all aboard the 20 day challenge.

Mmk. So now that all my emotions have been disclosed--

Here's what's been happening.

I think for the sake of any new visitors here, I'll start by offering a little bit of a timeline/recap. From the top:

December 2011: Quit my full-time restaurant managing job in Laguna Beach, CA because I decided I wanted to finally pursue my life-long dream of living in NYC.

January 2012: Moved back in with my parents in Ventura to save money for the move. Got a part-time job with plans of getting a second part-time job to better finance my savings, but instead made a blog. This one. Cause there was a rough break-up that happened in December too. And I needed a fresh power source+something to keep me busy.

February 2012: Decided blogging was one of coolest things I had ever taken an interest in and wanted to marry it. Or at least learn more about it. So. Spontaneously bought a ticket to the Blogher conference in NYC. 

April: Purchased my one-way ticket to NY for July 26th. (NJ actually. But whatever. The East Coast.)

June: Starting freaking out over the fact that I never got that second part-time job, and was nowhere near my savings goal of five grand. 

July: Made the realization that practically speaking I was nuts, and totally unprepared financially to make this move happen. Posted about the strong likelihood of coming home post Blogher conference and giving myself more time and dedication to save money more intensely and more appropriately. Still, approached my journey as if I was indeed still moving to NY (cause it was still a one-way ticket, and who knows! Maybe things could miraculously work out.). And so I cancelled my gym membership, deferred my school loans, gave my car away to my little brother and sold 3/4 of my entire closet.

July 26th: Boarded my flight and landed in Newark, NJ with two bags, no savings, and about $1000 in my pocket, give or take. I should also mention that I had no job or city housing lined up. Just landed and said "here we go, come what may."

The last two weeks: Been staying with my cousin in West Orange, New Jersey where I've been hanging out with her darling twins and the rest of the time getting stranded (literally stranded) all over the state of New Jersey as I make my commutes back from NYC. It's an ugly commute. Ugly. I'll break it down for you, k.

To begin with, it's about a mile to the nearest bus station. Not so terrible except for the fact that it's stinkin' hot and humid out, and not fun to walk more than 200 ft. in fancy dress shoes. Or business attire that is quickly collecting sweat. Then once you get to the bus station, there's only one bus to Newark Penn Station every hour. So unless you've looked up the schedule for the day, you could very well be screwed waiting an hour for the next bus to come. (Lesson learned there.) Then, once you're on the bus, it's about a 25 min ride to Newark Penn. From Newark Penn you take a train to NY Penn, which is about another 25 min ride. All around it takes about an hour to an hour and a half to get to the city, but, let me tell you, there have been times where it has taken THREE HOURS. And getting home, well. THAT is a completely different nightmare. The reason being, that there are fewer buses that run late in Jersey.. and especially on the weekends. (God, if I had only known or even considered this! Seriously guys, I have found myself in some of the most sticky situations trying to find my way back to my cousin's.)

There's also a direct train into NY Penn going out of a neighboring town called Millburn, which I obviously prefer, but the trouble is getting to that station which is a good four miles away with no sidewalks to get you there. (It's a winding highway that connects West Orange to Millburn, and tho the walk to and from said station IS possible, it's scary as F. I know because I tried it one night coming home past midnight. And basically, I'll never do that again.

Of course, my cousin has given me rides when she has been able to, but she's been out of town quite a bit, and also had surgery several days ago. So, I've pretty much been on my own as far as commuting goes. Which is fine. I've had quite the adventure going in and out of the city, and tho I now know my NJ to NYC commute like a boss, I have no desire to continue it any further. It's simply just not practical, not safe, and rather expensive (roughly $16/day roundtrip).

Which has now brought me to Astoria, Queens. Where I am currently crashing the couch of a friend of a friend of a friend's. Ha. Sometimes all you need to know is that one person who knows everyone else, huh. Anywho-- cutest apartment ever, and the gals who live here are rad. Actually, I haven't even met the one who is letting me crash, she's out of town, but dang. How chill is she to just let me roll in as a total stranger? Of course, I am paying her a couple hundred bucks to crash for the next ten days, but still. 

From here, I'll be crashing another pad in the same hood, from another chick via the same friend that hooked me up with this place (Thank you Sarah Jaye!!!). So that's ten more days for another $200. And after that, I'm pretty much goin' to be on empty financially. 

SO- what all this means is, HOORAY (!!!), cause miracles do happen. I landed some cheap and chill housing in the city, but.. now.... A JOB. I need one. Stat. Cause in twenty days or less, my money is going to be completely gone, and then I'll have no choice, but to return to my cousin's and then California.

If you've been keeping up with my latest posts, then you're probably confused right now. Cause yes, at one very recent point, I announced that I did in fact land a job. Well, I did. Sort of. And then it fell thru.

