My college graduation was 6 years ago.

I remember that day mostly for the moment when I had to box up my life and stick it in the trunk of my parent’s car. I moved home. Then to LA. Then back home, where I took a job for $7 an hour and put up with a Cruella de Vil looking boss who told me I would never be a writer, I was too fragile.

I applied for 347 jobs. Bought a $250 plane ticket & flew to NYC. Slept on a couch & interviewed for 15 jobs in one week. Got hired at a tiny PR firm, where my boss told me I would never be much in this city, I was too fragile. I applied for 263 more jobs, over two years. Got hired by a tiny start up with a giant heartbeat. I got to write every day. I had a boss who never called me fragile. Who always made me want to grow. I wanted to write more, so I wrote a book on the side. I wanted to change a piece of people’s lives, so I started Bridesmaid for Hire on the side.

And then, one day, I got laid off. I walked out of the office building and I said goodbye to stability, to health insurance, to answering to other people when they wanted answers. And I screamed out, to the strangers of 7th avenue, that this is my life and I never want someone else to tell me how to live it. So that’s what has happened to me since graduating college. Last night, my horoscope said I should laugh at myself when I try to plan too far ahead. And maybe it’s right. I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t even have a resume. I had a piece of paper with goals and dreams that made people call me fragile. Crazy. Delusional. But here I am now. Sitting on the floor of my tiny NYC apartment, jotting down all the tasks I need to do today, looking at myself from the reflection of my musky windows, thinking that finally, after it all, after everything, I can say I own my life. And there’s truly nothing more powerful and deep breath inducing than that. Ps. Never give up. Even when people laugh at you and your life. Laugh right back. Then work harder. Don’t prove them wrong. Prove yourself right.

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I’m Jen Glantz. I’ve been a published writer for over 13 years, spilling my words into magazines (ranging from style to scuba diving), newspapers, websites and even this one time, a speech, for someone who didn’t speak a word of English. What drives my words, my site, my writing, is the power of relating to people. I find that many people, especially young girls, feel so alone and quite often they feel embarrassed. I want to shatter those feelings! I want them to read what I write and understand that it’s okay to be a little outside of the box, but most importantly, that it is okay to just be who they are.

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