Nothing Is As It Seems

, by Zoë Gulliksen

I am currently writing this from my reading nook under my loft bed in my apartment on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, New York. It feels so surreal finally being able to say that. For most of my adolescent years I wanted to live here and have always felt more at home in this city than anywhere else.

In the past 5 months my three biggest goals came true: graduate college, land a kick ass job in the city and move to the Upper West Side. I did all of these, but it was not easy. Immediately after graduating I sent out endless applications for social media jobs until I was hired by a movie subscription startup company. But even then, for two months I had to commute to work from Jersey, two hours each way. I often wanted to see my friends or go to a movie after work so I wasn’t getting home until nearly midnight each night only to wake up at six again the next day.

Finally, I found a great studio apartment on Broadway in the Upper West Side but the previous tenant refused to move out until three weeks after I was supposed to move in. And so I was put in a temporary apartment in the same building but it was not renovated nor did it have the new appliances or wood flooring like the apartment I had signed for. I slept on an air mattress and lived out of suitcases for three weeks in a room with dirty tile floors, stained walls and shitty overhead lighting. I had not realized how poor lighting and dirty floors could make one so miserable. I was homesick and felt very misplaced.

In the last month I also started to not enjoy my dream job anymore. The work I was doing was fun but unfulfilling and I had major problems with the way I was being treated. So this past week, I left. I won’t go into detail, but I will say that I refuse to let myself be treated like an idiotic child. I am young enough that I do not have to stay at job that does not make me happy. I have enough money saved up to pay rent and I have a few new job opportunities in the works, but this time I will be way more selective with who I decide to work with.

I know it was a very risky decision, but my gut told me that (for numerous reasons) I was better off leaving. I was having trouble sleeping and breaking out in hives from the unnecessary anxiety. It kind of felt like an early life crisis. I thought about it for a good month before leaving, and now I have never felt better or more relaxed.

I will use this wonderful time to my full advantage. I want to take care of myself again because the stress of the past 5 months did a number on me. I want to walk or run every morning (like I did today), and I am going to write. I have a novella I have been meaning to finish for a while now and I plan on doing so in the next few weeks. Above all else, I am going to be happy.

This week alone I have chatted with Liam Neeson about his new movie Taken 2, and Frank Oz (known for voicing and providing the puppeteer work for Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, and of course Yoda) and Alan Menken (composer for most Disney movies including Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Tangled) about the newly released Little Shop of Horrors Director’s Cut. Frank wanted my cheesecake and gave me a hug. Alan sang snippets of Disney songs many times next to me and I nearly passed out from the shear awesomeness of it all. I know that my life will turn out just fine.

I have never learned so much in my life as I have since May, about myself and about other people. I tried being friends or making certain friendships works, but people turn out to be distrustful, rude, and backhanded. There are people who desire above all else to be well known and surrounded by people who adore them for all the wrong reasons. Less eloquently, attention whores.  I don’t need people like that in my life.

This fall my life will be going through some exciting adventures and I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for me. Once again my life will continue changing drastically, even this blog will get a new layout! So once again I thank you guys for being there for me on Twitter. I promise to try my best to keep you updated on my future endeavors. Until then, drop me a line anytime. =)


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Once Upon A Time In New York City, Part II

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Hi guys-

I am currently writing this on my iPhone on the floor of my new (and actual) apartment. As most of you know I moved into a temporary apartment a few weeks ago because the previous owner refused to move out on time. I was given a crappy place to stay in the same building with shitty tile floors and a door that was just three pieces of wood nailed together. My hallway smelled like meat cookIng and cigarettes: my two most hated smells.  (#vegetarian #fanofcleanlungs) These reasons made it very hard for me to feel not only comfortable but also safe.

However yesterday I was given the keys to my real apartment with with it's beautiful flooring, stainless steel appliances and door that is all one piece. It is cozy, adorable, and feels very much like home. I even found an awesome lamp I'll tweet a picture of later this week.

