8 Things Getting Your Dream Job Suddenly Makes You Worry About

Ad failed to load

If you had told me a year ago that I would currently be working a job I love, and that I would be genuinely excited to wake up every morning, I probably would have cry-laughed at you and then returned to the metaphorical (and deeply existentially-fraught) rock I was living under at the time. A year ago, I was working in an office assistant job that I secretly hated with no opportunities for promotion, after smugly graduating college early and bottoming out in Nashville as a songwriter. I was not the prettiest sight, but I also wasn't a rare one: A lot of 20-something recent grads have no idea what we want to do with our lives, and feel April's struggle on Parks and Recreation just a tad too hard.

The idea of writing for a living was so far beyond the stretch of my imagination that I never even gave the idea of it full consideration. After my experience in Nashville, I'd pretty much given up on the idea of writing for a living altogether. So yes, 2015 me would probably have thrown 2014 me for a loop if I had a time machine and could warn her that there were ridiculously good times up ahead. I was just sort of conditioned to believe that we no longer lived in the kind of world where "dream jobs" exist. So first, I feel like I have to emphasize for anyone out there who hasn't found dream job yet: They totally do exist. All those myths about work not feeling like work and time going by so fast you don't even realize the sky got dark are a legitimate reality, and I wish it on everyone on the planet who is April Ludgate-ing as hard as I did after college.

Of course, having your dream job comes its own set of new anxieties that are entirely different in nature than the ones you had before. All the perspectives in your life shift, and you find yourself focusing on these worries more than ever before:

Ad failed to load

This isn't real and/or will get taken away at any given moment

It can be a fear as ridiculous as someone jumping out and yelling "APRIL FOOLS!" It might seem silly, but a part of you will always be afraid of realizing that this whole "dream job" thing is actually like the fourth season of Felicity when everything that happened was actually just an elaborate hallucination. It can also be a fear as real as your job disappearing and getting swallowed into the economic abyss. When you are especially flabbergasted that someone is willing to pay you to do something you love doing, this worry is constant.

Ad failed to load

You have to prove yourself worthy of it every day

I have always switched between being an extremely competitive person and being an extremely non-confrontational one, which makes internet writing a perfect fit for me: You're competing with other outlets all over the world, but you never have to look anybody in the eyes while you do it. But there is still an enormous pressure to prove that you belong somewhere, even if you have the experience and a track record to back you up. Dream jobs are called that for a reason—lots of people want them. And you feel like you have to be on your A game at all times to prove not just to your employers but to anyone watching that they didn't make a mistake in giving you this awesome job.

You'll get too comfortable in your position

Ad failed to load

Being boring and stagnant is probably my actual worst fear in life. Because of this, I am constantly concocting ways to improve myself or my writing, which leaks out into full days of reading authors I admire, blasting out my writing wherever I can, and writing in basically every medium I feel passionate about, from internet writing to songwriting to fanfiction (where the cool kids hang out). I have a confession to make: I will sometimes go weeks at a time without watching Netflix, and I don't even mind. The fear of getting too comfortable in your job is a real one, but it's honestly probably the most productive fear you can have.

You will literally never be able to talk about anything else

Ad failed to load

You know how I know my friends are real and true friends? None of them has murdered me yet. When you love your job as much as I do, it is at the forefront of your brain 24/7. They've heard me say "HEY, GUESS WHAT I DID AT WORK TODAY?!" roughly a trillion times by now, and they still haven't blocked me. That's friendship, you guys.

You will never be able to turn your brain off

Similar to the "OMG I love my life" verbal vomit you inflict on all your friends, when you have a dream job, you're never really "done" for the day. Even when I'm not technically working, I'm thinking about working or checking up on my work or planning for the next day. This is especially true for writers and other creative professionals; We are often working on so many different projects at once—and love them so much—that the line between work time and free time becomes so tragically blurred that most of us can't even differentiate between them anymore. In other words, boundaries: you don't have them when you have a dream job. I have tried to do this thing once a week where I turn my brain off and do something mindless like take a bath or watch TV. I've tried. I'll get back to you when I have managed to successfully do that without manically grabbing a notepad and multi-tasking five minutes in.

