I wake up tired. Last night I had one glass of wine. I should probably stop doing that. Even though I went to bed by 11pm, I’m still so freaking tired. Okay, well, I gotta get to work. This anxious feeling in my belly? Oh, we’re just going to ignore it.
I throw away the sheet and regret it immediately. I think of my next holiday… More than 3 months away. Will I make it? Okay, bathroom. Quick tea prep. Eyeliner. Clothes. Wallet. Oyster card. Phone. Earphones on. I’m standing in front of the door.
Should I call in sick? It’s only Tuesday, and I haven’t been working here for that long. I could say it’s a family emergency… Good try, but you’re Spanish, what family do you have in the UK? Okay, I can do this. I can do this. I. Can. Do. This. Not allowing myself to think further I step out of the door and wait for my bus; tea mug in one hand, oyster card in the other. Earphones in with Beyonce blasting my ears reassuring me I’m strong and beautiful. Even if I don’t feel it, like at all… but for the 15 minute walk to the Tube station, I imagine myself being the queen herself on stage.
Okay, deep breath, it’s going to be fine. I go down and up the stairs of the Tube station. There is too many people. I can’t breathe. I can’t do this. Queen B says you can, don’t think. Just suck it in, in 2 stations you’ll be able to breathe again. Okay. You see? We’re here.
Yay? I don’t get paid to do the same job an employee is doing. She has more experience. I would be more happy to gain experience if I was paid to do this great experience. Let’s just focus on learning new things, yes? I arrive to my desk, leave my jacket and go to the toilet. I draw a few more deep breaths. You. Can. Do. This. Tears in my eye. Oh, God, I’m not even close to my period. Jessssuuuuusssss, shut it down, Marta. We’ve got to work and demonstrate that you have value.
Okay, almost there… Oh, wait Is this for real? Why am I supposed to stay when I am not even paid? No way. It’s my Chinese class today. It’s been an hour. That is enough. So sorry (I’m not sorry) I’ve really gotta go! What. The. Hell. No.
Is this it? I’m in London, working in a Translation Company, this is what I wanted…? Why am I crying on the bus, on my way back to my house then? Is this all life has to offer? Really? I. Can. Do. This. One more month of “modern slavery” and then I’ll be paid. Once I’m paid, this will make more sense, won’t it?
Why am I crying on the bus, on my way back to my house then?
The month passed and I was not paid. I tried to look for another company, but they only offered unpaid internships. These internship were in something related to what I studied, but not even close enough to what I really wanted to do within my field of study. Meanwhile, I did more Buzzfeed quizzes that I care to admit, watched endless hours of Netflix and also, went to a psychologist. At one point she said something really simple that made me shift my perspective:
“But, if you don’t really like the job, why are you applying?”
My quick response was:
“Money. I’ve spent all these years studying and now it would be a waste to not work in this industry.”
But after giving it a lot of thought, I realised:
- I was living the life I thought other people wanted me to live: I thought if I did something different, my parents would be disappointed in me.
- I thought working as anything else was not worth the money and time I had wasted in studying at university.
- I had beliefs that working in an office was superior to any other job, and that, having spent so much time on a degree, it was not cool for me to be anything else than what I studied for.
The first thing I did was to take charge of my life. Whatever other people thought, it’s cool, but they are not living my life. I am living my life. Life is short, sorry to be morbid, but you can go away at any given minute. So I might as well enjoy my life. Carpe Diem.