Friday, November 8, 2013

You Have the Wrong Number

This post is LONG overdue and by long overdue I mean it was supposed to go into labor months ago.

Where do I start? Do I start with the part where I literally had a stress induced seizure..was rushed to the hospital bleeding from my nose and not knowing what the fuck was going on? Or do I start with the endless phone calls from the most insensitive collection agencies while you sit clueless wondering how in the fuck did I get in that much debt? OR wait… even better… do I start with the fact that my shit of an expensive degree has gotten me no where... while I'm making a measly $12 an hour, living in a 1000 a month closet of an apartment (seriously ask any NYer I’m actually getting a good deal here) and in debt with not just student loans but over 10k+ in credit cards?

Hmm... How about I start with an introduction? I’m in my late 20s, born and raised in sunny so cal and living in the bitter east coast, which isn’t the bad part actually… it’s actually my saving grace believe it or not. I am from an upper middle class family… yeah yeah that sounds great… it’s not actually… I may be in the upper tier of the social class but my poor parents not only have declining businesses to take care of but also a few spoiled children… Yes I admit it... I’m spoiled… doesn’t make me any less deserving to rant okay?!? 

There’s different types of spoiled… let’s get this straight... there’s the feed me because my arms apparently don’t fucking work kind of spoiled… there’s the I NEED these and I BETTER get this because I DESERVE this kind of spoiled… there’s the I can’t do this and I won’t do this so do it for me kind of spoiled… there’s the lazy.. build an empire for me and let me stick my name on it while looking for a rich suitor kind of spoiled and then there’s me… the I know if I ever need to be bailed out and need money kind of spoiled… but listen… my parents are my EXTREME last and I mean LAST lifeline… I don’t want their help… I know I have it… which is more fortunate than those who don’t have a family or parents they can rely on... but I honestly don’t want it, because I want to do what my parents did for themselves, with less than what I have, and they made it… I want to create an empire solely on my own.. so I know I broke the typical orange county stuck up mold most “friends” of mine still live in. 

I thought I was smart… made the right choices… When I chose to go to a popular fashion private school… I thought I finally picked something that resonated with me… the place was like Disneyland, the advisers said things like “pretty pretty pretty… dreams come true…. Prettyyyyyyyy... fashion…. Yay!” and my eyes glazed over… it was probably after month 2... I was like WHAT.THE.FUCK did I do?!?!? I couldn’t back out of my surprisingly paid for generously from my bank, tuition… take that up with Bank of America… was probably what was written on every persons stern face in the financial aid office… Nothing was "pretty pretty pretty… dreams come true… yay!!” everything was “fuck... shit... fuck… who… why? Are you kidding me?” it was probably until my last quarter there where I was heavily involved with student council and the school magazine that I actually gave 2 shits... probably more like 1.5 but 2 sounds better. Meanwhile I worked my entire time there because cars are expensive… gas is expensive and parking there was like $20 a day. FML! I took advantage of 1 “internship” which was basically running coffee and errands for the overly rich alum...who’s parents bought her a clothing line and magazine that she featured herself in every… damn… month. Umm okay?! That got me what kind of experience? None. 

Let me tell you non-Cali folk one thing... LA sucks… it’s just a pipe dream of the entertainment industry... work your asses off but be screwed over by some ditz who got her own reality show and danced with some stars.. Scratch that she was the star that danced with what’s his name... who has worked his entire life to be a world renowned dancer but we don’t know his name because our society is fucked… while she’s skipping in her 5 million dollar mansion wearing a 15 carat ring engaged to that basketball player because she said “I hate that bitch” on MTV and now has 5 clothing lines, 10 books and 2 movie deals… okay I’m exaggerating A LOT but take what I said and name like 2 nobodies who are now somebodies because MTV got bored of music and decided to make skanks rich for being trash… phew. Now that that’s off my chest… back to grind… 

Here I am… with a glittered diploma (because it’s a fashion school duh) in debt... can’t barely pay my rent or bills mind you… getting threatening calls from collection agencies wanting your money for the degree you aren’t even proud of mentioning from a school your embarrassed to talk about..

