Friday, June 29, 2012
Guest Blogger: That Time I Lived on an Island and Worked in a Mansion
Hi Untypically Jia fans! Thanks for reading and thanks to Jia for being generous enough to share her blog space with me while she’s on vacation.
I’m Justin, I’m from Ohio, living in Arizona, and I’m a recent graduate working in marketing.
Enough with the introduction, on with the blog post!
That Time I Lived on an Island and Worked in a Mansion
In my unemployment I decided to take a road trip. I spent a week with friends in Nashville, a few days with family in Atlanta, and finished up for what was supposed to be a few weeks with my aunt in Marco Island, Florida (Wikipedia).
I ended up living there for four months.
Because I found a job. Sort of.
My aunt introduced me to a woman that, for this post and out of respect for her privacy, I’ll call Lucretia. Lucretia was an elderly woman who worked in music publishing and licensing in New York City for over 40 years. Now she resides in her island mansion. The giant home is filled with filing cabinets and audio equipment and everything else that came from New York City. Her business connected musicians with media outlets. Saturday Night Live, Law & Order, King of the Hill, Guiding Light, daytime or night, her musicians made it into the background of major broadcasts.
So I became her studio assistant. I helped organize archives, prepare contracts, make phone calls, basically anything that brought organization into her disorganized life.
Lucretia had three Antonios to help her: a contractor, a pool boy, and a gardener. We often joked that I would have to change my name to Antonio to fit in.
Youth was rare on the island, but I did manage to collect a small circle of friends.
But I was still sad. None of it felt earned. Nothing ever had. It just seemed like another logical step in an improbable life of odd jobs (remind me to tell you about the time I met the cast of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for a Columbus magazine story). I was only working part time, I was living with a relative, and I was surrounded by people who had collected years of experience and wealth.
I was living in an island paradise, spending my days with my feet in the saltwater of the Gulf, but all I felt was envy and vulnerability. When your neighbors include Shania Twain and Alan Jackson, it’s easy to start feeling a little inadequate.
It wasn’t a life. It was a vacation.
So I returned home, where I regrouped, collected my thoughts, and forged onto the next adventure. I ended up in Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve been here for six months and see myself staying for at least another year or two.
I still feel out of place, and it’s a feeling that’s going to follow me wherever I go. That’s okay, because the support of the people in Ohio and on the island and here in the desert will follow me wherever I go, too.
And whenever I’m feeling down, I can always crash in the ocean-view condo Lucretia leaves vacant.
It’ll make for a nice vacation.
Tequila and Ink or chat him up on Twitter. He’s also a pretty badass freelancer in online marketing and copywriting, so you should hire him so he can pay his outstanding bar tabs.