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. =)


  1. Hang in there, hon -- I love your stuff on tumblr and in other places -- you're gonna turn out fine!

    Wish I had half your courage...

  2. Hope everything works out well for you! Will continue to tune in to your adventures and they continue to bring me inspiration in being more active in what's going on in my own life. Excelsior!

  3. Best of luck with everything—with this kind of attitude, you'll obviously do just fine.

    I hope you'll still be at NYCC? I'd love to say hello.

  4. You are awesome. You are incredibly determined and motivated that you will do great things. I wish I could do something to help.