“Umm I can’t even pay my rent!” 
“Not our problem” 
“Umm I can’t even pay my credit cards!” 
“That’s too bad” 
“Umm I just paid a hospital bill for a cat scan because I don’t have medical insurance” 
“That sucks.” 

NO YOU FUCKING SUCK… Yes I said that to one of the emotionless collection advisers. I don’t give a shit anymore… you know how I fucking got to this place? Well let me explain… Here I am thinking I’m smart… when Sallie Mae and her evil step sisters/minions keep calling me from unknown numbers from area codes that match mine... smart Ms. Mae... smart… I have put all my loans in deferment and forbearance… well Sallie Mae's ass decides to pull the “you can’t sit with us” move on 2 of my unfortunate loans… so those 2 loans decide to be shipped off and live with another evil step mother that I don’t even know her name… Sallie neglected to mention this new living arrangement with these loans original caregiver… me… and now she’s leaving my ass in collections… Fuck you Sallie Mae… seriously! So while I sit here unknowingly waving from my hourly dumb ass retail job that any uneducated high school senior can do… and is probably doing as I type this… my credit score keeps going down and my payments and interests keep going up.. Bravo government… bravo!

The only good choice I’ve made is NY… I thank you NY for really changing me… for taking this naive OC girl and giving me a real backbone... now that’s a decision I don’t regret… I may not be where I want to be career wise I definitely am where I’m meant to be city wise. NY has taught me a lot… first I never cursed… probably a habit I should stop… but I was always some ones welcome and exit mat... they’d use and abuse me all because I could never stand up for myself… well good news mom and dad… though I know you’ve raised me to be a prime and well spoken young adult… I am all those things… except with a bit more edge… I will not settle... I will say NO when I should say no and I will do what I need to do to get to where I want to be… and I mean that in a no way… horrific porno/drug induced movie kind of way… I will take every opportunity but always reading the fine print and I will make it... I know I will... I’m so close I can taste it… so I sit here cursing Sallie Mae and her minions… and putting more needles in the voodoo dolls of that ratchet fashion school and those reality TV skanks that I made and burning that glittery degree with my middle finger in the air… fuck you if you don’t believe in me because I sure as hell do.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

living on a budget: the jumpsuit story.

You go on a last minute trip to party with your girlfriends. What you packed to go out in that night, you now hate. Now what??? 

You run to your nearest Zara and find a gorgeous jumpsuit that reveals your good parts and yet still hides your flaws. Amazing. It's $90. That's really pushing it with the budget. But you buy it anyways....... 

Fast forward to the next morning and you realize you spent way more money than you should have/wanted to last night.  Your mind starts spinning--how do I get some of this money back?? Girl's gotta eat tomorrow!  The jumpsuit. It has to go back. But you really grew to love that jumpsuit while you were out last night.  It could really be a staple in your closet.  Cover the revealing parts with a blazer for fall and it's a perfect all year piece.  But it was $90.  And you know Zara only takes 1 business day to return the funds. After a little devil's advocate, you return it. Ugh. Goodbye jumpsuit.

Fast forward a week later. Zara is having their big semi annual sale, you decide to just browse and there is your jumpsuit. And it's on sale for $49!! SOLD. Welcome back into my life.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Rebecca Minkoff "Morning After" Style Contest!

Rebecca Minkoff has taken social media to a whole new playing field. Her "Morning After" campaign series (partnered with , which took place solely via linked social media platforms, and with the help of avid bloggers and readers who love the brand, has proven that brilliant marketing efforts do not have to begin and end merely internally within the company. What started as a 2-day Hamptons-retreat led to a fall collection preview, a walk-off, and later, an online voting contest on Facebook, where 14 influential bloggers went head to head to see whose "morning after" style takes the hearts of online voter and fellow "minkettes" everywhere. It was a string of combined new media efforts and viral online communication that led one blogger to gain blog-star status, but at the same time, opened a new outlet for a fashion brand to become an outstanding lifestyle name overnight...or a better word, the morning after.