To rewind a bit: I've applied to a small handful of restaurants/companies since I've arrived, been on a total of two interviews. Both for management positions. The first interview was hands down, one of the best interviews I have ever been on. It was fun and easy, and I felt like they really liked me! Though perhaps the joke was on me, cause I didn't get the job (ha), and yeah-I'm still pretty bummed out about it. Especially since I've become incredibly obsessed with the company and it's products having now had the chance to check out a couple of their stores here in the city. Not to mention, I was totally blown away by their company's corporate office and the kind of culture and vibe I got while I was in there waiting to be interviewed. And not just cause there were twenty shiny MAC screens smiling at me when I first walked in (apple lovers, you knowwww) , but because there was a professional energy in there that I felt really fit me. I'm still sad that I never heard back.

Then the second interview was meh. Didn't quite compare to the first, and I was pretty indifferent to hearing back from them, until I did an hour later. "Can you come in on Monday and train?" Yes!!" I shouted. Was I totally stoked on this place? No. But then again, A job? Monies? Means of financial support? Job offer after only two interviews in the city? YES. I'll take it.

And so for a little bit there, I had a job. Faith was restored, happiness returned. I could take a stroll in Central Park and enjoy it for a few minutes, cause I got a job!

 And then I went to my first day of training.

Went in and worked nearly six hours managing a restaurant floor on my own. Why they even called it "training" I'm not sure, because I was pretty much running the show-- seating guests, busing tables, comping and voiding things for the servers, interacting with the tables, organizing, cleaning, just straight up WORKING/doing labor, all the while the general manager was downstairs in the office. Granted he did come up and check on me to see how I was doing, but, let's just say that in most training situations, especially on the first day, trainers don't hand you the reigns while they go disappear. This is not to say I was struggling on my own or even complaining about it, I was fine, but as the lunch rush was ending, I just really wanted to sit down and talk about scheduling and my pay, and you know, sign official paperwork saying I was for sure hired and stuff. (Please don't ask me why I didn't inquire about all of these things the second I walked in to work... I've already gotten that lecture from my parents+five others. I'm an idiot, I know.) 

So after ordering some lunch and eating it, the GM finally sat down with me and explained that I wasn't in fact hired yet. And that in fact, there were about three other people being trained simultaneously for the same position, that he would like me to come in for a second day of "training", and from there they would decide who to offer the position to. My favorite part? The part where my lunch was "on them", to make the six hours of labor I just did "worth my while." 

Um. Yeah. That happened. 

For the sake of keeping it professional here, I'm not going to add on to all of that. So I'll just say that that was that and now I'm here. Back to square one and hungry for some work. Any work. (that pays, plz and thx.)

Between me and you, now that I'm IN the city with a smoother commute, conference is over (still much to share on that!!!) I think my chances of finding something are pretty good. I have an awesome resume and killer references. And I'm hungry. Both mentally and physically. I want this. I want it more than anything.

But I do still worry. Emotions and anxiety are still high, and as any other passenger on this train, I have  a long-standing fear of failure. 

I know I'm crazy for taking this leap of faith. For coming out here on as little as I have. For being fearless in my wandering and maybe not as street-smart as any given broad should be. I promise I'll try to be more street smart. (Mom & Dad, I'm talking to you) But I'm glad that I'm out here, that I haven't thrown the towel in just yet, that I'm riding this one out, straight on down to the last penny and borrowed quarter. 

Twenty days to find a job. In the words of the handsome Barney Stinson, Challenge Accepted.

Excuse me now, friends, as I go suit up.


  1. You'll do it! I am sure of it. Enjoy the adventure.

  2. Rootin' for you here in Westchester!! xoxo

  3. Good good luck!! Keep that eye on the prize (obvs!) and work it! I'm looking forward to see where this adventure takes you next (and even more looking forward to eventually meeting up in the Big Apple)!!

  4. Holy eff. I would have been SO PISSED.
    Anyway, you can do it!! I'll be prayin' for you!!

  5. You can do it!!! Hope something comes up for you - and wtf with other place, full on working you butt off and they'll take care of your food - Really? Good on you - if that was me - the food would have been in their face (ok not professional -- but movieworthy!) fingers crossed for you!

  6. Ha I love the last line. And I love your determination!!! I totally believe in you and if I had a friend of a friend of a friend to help, I SO would. I really think everything is going to work out :)

  7. I think it's a really brave and inspiring thing you're doing and even though it doesn't look so good at the moment, I'm jealous of you. I truly hope everything will work out soon.

  8. Sometimes I feel like I am literally holding my breath for you. I can almost FEEL how bad you want this. Also, I am laughing about how you've never even met the girl who's giving you her space. So typical for the city, I love it.

