My friend invited me out with her on the spur of the moment to a party last Thursday. A guy she knew had invited her and said he could get me in too. Awesome!
I haven’t been out of the house in a while (working from home is more isolating that I thought!) so I was happy to go just about anywhere that wasn’t my home office. Plus, I like parties!
…or do I?
Turns out this was an ad party for Microsoft Advertising. *sad trombone* I used to go to these things all the time, and have written about them over the years on this blog. The swag, the music, the special treatment, the open bars… they can be pretty swanky!
But I approached this one with trepidation. Both me and my friend have moved on from this industry and really don’t like most of the people and attitudes that are present at these things. But we couldn’t back out so we went and tried to make the best of it.
It was pretty much like every other party. They had a private concert for us (Naughty By Nature) and lots of drinks and snacks. That’s not the important part of this story though.
I felt strange. This was an environment that I’d spent lots of time in throughout my career. The awkward and uncomfortable feelings were familiar, but took on a different hue this night. I didn’t really belong anymore. And I liked that feeling.
I ran into loads of people that I knew over the span of my media career. Some were polite and friendly, some were downright cold. And some just didn’t acknowledge me at all. You know, I never actually did anything to deserve that kind of treatment. It just goes to show you how shallow the industry is. It’s one of the main reasons I decided to finally leave it after I lost my job.
Despite the cool reception, I managed well. Being at these things always made me feel unsettled, small and uncertain of myself. I was never… enough. I vowed going into this one that I’d try and be my confident, new self. I’ve been so much happier since I left media, I didn’t want this situation to drag me down!
So I did. I said hello to the people I wanted to say hello to; I told everyone how happy I was (and more importantly let them see how happy I was) and did my best to mingle and have a good time. I was still the standard shy & awkward Lisa/Ginger, but not as crippling as in the past.
I met some nice people (a rarity!) and a dude who actually had the cojones to stand up to me and point out my one-upping (Hi Calvin!) which was refreshing.
I also finally got some closure for myself. Up to this point I would have occasional dreams about my last job, and look fondly back at my time there through my rose-tinted glasses. After going to this party, I am 100% done with the ad world. I still love doing marketing and advertising, but I don’t ever want to go back to the grindhouse known as the ad industry. It just isn’t me anymore, and I’m tired of selling my soul for diapers, shampoo and fancy stores.
I feel so free! I can finally let go of the past 5 years and not feel bad about it. I’ve learned a lot about the world and about myself through this journey and I’m thankful for all my lessons, but honestly. Good riddance!
Ad industry, I’m breaking up with you. I’ve found someone else… myself. And I’m not sorry.