When I graduated from college, I moved to DC and was promptly told: If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog...The folklore in Beltway politics is that Capitol Hill is such a partisan town, a dog is the only friend you know you can count on.
When I suddenly found myself moving to New York, I knew there would be no space for a dog--naturally, what I needed was my Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte. It took me almost a year to audition and cast the parts, but I'm getting there--from morning walks in Riverside Park with a friend from the neighborhood who has a dog who is hell-bent on eating my shoes and staining my work clothes to my newest friend, my Carrie--a blogger by the name of A. Fashionista who expressed her true feelings in the street after a street vendor dumped his "top" of collected rain water onto her Prada shoes.
A. Fashionista and I come from very different worlds-- I moved from Northern New England where fleece is a fabric. To A. Fashionista, fleece is a verb: you could get fleec'd by a street vendor, a cabbie, or someone who doesn't love you back in the garment district. We make an unusual pair and the 50% of me that remains a frugal New Englander particularly appreciates her tips on tag sales and consignment shopping.
A. Fashionista writes a blog called Diary of a Label Lover, the subtitle of which is "The Cheese Sandwich Diaries." I asked her about this over the weekend: she's big on taking care of herself and I was surprised--quite frankly--that she was such an ardent fan of cheese sandwiches. She cocked her head, looked me straight in the eye and said, "cheese sandwiches and my gym membership help me make it happen. I can buy the Prada skirt on consignment if I eat cheese sandwiches for the rest of the month, and I can wear the skirt for twenty years if I keep going to the gym. And it's worth it to me."
As the market vacillates wildly, it's easier than usual to see the risk in doing something just for the money. In the end, what matters most? As you make your career decisions, consider the cheese sandwich factor: is there anything you'd like to do so much, that where you live and what you eat becomes almost irrelevant? Find that passion, then find a grounded friend who can help you make a financial plan if it isn't the most lucrative career goal...