I just got off the phone after an hour-long conversation with my long-time friend from UCLA, Yvette. She was out in NYC with me for a while just to try things out, worked odd jobs here and there, but eventually moved out to the Bay Area to work as the studio manager at an up-and-coming design studio.
I have also been working odd jobs here and there, and I was recently offered the chance to interview for the studio manager position at a prestigious design agency located at the heart of SoHo in New York City.
Yvette gave me the lowdown on what it means to be a studio manager. Scanning receipts, dealing with the cable guy, plan events for company bonding, then get yelled at for not doing it the way person A-Z wanted it to be done.
It shouldn't come as a surprise then that my dear friend Yvette will be quitting in 2 weeks and moving to Los Angeles to pursue a new life – one that doesn't involve wasting one's life away doing somebody else's work. We also spoke about reading Eckhart Tolle, going to Coachella and doing acid for the first time, but I digress...
Yvette ended the conversation with this, "Just be yourself."
I say this because I think it's really easy to forget. It's easy to forget that you're not actually supposed to cram yourself into the shitty NYC subway every morning to sit at a shitty office job from 9-5, only to end up getting shitfaced after work because you can't figure out how you got yourself into so much shit in the first place. It's easy to forget that you don't have to be a slave to your boss, and that life can be so much more...
I seem to forget quite often, and that's quite hard to admit. Who am I really? Where do my interests lie? What would I be doing if money wasn't an issue and I had all the resources in the world?
And do my answers correlate with what I'm doing now? Or at least with where I'm headed?
I think this is what the overabundance of inspirational talks and self-help books are basically trying to tell us. Cheesy images of beautiful women doing yoga against the sunset with quotes like, "Everything happens for a reason." The lone ranger standing on the breathtaking mountaintop asking, "What's stopping you?" We're just being told the same thing.
JUST BE YOURSELF.
Now, this isn't to say that I'm not going to dislike being a studio manager, I haven't tried it yet, but this is to say stop voluntarily putting yourself in situations you don't want to be in – and to stop doing shit you don't want to do.
Thank you, Yvette, for the wakeup call.
by Jason Lam