Now, if you've been keeping up with our tweets and retweets regarding this entire contest, you should know exactly who we were rooting for--SartorialGirl--whom you may or may not know, is the original founder of The FIDM Life. So our very own won!! After her work with building our series, she has quietly been building her own social media profile and network and has already made it known just how far her voice can go. This is one triumph that speaks volume about the influence of online social media and the key impact that such industry outsider now has. But this story does not stop here. Read and follow the rest of this interview and see where our very own SartorialGirl is headed next!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Laughing To Keep From Crying

A heavy weigh felt like it was dropped on my shoulders as I stood in front of a Wells Fargo ATM machine, withdrawing my last $20 bill from my account. I took the money and quickly stashed it carefully into my wallet. ‘This is it,’ I thought to myself. As I walked home, carrying the very last change I have left to my name, I couldn’t help but feel a strange sense of calmness. With my shoulders still dropped and my head down, I wondered why I wasn’t at the brink of tears. This $20 has to last me for the next 3 days until I finally get paid. Wouldn’t that make one nervous? But I wasn’t crying. Nope. I wasn’t anxious or nervous, or even worried. Have I finally become numb enough to not feel anything anymore?

It has been 6 months since I have been “let go” from the company I had been working for since my move to New York City and 4 months since I have been off Unemployment. I have been living—literally—paycheck to paycheck, stretching every penny as far as I could, and have yet to secure a real, full time job that’ll put me back above the poverty line. Has my life really come to this? Yes. Do I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom? I don’t know. Right now I can’t feel a thing. Again, no tears.

That same morning, I had an interview with a company I am hoping to work for. The interview was informal and held over coffee at the cafĂ© inside the New York Times building. I couldn’t even afford my own cup of coffee. It was $2.72. You have to laugh. It was 2 fucking dollars and seventy-two fucking cents and my card got declined. In this situation, you can't cry. You really have to laugh. I'm still waiting to hear back about the job.

Two nights before that, I was woken up from my sleep from completely crashing onto the floor as I realized the $30 bed frame I had bought from IKEA a year ago had decided to give out and break in some odd pieces. ‘SHIT,’ I said loudly in my head as I scrambled to pick myself up in the middle of the dark. I cannot afford a new bed, I told myself. But who’s crying. I’m not crying.

Some days before that, I found myself standing in front of an angry, screaming hair client who was hilariously upset that her appointment was 20 minutes late and wrongly blaming me for it. I’ve about had it with these over-privileged, entitled Manhattan women. I don’t remember saying much to her except wondering why I hadn’t vocally cussed her out and walked out on the job. But still, no tears.

A week before that, a statement came in the mail from Sallie Mae, threatening my account to go into default from my months of over delinquency. The minimum payment has reach $1500 per month. Default means they can now go straight into my paycheck each month and take out money. Is this a laughing matter? Absofuckinglutely not. But am I laughing? Yes. Why? I’m laughing to seal in the embarrassment. I’m laughing to repel the rejection. I’m laughing to justify the disappointment. I’m laughing to numb the pain. I’m laughing to push back the tears.

I am laughing to keep from crying.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Life is Sh--

Having my first cup of coffee before leaving the apartment for work, I wonder when the rain is going to stop falling. I cannot wait for a change; after all, at least something in my life has to transform, right? Although I have only been living in NYC for 8 months, it felt as if I been here for 8 years. I understand that I sound very dramatic right now; but in life; there are these moment where you wonder how different things could have been.

NYC -- the big apple, big enough for every body to have a little piece.  I am trying to get a piece of the big apple too- although I prefer orange. Being 21 and living in NYC is what lots of young individuals wish to accomplish. However, let me break the truth to all of you dreamers; in NYC, if you don’t have millions sitting in the bank, then your life is sh**.  I know that I am being a negative Nancy and life isn’t that bad, like my friend said, “From where you are standing, life aren’t bad.”  But when one have so much hope and expectation for yourself, life is sh** from anywhere.

