Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What do you do that matters?

I met a recent post-grad the other day who was just as cute as she could be. She was stylish, smart, bright-eyed and filled with promise. She's hopeful to find a job she can be passionate about, doing something, you know...that matters. Politics, the arts, non-profit perhaps? And then she asked about my "story." What do I do? (Besides fold scarves and reassure customers that the skinny jeans they're trying on does not make their ass look fat, that is.)

And then, well, my story didn't sound so impressive. So what that I have spent an entire day with the Jonas Brothers (and, at one time they knew me by name)? Or that I have been on the set of an Emma Roberts movie or flirted shamelessly with Channing Tatum over the phone. The better part of my career has been spent either stalking celebrities or asking them about their first kiss. So WHAT?

My freshman year in college I majored in psychology because I wanted to be a counselor of some sort. After seriously struggling through a couple math classes (numbers aren't my thing), I decided to switch to English because it was a broad enough major and I was decent writer. Fast-forward eight years and here I am: fired, broke, and only sometimes fabulous. I'm really not sure what exactly I have accomplished or contributed to this world, but I wonder how many English majors in my graduating class can say they have met Chace Crawford or have been air-kissed by Taylor Swift?

Hrm...I'm still feeling kinda crummy. I should do more volunteer work like I did in this post. I really enjoyed it. So what about you: What do you do that matters?


  1. I feel you on this. Currently I do nothing that matters. I had a fundraiser for Haiti at work, and I felt good about that. I used to teach youth; I used to volunteer with the elderly. The operative words there are 'used to'. I keep trying to find things that matter which won't put an emotional drain on me, a person who becomes totally invested in my endeavours.

    I hope you find something fulfilling in this respect!

  2. What a good post...and it gives me a lot to think about. I don't do crap! And that totally sucks. When I was in high school I volunteered at the AIDS Center in Austin and I loved it. Now...nothing! I gotta step up my game! Thanks for lighting a fire under me!

  3. Keep in mind you don't have to be Jimmy Carter to make a difference (referencing his career as a philanthropist after his presidency). If you think about the little things you do every day that are good for the world (recycling, taking public transit, eating organic, voting, jury duty, spreading love and tolerance), you are doing something that matters.
    Add to that some regular volunteer work, some fund raising, some donations of time/money and you are doing something that matters TO YOU!


  4. You write a blog that makes people smile - that matters!

  5. Meh...don't put too much stock in her good intentions. As soon as she gets her first bill for grad-school loans, she'll probably take a desk job with good pay. <-- Whoa, who's wearing their cynical-pants today? Seriously though. If she's post-grad, it means she'sd in her 20's and still doesn't know WHAT meaningful work she wants to do!

  6. Why thank you, Footloose :)

    Cynical pants, Kara? I wear them often.

    Jury duty! Ahh...I got out of it the first time, remember Shannon? But yeah...the small things should count I guess. Coincidentally enough, today I got an email about an upcoming volunteer event for the same organization I participated with last time. I signed up pronto!

    Kim, I still haven't done ANYTHING for Haiti, even though I keep telling myself I'm going to at least contribute a small donation. Ahh, I NEED to.

    Step it on up, MHP...maybe you could help with an organization that promotes health or raises awareness on health-related issues??

  7. I received some of my greatest gratifications in my life while in my sorority. Doing volunteer work, organizing fundraisers and donation drives, all with women that I love and inspire me was one of the best experiences of my life. It has inspired me to continue my endeavors and volunteer work. PS- you can volunteer some of your freetime through online work. Check out www.volunteermatch.org! I love this site!

  8. I struggled with this when I first graduated from college. I was originally going to pursue fashion merchandising, but I realized I didn't love clothes enough to deal with the BS. I felt like I didn't want to help others in my free time, but as my 9 to 5 to get me through the day. This is why I work in higher education.

    But honestly, you'd be surprised how the little things you do on a daily basis make a difference in people's lives. Sometimes just smiling and showing a bit of kindness can turn someone's day around.

    Great post!


  9. Thanks, GAB! I'll check that out! I actually have gotten back in touch with my sorority alum, so I'm hoping to get more involved that way.

    Hey Latoya! Umm, yeah...there is PLENTY of B.S. in fashion—I have heard horror stories! Good for you for choosing a career that means something to you.

  10. Here's my issue with "doing something that matters"- for some reason this has a meaning it has to be for underprivileged or sick people when people are are healthy and successful people who need you to impact them too! Smiling at a stranger, reminding a friend how important they are on your life, being there for a friend all matter. I know you do all these things every day and they do make a difference and sometI'mes take more thought and energy than volunteering. Keep being the good person you are because to all of us it matters. P.S. You are always fabulous!