Ad failed to load

Your biggest competition is yourself

You don't think it is possible to be jealous of yourself until you get a job that you are crazy about. For me, if I have an article that does really well, my immediate next thought is to write something that will top it. And if I fail, I don't hate myself, but rather myself from a month ago or even myself from years ago. Who the eff does Past Me think she is, being better at her awesome job than Current Me is?! I'll get my revenge if it's the last thing I do.

Ad failed to load

You overthink everything you say and do

It is easy to visualize yourself in your dream job, and odds are, before you got it, you visualized your ass off for years. But it's entirely different once you're actually there and words have to come out of your mouth in real time and you have to really live that dream. I'm constantly worried that I will say or do the thing that reveals my complete and total inadequacy. In a Ted Talk, psychologist Meg Jay said, "Twenty-somethings who don't feel anxious and incompetent at work are usually overconfident or underemployed." This was comforting to read for about five minutes, and then I went right back to feeling anxious and incompetent (which is, ironically, a good sign).

Ad failed to load

You doubt that everything else in your life will fall into place so neatly

Sometimes I think of my life as a game of whack-a-mole. I whacked the mole that was my job goals so hard that it's basically unconscious, but now all the other moles—relationship goals, financial goals, self improvement goals, and even the idea of having a family one day—well, they're all up and retaliating, maybe because they're mad that I just whacked one of their friends. It is an amazing thing to be able to be in a job you love. It is another thing entirely remembering that you have a whole other life on the side that is every bit as messy and unfinished as it is great.

Images: NBC; Giphy (5)

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

I Wore 'Dad Shoes' For A Week & They Were SO Much Cooler Than I Thought They’d Be

It’s no secret that fashion loves a good polarizing trend. Not too long ago, Birkenstocks made their high fashion runway appearance at Céline and Crocs followed suit on the runways of Christopher Kane and Balenciaga. Now, it’s time for the "ugly" sne…
By Dale Arden Chong

7 Surprising Things That Happened When I Went A Month Without Drinking

If someone asked you if you could take a break from drinking alcohol, would you be able to do it? You may think it’s no big deal to take a month off from drinking, or you may think it’s a *huge* deal, as alcohol seems to be the center of many social …
By Natalia Lusinski

5 Books Under 300 Pages That Are Perfect For St. Patrick's Day Weekend Reading

The grocery stores are stocked with corned beef and cabbage, the local pubs are starting to advertise a particular shade of beer, and in city streets all across America, signs about parade routes have been posted for everyone to see, so you know what…
By Sadie Trombetta

8 Ways Younger Millennials Communicate That Older Millennials Don’t Get

When comparing the ways our parents grew up communicating and the way we all grew up communicating, it seems like their generation and ours grew up in a different world. The technology our parents grew up with was so basic, it's ancient in comparison…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

This Is The ONE Sign That Won’t Be Affected By Mercury Retrograde This Month

It really doesn't seem fair that one astrological sign can ever enjoy the benefit of escaping the wrath of Mercury retrograde — that is, of course, unless that sign is your own — but it happens. Occasionally, the stars just align in the right way for…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Why My Boyfriend & I Started Couples Counseling 6 Months Into Our Relationship

Right away, Kurt and I agreed on almost everything. We had met through a mutual friend in 2015, but we didn't start dating until we came across each other on Bumble a few years later. That's when we discovered that we were on the same page when it ca…
By Rachel Simon

This Lace-Front Wig Is Going Viral Because No One Believes It's Actually A Wig

To understand how Zendaya easily goes from a pixie cut to voluminous curls or how the Kardashian-Jenners switch hair colors as frequently as they change clothes is to know the power of a good wig. Now that there's a lace-front wig going viral, the Tw…
By Summer Arlexis

This Primer & Mascara Combo Literally Doubles The Length Of My Eyelashes

Even as someone who loves beauty, I was never been particularly passionate about finding the perfect mascara. And then I got lash extensions for the first time. While I enjoy the long, full lashes that lash extensions provide, I always found myself j…
By Olivia Muenter

I Accidentally Fell In Love With My Friend With Benefits & It's Painful

Against my better judgment, I have fallen in love with my friend with benefits. I think I may have fallen in love with him month ago, but being stubborn AF, I fought against those feelings, tooth and nail, and, when it was suggested by a couple close…
By Amanda Chatel

This Viral Post About A Woman Breastfeeding In Public Actually Has A Happy Ending For Once