I wanted to give you an update because I recieved an overwhelming amount of response from my last blog post. Strangers, old friends, former teachers, and family all reached out to me praising my courage and wishing me luck. Even telling me I inspire them to go after what they want in life. I did not expect this at all, but it brings me great comfortable that something small that I do can positively effect another. I have always been surrounded by people who go after the big dreams: my parents and my closets friends. This applies to everything: your job, relationship, and living situation. Why waste your life with people who you don't passionately love or doing a job you hate? Big things happen to those who go after them.

Anyway, enough of my late night sentiment. I'll post pictures of my tiny adorable apartment soon, once everything is put on its place. But life is good. I spent hours running around Central Park with Pietro and the new puppy Robin, went food shopping and bought that awesome lamp. Tomorrow I get to go to the Taken 2 press event and talk to Liam Neeson.

I know that I am a very lucky person. I am constantly finding myself in great circumstances quite by accident, but I do work very hard to be the best person I can be. This usually means not surrounding myself with people I can't trust and holds close to the ones that make your life better.

And write. Oh how I will write.


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Once Upon a Time In New York City

, by Zoë Gulliksen

For years all I talked about was finally getting the hell out of college, landing a kick ass job in the city and moving to Manhattan. I had very specific goals for 2012: land a job I LOVED no matter that many people told me that I did not have nearly enough experience or that I was too young. I also did not want to live anywhere but Manhattan, specifically the Upper West Side. Most people my age flock to Broklyn because it’s cheap and hipsterish. Whenever I would say I wanted to live in Manhattan, I was scoffed at. When people heard I was determined to live on the UWS (home to characters such as Will & Grace, and the crew of How I Met Your Mother) I was considered downright absurd. I would never make it.

Well I did. I have a job at a company in a loft down in NoHo with a rock wall, pool table and ping pong competitions. I live on the UWS (the real UWS mind you, not Harlem nor Morningside Heights) in an apartment with a 24 doorman for only $750 including all utilities. I hit the New Yorker jackpot.

And yet, things were not quite as I thought they would be. The girl who lived in my apartment before me refused to move out until two weeks after she was supposed to, leaving me in the ditch. So my building gave me a different apartment for those two weeks, rent free. It sounds like a good deal, but this temporary room is not nearly as nice as my actual apartment. It is not renovated, does not include the stainless steel appliances, and is lacking a stove top and microwave. It’s a place to stay, so I should not feel so sad about this, but I have been. 

This less than stellar apartment only made my sudden homesickness all the more impactful. I have never been homesick in my life, but never had a good reason to. I never went to sleep away camp or even away to college. I went on trips with friends, and had many sleepovers, but I had never spent considerable time away from home before. I was so eager to move out to be on my own that the suddenly shock of being away from my family in a scary apartment really took a toll on me.

I admit that I probably cried every night the first week. And well, every day this week too. But not just because I was homesick: My third night living in the city I had a horrible 24 hour stomach flu bug (throwing up 20 minutes all night is not a pleasant scenario no matter where you are).

Last weekend I did go home for a couple of days, and it felt amazing to be near my family again. I quickly returned to the city (covered in sunburn from the beach) for another crazy week. I cannot go more into details for the sake of others, but this has also has not been a good week. Part because I’m sick again with a head cold but mainly because of other people.

I am not one that enjoys having friends because people, for the most part, cannot be trusted. I am a terribly friendly person that cares deeply for the ones I know. However, I am fully aware that no one is perfect and anyone can treat you poorly at the drop of a hat. And this week, many people have treated me as such. Things don’t turn out the way you expect them to, for good or bad.

And so many life changes are continually happening. I wouldn’t have gotten through these last two weeks without many phone calls from my mom, often very long ones. And I certainly would not have made it anywhere without Pietro, who installed my air conditioner in the middle of the night (in the rain because I probably would have dropped it out the window and onto Broadway) and has looked out for me in this great vast city.

I wanted to give you all an honest update, because the bloggers I respect the most are the ones who give pieces of themselves for other to find comfort in. I had all my big dreams come true, and somehow I have still been disheartened. Nothing worth having ever came easy. 


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