THIS ISN’T REALLY A “FACT” BUT I’M DRINKING BEERS BY A PHILLY BREWING COMPANY THAT’S RECREATED BEER RECIPES CREATED BY AMERICAN FOUNDING FATHERS. UNSURPRISINGLY FRANKLIN’S BEER RECIPE TASTES SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER THAN JEFFERSON’S.
Hello humans! So here is a Christmas-y Dan Howell Imagine because I’m so pumped for Christmas! I hope you like it :)
*Not My Gif*
The room was in complete silence and the only sound that could be heard was the crackling from the fireplace. I had on my favorite Christmas jumper, a pair of comfy black leggings and my fluffy socks. I was cuddled up next to Dan on the couch as we stared at the orange glow that came from the fireplace. I looked up at Dan and stared at him in look of awe. Every time I looked at him, my stomach felt fuzzy and I had a wave of comfort rush over me. He turned his head and his gaze met mine. A warm smile grew on his face as he squeezed my arm lightly and pulled me a little closer. “Merry Christmas, Dan.” I whispered softly. “Merry Christmas, Y/N.” He mumbled softly. I smiled as he leaned down slowly and pressed his lips on mine. The kiss was soft and sweet before he pulled away and laid his forehead on mine. We laid our head on the back of the couch and stared into each others eyes for what felt like forever. Then, before I knew it, my eyelids felt heavy and I slowly drifted off to sleep.
“Wake up! It’s Christmas!” Phil exclaimed causing Dan to jolt awake and fall off of the couch. I opened my eyes and looked at Dan, who was face first onto the carpeted floor. I laughed softly as he pulled himself up and glared at Phil. I slid off the couch and sat next to Dan on the floor. “And you couldn’t of said it quietly? You had to yell it and scare me half to death?” Dan asked. “Well yeah, it’s an exciting day! Here have some hot chocolate!” He said as he picked up two mugs from the tray on the coffee table. I smiled sweetly and grabbed a mug, taking a sip of the warm drink. “Thank you, Philly.” I said sweetly. He smiled and walked over to the Christmas tree. He stared at all the presents as if he was contemplating which present he was going to rip open first. He handed us each a present and sat down on the floor next to me. “These ones are from me.” He said proudly. I smiled and Dan and I began opening the neatly wrapped paper. When all the paper was gone, I opened the box and pulled out a big plushie of y/f/a. “Aww Philly! I love it!” I exclaimed as I pulled him in and hugged him tightly. He smiled and hurried over to grab more presents. We all unwrapped each others presents and drank hot chocolate around the fireplace. “This was the best Christmas ever.” I said, looking at the both of them. They smiled and each of them hugged me. “I’m going to go get another blanket.” I spoke as I stood up and walked into Dan’s room. I opened the closet door and pulled out the black, fuzzy blanket. When I turned around, Dan was standing in the doorway with his hands behind his back and a bright smile on his face. “Hey.” I simply said as I looked at him. Without any words, he walked towards me and handed me a long, black box in his hands. “What’s this?” I asked as I opened it up slowly. “Just a little something.” He smirked. When I opened the box, I saw a beautiful, silver necklace laying over a silk cloth. “Dan! This is beautiful!” I exclaimed as I took it out of the box. He grabbed my waist and pulled me close, pecking my lips sweetly. He grabbed the necklace as I turned around, and put it on for me. I smiled and turned around, grabbing his cheeks and kissing him sweetly. “You are the best boyfriend ever, do you know that?” I giggled. He smirked and ran his hands down my arms. “I try.” He remarked. “Merry Christmas love.” He added with a sweet smile. “Merry Christmas babe.” I responded as I leaned up and pecked his lips once more.
What career advice do you have for recent graduates, especially women?
This is a really tough question, anon. I actually brought this up over Memorial Day weekend with my friends when we were reapplying lipstick in between rounds of heavy drinking at the Nats-Phillies game.
The question of post-collegiate advice is daunting, because surely you’ve already heard from every Tom, Dick and Harry who are well-meaning but pulling from a pool of professional information that is at least 35 years out of use, or overly optimistic and misguided people telling you to follow your heart (and yes, I truly believe that’s misguided). So I guess I will attempt to give you in broad strokes what I wish I had internalized earlier, when I was a bit younger, and hope that you come out of your twenties a little less bruised than I found myself.