And today in things that will warm even the coldest of hearts, we have this: A story recently posted to the r/TwoXChromosome subreddit about a dad’s response to his daughter shaming a breastfeeding parent is everything. Posted by Redditor u/starsonwi…
By Lucia Peters

These March Beauty Launches Require Your Immediate Attention

I write one of these beauty editorials every month (feel free to check out January and February 2018 if you're in need of even more products to shower yourself with). Sometimes, I get worried that there won't be enough newness to share — especially b…
By Amanda Richards

Here's How You’re Most Likely To Get Your Heart Broken, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Getting your heart broken can be one of the most painful experiences you can have in your life. But if you're into astrology, being familiar with your zodiac sign can be pretty helpful. For instance, when you know the ways you're likely to get your h…
By Kristine Fellizar

Finger Piercings Are Trending & The Internet Is Very Divided About Them

A new "accessories" trend is asserting itself on Instagram and it's subversive, non-traditional, and so darn precious. It also looks a tad painful but the end result is worth it. Dermal diamond finger piercings are a thing and they may make actual ri…
By Amy Sciarretto

How I Learned Losing Your Job Isn't The End Of The World

Two and a half years ago, I was taking a day off from my marketing job at a San Francisco tech startup to host a friend when I got a call from the CEO. Apparently, I'd missed a pretty big day: 80 percent of the company, including the whole sales and …
By Suzannah Weiss

Meghan Markle's First Appearance With The Queen Included An Homage To Princess Diana

Fashion pundits love keeping a close eye on what the women of the monarchy are wearing, especially when there's an overlap with Princess Diana's sense of style. We're nothing but nostalgic when it comes to Princess Di and her on-point aesthetic. Find…
By Marlen Komar

Why Arizona's Exit From 'Grey's Anatomy' Is A Huge Blow To The LGBTQ Community

Whenever I re-watch Grey's Anatomy, I don't start with Derek Shepherd waking up in Meredith's apartment after their first hookup. I start with Season 5, when Callie first meets Arizona in a bar. I start here, because I want to watch someone like me f…
By Martha Sorren

I Couldn't Find A Beauty Campaign With Plus Size Models, So I Made One Myself

In the fall of 2015, I visited relatives in my hometown, a small suburb of New Jersey. There isn't much to do there, apart from dining at Applebee's or hitting the mall. As a plus size woman, cruising through a shopping mall is a mixed bag. Certain d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

7 Signs You're The Emotionally Unavailable One In Your Relationship — And How To Work On It

It can be a weird feeling when you realize your relationship isn't working. But it happens — even in a long-term relationship — that, despite spending months or years together, you can realize that something is just missing. Sometimes that thing that…
By Lea Rose Emery

The 21 New Books That Goodreads Users Are Most Excited About This Spring

Despite the fact the Northeast is being pummeled by yet another storm that threatens to trap the region in snow and ice for eternity, winter is finally almost over, and you know what that means. No, I'm not talking about April showers or May flowers …
By Sadie Trombetta

Chelsea Clinton Gets Real About Twitter Trolls & What REALLY Infuriates Her About Trump

Before you read the first word on the first page of Chelsea Clinton's new book, you already know one thing: Strong women have always been a big part of her life. There's her mother, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was the first woman to run for president…
By Erin Delmore

If You’re Addicted To Rewatching ‘The Office,' There’s An Actual Reason For That

A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I was looking for fans of The Office who can't stop, won't stop rewatching the series, and that they should email me if they'd like to contribute to an article about their obsession. By the next morning, I had 32 messa…
By Lia Beck

Pregnant Chinese Women Have Been Eating Pearl Powder For Generations To Give Their Kids Clear Skin

If I were to line up next to my sisters, the difference is immediately noticeable: where my skin is a bit patchy and unmemorable, their skin radiates. Both of their faces have a discrete, poreless glow, and I’m certain you could bounce a kernel of ri…
By Angela Chen

This Is The Most Common Myers-Briggs Type

If you've ever really wanted to get to know yourself, you'll probably want to try out the Myers-Briggs type indicator test. You've probably seen a lot of articles online, and wondered about what the most common Myers-Briggs type is, as there's a lot …
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Halo Brows Take The Unibrow To New Heights — Literally

If there's one thing you can count on Instagram to deliver, it's some of the wackiest makeup trends, especially when it comes to brows. Considering beauty enthusiasts are all too eager to get creative with their arches, it's no wonder halo brows are …
By Summer Arlexis