Feature Image: Alex Weinstein
Exactly one year ago today I was an editorial intern at the largest independent women’s website in Australia.
And at the time it felt like the Single Most Important Goal of my Entire Life to be employed at the end of the internship.
I wanted that job, bad. I remember booking those return flights to Sydney and the inner-city Airbnb on my student-budget wage. I remember those months beforehand, scrambling get the cashish together. I remember working three jobs and in my most desperate moment… wondering how much I could make if I sold the family cat.*
During that internship I set my alarm for ridiculous hours to brainstorm, like, thirty different article pitches to bring into the office. I spent way too much time on hair and makeup and far too much money on clothes because these were the unspoken rules to make yourself stand out. And while sleep deprivation, make-up, hair and expensive clothes couldn’t be further from who I am- I wanted to fit in, I wanted to impress and I wanted that job.
Because in those few weeks for the first time in my life my passion for writing felt like a legitimised thing
Not just a cute hobby my family patted me on the head for. The women in this office got PAID for writing social commentary and women’s issues. Paid to be sassy and clever and swear whenever they wanted. People would read their articles and laugh, feel understood and furthermore, powerful.
I wanted to be that kind of writer. And from what I could see this job was the only place to make it happen.
One morning I wound up up in the office kitchen with the co-founder of the website. And she said: “Caitlin, I’ve been hearing great things about you around the office” and I remember thinking mate, this is IT.
I’d slaved my guts out at this internship, I’d typed and written until my hands cramped. I’d done my time, I’d prayed so hard I’m surprised my eyes didn’t pop out from the pressure of wishing so hard. It was time for the universe to reward me with my dream job and I was ready.
That’s how it worked, right?
“It was time for the universe to reward me with my dream job and I was ready.
That’s how it worked, right?”
I went back to Perth and never heard from them again.
I was gutted, kind of pissed off, and embarrassed. I’d taken a leap in front of my friends and family and fallen on my face.
I went back to my job of scanning bottles of rum for drunk old men at the local liquor store. To console me, my career mentor said “Let your plan B become your plan A” and I remember thinking “there is no plan B, f*cker. That was my only plan.”
I kept writing every spare minute I had anyway, because this thing feeds my soul.
Soon after I was put in contact with a friend of his who lived in Montreal.
She was starting this project called Salty Souls Experience, and she was looking for an intern to write blog posts.
It set my soul on fire again, and the fire to be a part of this thing was so ridiculously powerful it made the flame I thought had for that Sydney job look like a sad little matchstick, withering then dying.
It is one year later I am currently living in El Salvador, Central America, doing a job I am in love with in a life that a year ago I could not have even dreamed of.
And I’m only 22 years old.
Firstly there’s no hair, make-up, new clothes bullshit requirements for this job. As I write this article my hair is crunchy from surf and I have on the same old T-shirt I wore yesterday. I use that time I would otherwise use making myself up into someone I’m not to surf, write, and explore this new insanely beautiful country.
I get to share my innermost thoughts through writing with this badass community of women who I love deeply, both those I have and haven’t met.
I work for two women I admire the shit out of.
My office is not in the city, which has always made me feel suffocated after a while, but on the beach, or in a coffee shop, or on a hammock, or sometimes on a bus or a plane or a train, where the scenery constantly changes and and I never get stagnant or bored or restless. It’s not for everyone. But it’s for me and I’m in love with it.
And all the time I think: so this is why the universe didn’t give me what I wanted before.
It is so important to realise sometimes when the universe doesn’t grant your three wishes – it just might be the best damn thing that ever happened to you. Even if you have no idea what’s coming for you yet. Maybe you haven’t grown in a way that you’re meant to to receive the opportunity. Maybe the universe is running on El Salvador time and is just taking its sweet-ass time revealing your plan B, or C, or Z.
“And all the time I think: ‘So this is why the universe didn’t give me what I wanted before.'”
But I believe when you don’t get what you want it is for a reason. I believe this one hundred percent from the marrow of my bones.
“Everything you want is coming. Let the universe pick up the timing and the way. You just need to trust what you want is coming, and watch how fast it comes” -Abraham Hicks.
Work in the direction of that thing that sets your soul on fire every damn day of ya life. Time, money and ressources spent chasing your passion is never, ever time wasted. Trust me. It all is leading you somewhere great.
*Sorry Benson. I am quite fond of you really. Even if you have a shit name and you try to knead my stomach like dough with your pointy, annoying paws. 😼