I am currently accepting submissions for The Young Professional Project, a collective dive into different perspectives on the transition from college to life after college. The following is a submission from Maddie Teren, a recent graduate of the University of Miami, an aspiring author and blogger and authority on all things food, and currently, well, I’ll let her tell you about that.
Name: Maddie Teren
College Class: Miami University, May 2012
Major or Concentration of Study: Communications and Spanish
Aspiration: I want to write about food: I want to be the next notable food critic, or the next Giada De Laurentiis, or write the next best selling cook book. I just want to eat food and cook food and then write about food. And make a little money doing it.
Commitment: I’m committed to being open. With writing in particular, it is essential to be willing to explore and try new things in order to find something to write about. But I also want to be open in every other aspect of my life: open to new people, different cultures, novel activities, whatever!
I’m a recent college graduate. I bid my university a fond farewell on May 5th 2012, equipped with a boatload of knowledge, a 3.7 GPA, and degrees in Communication and Spanish. Look out real world; I’ve arrived.
I’m now three months out. And what, pray tell, is the high-paying, dream job that I’ve managed to secure? I’m a server. A server in a restaurant. Now, don’t be fooled: I’m not a waitress. No, I don’t wait on you, or wait for you, or wait around until you’re ready to place your order or pay your bill. I serve you. I serve you the keenest knowledge about our menu, both wine and food; I serve you your tacos without avocado—for reasons completely lost on me…who the hell doesn’t like avocado?; and I serve you your meal with a steak knife if it so requires, a winning smile, and most of all, the burning desire that it could be me sitting in your seat.
Because I want to be the one sinking my teeth into that juicy bleu cheese-crusted filet, prepared medium-rare and accompanied by a glass of full-bodied, spicy, and smooth Shiraz, with dark fruit notes and hints of mocha. I want to be the one ordering an extra side of bubbly, gooey, sinful mac-n-cheese in addition to the creamy, yet crunchy coleslaw that accompanies my Sole Française. Instead of serving food to my guests, I want to serve food to my readers. I want to serve them the knowledge of where to get the best bang for your buck; the best Mexican food in town; the best drinks; the best dessert; the freshest seafood; and the friendliest, most expert service. I want to eat food. And then I want to write about it.
For my entire senior year of college I sought future employment as a PR professional. Because I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I mean, that’s what my friend Michael wanted to do, and we graduated with the same major. And I mean, PR involves plenty of communication, and I sure do love to communicate. And plus, PR is a challenging, yet creative profession! So I poured over job websites, composed countless e-mails, expanded my professional network, sought advice from anyone and everyone, and applied, applied, applied. To no real avail.
But then one day, about a month after graduation, I had an epiphany: a “yogepiphany” as I call it. There I was, lying on my bright-pink, $13 yoga mat in the 100° hot room at my yoga studio here in Nashville. While trying to get used to the blistering heat (but in reality glaring at the vent, viciously pumping out misery just 10 feet above my face) my mind turned to one familiar question that I had often found floating through my head: What do I want to do? And it hit me like a heat wave.
I want to write.
A) I really like writing.
B) I already have a blog and post regularly.
C) I’m pretty good at writing—not to toot my own horn or anything; my dad actually told me I was good one time.
So I went home from yoga and timidly told my parents about my plan, my dream, my new “creative” career choice. And they were excited. Thrilled. Apparently even relieved. I sure am lucky.
Instead of pushing me into a career path that might make me a bundle of money but unfortunately also make me clinically insane, my parents are dream-believers.
Just like me. I’m a dream-believer and a dream-pursuer. So I’m going to keep on eating and cooking and writing [and exercising] until one day it finally happens. In the meantime, I’ll just keep serving my guests, and drooling over their food, and dreaming it was me: just eating, and then writing, and then repeating.
– Maddie Teren, A Young Professional, University of Miami, 2012
Like what you read? You should keep up with Maddie Too!
Blog – http://maddielite.wordpress.com
Twitter – @maddielite
Instagram – maddielite
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/maddie.teren
LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=137355455&trk=tab_pro