            I am currently living paycheck to paycheck. Although there are no regrets of what I’ve done; I always wish that things would of turn out for the better. I am waiting for that big break from the world, that big moment when life will give me a corner stone to build that big pyramid to reach the top. Waiting to make the next step...

--Anonymous FIDM grad, Fashion Design 2011

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Waiting for Superman...?

In response to "Waiting for Superman"

When I was a student at FIDM, I had my worries and angst too. I am now a graduate, living in New York City. Alas, those worries still linger as I am only a recent grad, working my way up. I understand completely everything that the above blog post addresses--and I believe that this is something that should be voiced out, however, one thing that I'd like to add is that it's not JUST us. Singling out FIDM as a school where its grads "aren't getting jobs" or instructors "aren't fully qualified" may hold truth to only a limited extent. I have voiced out these same concerns to my friends, friend from other schools... Cal State's, UC's, private 4-year schools, and Ivy-League schools.... I have friends who have graduated from prominent Universities stressing to me that it's not just me or any FIDM grads... "We're not getting jobs either" and "it's not JUST the apparel industry"... the jobless crisis has hit ALL.
Of course we can't expect to get the DREAM JOB right after graduation, but what we're up against during this interesting economic time is an even bigger issue. Some blame may rightly begin at the schools (e.g. "waiting for superman") but our current, depressing economic state as a country has colossally effected the job market--especially the design and luxury business. And I am not trying to justify anything either, I am only bringing to light another factor as to why our Alums may still be juggling with unemployment concerns. Again, I am NOT choosing sides. I appreciate the perspectives that other students share via thefidmlife blog so I encourage you all to keep sending them. This is YOUR chance to be heard.

- thefidmlife founder

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So it begins...

The path after FIDM has been brutal... BRUTAL! It was soo safe being in school surrounded by people who shared the same passion and love for fashion. Now I'm in real life mode. After years of trying to get to NY, the HOME of those same like-minded individuals ACTUALLY doing what they love, I'm here and it's even harder getting into the field, I spent so much money trying to attain.

Here it goes... After a year of being done with school and in dead end jobs... I finally found an incredible opportunity... the closest to fashion as I could get. I'm now working in a pretty high position in a well known "salon". I love what I'm doing, don't get me wrong, it's just NOT enough. I'm now near my fashion idol more so than I ever was. DVF... You know, Diane?... as in Diane von Furstenberg.

I met this gracious woman at her fragrance launch at Sephora in Soho not too long ago. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I was shaking for crying out loud!! I never get star struck... but it's DIANE VON FURSTENBERG... she's not JUST a star... she's a LEGEND... an ICON... she's amazing!

I had a nice chat with her, everything from my family, my education, my dreams [of working for her], just about anything a girl could hope to talk to her idol about. From then on, it was my sole purpose and mission to work for her.

On 11/11/11 I had a nice article written about my plans for the historical day. Of course I said, "Walk into DVF and ask for a job.." and did I do that? You bet. Well... after some coaxing from my dear friend, and partner in crime, T.

I walked into the Meatpacking shop and spoke to the manager. She was so intrigued by my story and even wanted me to email her the article I was in. But sadly, after 4 emails, she came back to tell me that she "wishes me luck in my job search and there is no open positions.."

That didn't stop me.. no way. I then walked into the Soho shop and even handed them a beautifully DVF adorned resume that would make Diane, herself, blush. "It's so pretty!" The assistant manager of that shop exclaimed, as she handed me her business card to follow up. Two days later and 3 emails to the assistant manager and I still have no response. Can't they just rip that bandaid off and tell me NO!! what's with this game?

During our FIDM Alumni Holiday Party (and about 3 bottles of wine into the event), and hearing each Alum announce what they were doing.. I felt like someone slapped me in the face. "What was I doing wrong?" I had all the experience, held high positions at jobs and had an immense background with internships, education and freelance work. I just don't get it.

Now, here I am. FINALLY, submitting a post. Am I the only Post FIDM Lifer out there going through this? Do any of you share my woes?