A family member asked me, When are you going to get a real job again? You know, one where you dress up in cute work clothes every day? Go to an office…
I try to interject when she continues, Why don’t you just move home while you figure it out? There are plenty of jobs in San Francisco.
I make something up to get off the phone and get back to reading my book.
I left my first job because it wasn’t a good fit and my loans are insane. When I can’t pocket the first 6 figures, shouldn’t the job I have at least make me happy?
So before my restaurant shift, I take extra time to myself. I like to bring my laptop or a book and eat breakfast facing the Flatiron Building.
Bikes speed past as the light turns yellow. Squeaky breaks of a double-decker bus drown out the caklunk-caklunk from the subway below. Questionable steam fills the air, quickly dissipating into the blue clear sky. Businessmen, nannies, tourists–every type of person–flood the intersection with their own agenda.
Then I spot her.
A lace blouse is tucked into a blue wide-leg suspender-jumpsuit cuffed to reveal chunky gold sandals. A canvas bag is tucked sheepishly under her arm, while a bold tortoise handle to a tiny wicker bag rests proudly on her wrist.
I imagine this modern Jane Birkin is on her way to some WeWork space outfitted with an unlimited supply of cold brew and gluten-free snacks. She keeps her laptop and clunky necessities in the tote, but just grabs her itty bitty purse on the way to Cha Cha Matcha.
A shrill scream pierces the air and I turn to see a woman leaping away from a french bulldog sniffing her chair.
In a maroon 3/4 sleeve dress paired with bedazzled fake Birkenstocks, the woman sipped on an iced coffee. No handbag, just a Juul in her palm. She probably works nearby for some corporate conglomerate by the way she puffed frequently. I’m sure she lives somewhere uptown with a vintage bar cart and view of the Empire State Building.
When she leaves and I’m alone in my feelings, I look down to see what I’m wearing to work. A tank top from the summers I worked at Old Navy, denim shorts cut from an old pair of Levi’s that ripped in the thigh and a pair of purple Converse from high school. I’ll change into a uniform t-shirt for work, but this outfit is definitely function over fashion.
If I really had to pick a job based on the wardrobe, I would definitely be an Instagram Influencer
Who wouldn’t want to focus on the perfecting your an Instagram feed and the fabulous lifestyle that goes along with it?
Brands want access to a large dedicated audience. Leveraging a following can be profitable, try reading “Capture Your Style” by Aimee Song. I took a brief stab at being a fashion blogger but declaring myself a fashion expert while wearing thrifted tie dye felt pitiful and unmarketable during the summer of off-the-shoulder dresses.
Still, I am fascinated by Insta-famous girls. Especially @SarahFuckingSnyder.
Without getting into too much detail, she dated Jaden Smith and was arrested for stealing a Birkin. Obviously, she didn’t steal it. An iconic headshot was born and Sarah joined the ranks of Lindsay, Paris & Nicole.
BUT, unlike the women smeared by TMZ, Sarah *gets* a fucking say. She takes to Instagram with witty captions in her court outfit: a black jumpsuit featuring an electric blue bag. Yup, the “fuckin birkin”.
That’s fucking awesome—you cannot tell me otherwise.
Sarah tells a story of a badass chick who does not give a fuck. She’s not a blogger, she’s a muse. She is definitely not preaching body positivity in tiny bikinis, but she looks in control of her life, one that includes free luxury vacations. Unless she starts selling gummy vitamins, she’s good in my book.
WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP
My alarm goes off and I look to my screen only to realize I’ve spent 30 minutes clearing out spam emails and playing make-believe. I pack up my bag and walk to work where I switch into the boxy grey T-shirt for a few hours of smiles.
We have a few regulars who come in for the same exact thing around the same time every single day. Some love to chat, but others avoid eye contact entirely. I’m just that girl from that place where they get lunch.
Once the rush is over, I shove the t-shirt into my bag, slip on my mom’s old sunglasses, and in an instant, it’s just me, my chucks and New York City.