-up, [s]advocacy by Caryma Sa’d. On February 3rd, I had my first day at [s]advocacy. I fell in love with the people, leaders, and clients of both of my workplaces and the neighborhoods that they’re in. Turns out, the offices of [s]advocacy are in the heart of Toronto’s Chinatown, so the crappy Chinese food that I was missing out on in Waterloo, was replaced with amazing and unbelievably cheap (also a little sketchy) Chinese/Vietnamese food of Chinatown.
Although it may sound like it, my time here so far has not been all rainbows and butterflies. It’s cold. I hate public transit and I don’t understand how streetcars work. I’m so exhausted every day that I close my eyes when I get home from work intending to nap, and wake up 5-6 hours later with a full face of makeup, lights on, and still fully dressed in work clothes. With that being said, I’m slowly adjusting, and am really thankful that I threw myself into the learning process.
Work ethic is something that I’ve always had a lot of, but was unsure of how I can take it to the next level. While it’s easy to want to break old routines in place for trying new ones, it’s easier said than done. I’ve had to learn to measure my success against my own definition, not my parents, friends, or the institutions of society. I’ve had to make decisions that literally pained me to make. But, by putting myself through this, I know that I’m learning so much (even if I fail), and the potential for learning more about myself as a person, my interests, and my career, are limitless.