I think the first thing to know is that you are right, your suspicions are true: it is really hard out here. It is harder than your parents had it; it is harder than your grandparents had it. Boomers now who are looking down their noses at Millennials and throwing around words like “entitlement” and “impatience” are out of touch at best and cultivating active ignorance at worst. Their belief that everybody should eat shit and get hazed for the first years of their career is rooted in a work infrastructure that rewarded this sort of torture with security and guaranteed benefits and advancement. I, too, would put up with endemic bullshit if I knew it was just for a few years, and then I would be locked into an upward trajectory with more or less guaranteed raises and advancement. This hasn’t been the professional landscape since the 90s – maybe the 80s. Your unwillingness to be treated like garbage is not a character flaw.
That said, your other suspicion is true as well: you probably need to work harder. There are a lot of extenuating circumstances here (are you rich? do you have connections? are you in a field that’s gasping for employees and willing to hurl money at them? did you major in English? are you considering law school? don’t go to law school, seriously), but for most of us, because we aren’t rich and don’t have connections and may not be in fields that are gasping for employees and willing to hurl money at them – the difference for you and me? It’s who is willing to work their fucking ass off.
My first three years out of college were fucking terrible. I got an incredible opportunity, and I don’t know if I fully rose to the challenge, but I tried my hardest. That meant stupid hours and 3 a.m. phone calls; years of being friends with people who got used to me bailing on weekend adventures and dates and dinners to go back to the office for fuck knows what reason. It was objectively terrible, and I in no way endorse it – I don’t think that anybody should threat their junior employees the way I was treated. I would never do that to a new hire or an intern or a rented mule for that matter.
But the takeaway is that I rocked up to New York on the slimmest of odds, and based mostly on stubbornness, a good dash of luck, and the knowledge that I wasn’t the smartest, but I would kill myself trying to be, I did okay. There are less dramatic versions of this that people should aspire to live each day, because the ugly truth of the thing is this:
In the marketplace of employees, all the abstract things that you have discussed and enumerated and angrily reblogged – prejudice, capitalism, sexism, racism – they’re all there. But you still have to operate within the system because you have to pay your rent and buy food. The way to do this is the way I think immigrants have been telling their kids to do this for generations now: push all that other shit out of the way, fight the urge to feel sorry for yourself, and work as hard as you fucking can. Of course it’s unfair, of course it’s fucking maddening. But you are only going to be in a position to change it or make it better if you make it, period, and opting out or waffling isn’t going to put you in that role.
Whenever I feel like I can’t do it or it’s too hard, I think about my father. My father and I don’t get along; we love each other but we don’t like each other, and it took us putting continents and oceans between us before we learned how to be comfortable in our relationship. But my father was among the Sent-down youth of China, part of the country’s lost generation of oldest sons and daughters ripped out of school in the mid-teens and dispatched to do hard manual labor in the fucking farms of China. He spent years out there, completely fucking alone and without any hope or idea of how he would ever get past this, if he would survive, how the hell he was going to get out of that hellhole – if he could even go home to Shanghai. He suffered untreated kidney infections and frostbite all over his hands. When the universities started to reopen, he sat out in haystacks under the moon with smuggled books of physics and calculus and taught himself with a basis of middle school math because he knew it was his only possibility for escape. He got into Fudan University in Shanghai, where he studied Chemistry because he thought it might help him get to America, and it did. Now, my folks live in California and have a lemon tree in their backyard, and when I was 23 and crying on the subway home, he would tell me I was working too hard and it would fill me with a crippling, bone-deep shame.
However fucking hard I had it, however fucking tired or destroyed or depressed I was? I never came close to my dad. I never will. And whenever I got low and thought I wanted to quit I would remember where I came from and get mad: at myself for being such a fucking coward, at the situation, at the fact that even for a second I let these assholes beat me down.
This is getting weird and wander-y, but I guess it boils down to this: you will feel shitty and tired and wronged, and all of it will probably be valid. But you also have to get past that and work your ass off – especially because you are not a middle or upper class white male – to get what you want.
Because at the very end of it, you will have a job where you can pay your rent and buy food and maybe even have some left over for fun.
But even better? If you’re very fortunate and work very hard, you might get to have a conversation like I get to have sometimes, where someone says to me, “Is it weird to have three black women in a row in this presentation?” and I get to say to them, “No. It’s a good thing we have three black women in a row. Would you ever ask me that about white men?” Or when I get to mentor young women at work, talk them off the ledge in the ladies room when they’re freaking out; send someone’s boss a note saying, “Hey, this kid you took a chance on is doing great.” Or hell, even the ugly stuff, like where I have to tell a phalanx of old white guys that they can’t say this shit and they have to listen to me, because thank God they have to listen to me and they can’t say that shit.
At the end of it, best of all, the very luckiest ones of us are even be able to pay it forward a little.
So Anon, who probably didn’t want this response at all, I wish you some good luck because everybody needs it, and I wish you fortitude to push through the rest. There’s a whole big world out there – kick it in the ass.