Trying to Stand Still When Everything’s Moving: Narrowing Down My Future

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Sodergren.

I’m scared I will never be able to settle down and pick a career because I can never dedicate my time and energy to just one thing, especially not for long periods of time. Ok, that’s as serious as I’m going to get here, I promise.

When I was a kid, I was positive I would grow up to be a party planner. I had a name, a logo and I made my mom buy me party planning books (mainly from American Girl Doll) to do research. My empire was being built. Who wouldn’t want to hire Planned By Zoe™?

I stuck with that for quite a while, and honestly while I don’t remember when that dream came to an end I still think I would enjoy it. Even as a child my Virgo sun demanded organization and my Mars in Virgo craved being in charge; I guess that meant being determined to create my own business at age seven.

But like all good things, that career path came to an end. 

At one point after watching Legally Blonde one too many times, I aspired to be a lawyer. I hyper-fixated on the movie (which I can now probably recite like the national anthem), maybe because Elle Woods was hot or maybe because I did actually want to be a lawyer. Regardless of what drove my new found interest, I joined the debate team in High School on a mission.

I was determined to become a lawyer. 

And then I wasn’t. It was just another ever-fleeting ambition.

But then I got to college and had to pick a major, which meant finalizing what I wanted to do when I would eventually graduate. Terrifying. I told myself to choose something that was broad enough that while I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, I knew it would be within the field. So media management sounded pretty good. I like the media, I like managing things, that has to count for something. 

I wanted to be a social media manager for some super cool company at one point in the past two years. Social media is incredibly important in crafting your online presence. It basically allows you to be whoever you want if you have the right tools, of course. But then in a crisis moment I realized how bad social media was for my mental health and went on a full detox for months. While I was too weak to keep everything deleted, some things I have yet to redownload. What kind of social media manager doesn’t have social media? It wouldn’t work. 

I wanted to be a journalist and write the news. I was on my school newspaper for all four years of high school, moving up towards editor in chief by my senior year. I was thrilled to join the Oracle and of course I ran towards the news section. At one point in my life I lived and breathed news. 

I watched as my friends around me wrote all these exciting stories about music, pop culture and people doing things to better themselves and their surroundings. I was writing about the new Ulster County budget and how much money was being used on bridges. Or about the most recent shooting in town, or the last person that got mugged, or the most recent mask mandate.

Bottom line; the news is sad and I don’t want to be sad. I want to laugh.

So I quickly moved on to wanting to write for SNL and be a comedian.

This is something that I have wanted to do forever, as shown by my very ballsy attempt at a stand up routine I did for my third grade talent show. Watching SNL with my parents since I was a kid, watching it and learning, maybe even occasionally taking notes (we’ve already established that I am a Virgo). I wanted to be the next Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, or Kate McKinnon. I could keep listing funny, powerful women that I have watched create incredibly well thought out and humorous content for hours. All I know is that one day I would kill to be on that list. 

I have had an SNL skit list in my notes app for two years and since then have amassed over 100 skit ideas. Most of which are definitely not funny, but there has to be like two or three good ones scattered around.

I want to make people laugh, it is single handedly the one thing that brings me the most joy. I could fully see myself in the writers room bouncing ideas off of my co-workers, nothing but laughs, half empty coffee cups and probably some type of drug to really get the ideas flowing. 

But I don’t think I’m funny or confident enough to do things in front of people or put my ideas out there so I guess I have to say bye to SNL.

Clearly all these jobs are possible and require a lot of hard work and time and patience. But by the time I have convinced myself that I can do one of these jobs I’m interested in the next, until I find a reason why it won’t work out and then a new idea rolls in.

Over break I worked at an Urban Outfitters and remembered how much I love clothes and fashion. I talked to the merchandiser that worked for them and they let me design a display case. Bam. New aspiration. Another new job I liked and could see myself doing. So what was I going to do? Drop everything and transfer to FIT? No.

I know that I actually need to put my mind to something and stick with it through the hard parts. I need to push myself when I have to learn something new and not shy away from it when I’m uncomfortable or not great at it from the start. 

But that’s what I have decided 2022 is all about; pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. 

Maybe I just spent what is probably too much money on a satire writing workshop. Maybe I’m taking a screenwriting course this semester and I’m not going to be too embarrassed to share my ideas. Maybe I am going to flood Mindy Kalings DM’s politely asking if she needs an intern for her new show The Sex Lives of College Girls, and maybe I’m going to stand outside 30 Rock every day until I finagle my way into the writers’ room. 

So if anyone knows how to get in contact with the likes of Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, Lorne Michaels or any of the other amazing people I have talked about, please refer to my email at the top of this page. Also, if anyone who has been mentioned happens to see it please give me an internship, or if you want to go out for coffee please also refer to my email above.

About Zoe Woolrich 45 Articles
Zoe Woolrich (she/her) is a second year media management major from New York City. This is her third semester with The Oracle. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief and has previously served as a Copy Editor, News Editor and Managing Editor. You can contact her at woolricz1@newpaltz.edu.