  9. There is nothing worse than going on a interview, thinking it went really well, and then having them turn around and be like "Oh hahaha, just kidding, you didn't get the job." Oh wait, I know what's worse. What just happened to you. That's definitely worse.

    Good luck with everything!

  10. You can doooooooooooooooooo eaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! Cheering you on! Get that job! Get that job! Get that job!

    (and, ummm, how shady is it to call 6 hours of work an interview and pay you in lunch????)

  11. Good Luck Punky! But I know you'll figure something out! And that restaurant! UGH! J-E-R-K-S! Yeah, I said it. They took advantage of you, not cool! That better have been the best food you've ever had in your life for 6 hours of work...

    Suit up and make it happen! You've got so many people rooting on your side lady!

    xo Kayla

  12. Challenge accepted indeed!!! I love that you are there trying to pursue something you have always wanted! It is so inspiring and encouraging and I hope you get a job soon! Start serving at a restaurant there, they make way more than servers in CA because people actually tip more in NYC! Start out there and then decide what you want to do long-term, you're more than qualified, heard?! ;)

    xoxo, alisia E

  13. WOW.

    Just wow!

    But go for it! 20 days is a long time!! You can do it xx

  14. I love that you're still out there in the city making things work. sending a billion good vibes your way!

  15. Your conclusion is just AWESOME ! ;)
    You are so brave, I'm sure you will succeed ! Can't wait to hear what's next !

  16. What a story! You can sell that as a screenplay any day of the week.

    You can do this... honestly, I have the feeling that for you, the hardest part of all of this was finding safe, affordable, commutable housing. Now that you have that all lined up, all you have to do is go out and be your amazing self. Work it, girl!

    And consider those first 2 interviews/"training situations" to be the worst that's going to happen before you land THE job. Before you know it this is just going to be yet another awesome bar story.

  17. You are in such a great (albeit stressful) place right now where you get to really CHOOSE your life. Don't settle for a crappy, less-than job that won't make you happy. Find the RIGHT one. :-)

    Rock on!!!!

  18. First off, YES on the HIMYM reference. And secondly, you go girl! I love that you're off living your dream and you're painfully honest about it. That restaurant should not get business just because of the way they treated you! Anyhoot, I'm sending all my positive vibes your way and crossing all my fingers!!


  19. Your blog is truly inspiring. I love that you are not ready to give up! Stay strong!

  20. AHHHHHHH!!!! I have so much to say!!! I feel like I'm so behind. All I know is that you an inspiration and a total hero in my eyes! I don't even care what happens- the fact that you did this says a lot about you! I cannot BELIEVE those a-holes had the nerve to call that "training"! WTF! People actually do that? I said "OMG" out loud after reading that paragraph, so loud that my hubbs actually took off his headphones and asked me to read it. We both laughed... sorry bout that...! But girl, there is something to special about you and your story. I can feel your hunger and your zest. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! Go Punky Go! *cabbage patch*

    P.S. Your blog design looks absolutely amaze ;)

  21. Hey Lady! Just found your blog via the hop, and I'm so happy to be your newest follower! I also would love to invite you to a fabulous triple giveaway that I'm having right now!
    Ends tonight, so hurry over and thanks so much!

    xo, Emily

  22. I have this crazy idea. And yes I just met you, but we are moving in less than 20 days...shhhhhh. South. Still on the east coast. Want to come? I'm just saying I don't have a job either but do have a 3 year old and it's pretty close to the beach. Not new York but the beach. My next crazy idea is a fraud charity. I saw it on weeds, not the best job but still.

  23. Just found your blog and what an exciting time it is to become your reader. All I can say is risks do pay off and I wish you the best of luck. NYC isn't easy, but nothing worth it ever is!

  24. Hi! I'm a new follower of your blog. I have one word for you: Guts. You have them! :) I wish you the best of luck and look forward to reading about your adventure! From Jenny @

  25. Now that's what I call an adventure!!! Whew....wishing you the very best on your journey through this thing we like 2 call LIFE....Yep!

    Peace!....with 2 fingers;)

  26. Damnit Punky. Did you find a job? Why you no update us!?
    I might tweet this comment.

  27. I LOVE that you moved there...flying by the seat of your pants...seriously...awesome! You'll get a job! I just know it!

    Ramblings of a Southern Belle

  28. okay i'm late catching up here, but i think you're totally awesome for just going for it. good luck on the job hunt, i hope you found something awesome!!

  29. i loved this post1
    you are not crazy, i have changed three cities and countries in 3 years and planing a new move early in the year.its your dream and you are chasing it,you should be proud of yourself not many do this.
    best of luck :-)

  30. This was fun! Thank you for making me feel like i'm not in this alone :)
    Good Luck!

  31. YES!!!!! =) ROCK it, girl!!! For us ladies out here wishing we were doing the SAME thing!!


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