Playin’ Catch Up

by marinashifrin

Sprinting through the airport, I vowed to start exercising the second I got to Taiwan. There are multiple reasons why I hate running through airports, first and foremost: my travel backpack. As if my 5′ 2” frame and chronic baby-weight don’t already make me look like high schooler, running with a backpack surely seals the deal.

Beads of sweat were pooling on my lower back. And not in the sexy way, in the plumber way. I didn’t care though, I kept running. Sliding past wheelchairs, hopping over monkey leashes and iphone chargers, I got there just as the metal grate was coming down.

My stomach sank. The airport bar was closed.

I sulked back to the foodmart. If I couldn’t drink my calories I sure as hell was going to eat them. I don’t know what it is about flights that make people “reward” themselves with overpriced drinks, despicable food and trashy magazines but I am all for it. I always feel the need to treat myself whenever I frequent an airport. $10 Martini?! Great! I’ll have three!

I was browsing through all the stale sandwiches and soggy salads when I saw them out of the corner of my eye. Miniature bottles of wine. Beautiful, miniature bottles of wine. Seeing a flicker of desperation in my eye, the cashier rang up the wine as his last sale for the night. He placed three cups next to the three bottles I’d just bought.

“No, need! Just for me!” I exclaimed cheerily as I skipped back to my gate to start writing about the beginning of my trip to Taiwan.

Before I get into how I ended up in swanky service apartment in Taiwan, I guess I should catch everyone up. And by everyone I mean two college girl friends, an ex-coworker and Eddie Shleyner i.e. my entire fan base.

Last time we really talked, I quit my job to pursue the unknown. Here’s how that went:

Week One

  • Bought a Ukelele to play on the subway platforms when money got tight.
  • Flew to Chicago to surprise Olga for her birthday.
  • Drank to my new found freedom.

Week Two

  • Flew to San Francisco to see my best friend.
  • Drank to our reunion.
  • Accidentally ate a pot cookie I bought off a homeless-looking man in the park.

Week Three

  • Flew to Austin to see a friend and for SXSW.
  • Drank to celebrate music.
  • Funds got tight, and I’d touched my Ukelele once.

Week Four

  • Returned to New York and had an anxiety attack.
  • Applied and got hired as a waitress in one of those new age healthy restaurants where your smoothies come with a shot of something that sounds like it was dug out of a lawn mower.
  • Drank to my new employment.

Week Five

  • Had an anxiety attack about wasting my degree.
  • Got a comedy writing job for the biggest news agency in Asia.
  • Drank to my creative success.

See kids, if you drink like a sailor, spend money like it’s going out of style and aim low you get to where your going! Dreams really do come true.

But seriously. There were many tears, panic attacks and restless nights. But there were even more new friends, eye-opening experiences and life-changing events. Recently, someone (who is also considering leaving his job) asked for some advice on what his future plan should be. Here is an excerpt from a three page long email I sent:

“Do something that you are proud of and excited for. The rest (whatever that is) will fall into place. I promise you this.

It doesn’t matter where I see you or where you see yourself; you’ll never guess where you’ll be. Think about who you were four years ago and what about today? Did you know you’d be here? If so, switch it up, man!

Don’t pigeonhole yourself into a certain life by having a plan. HAVE NO PLAN. CARPE DIEM. OTHER INSPIRATIONAL CRAP.”

I wanted to give more detail about what my new job is, but it’s hard to explain. Just watch this video I wrote.