My last day as a Gotham intern began with my first butterfly spotting in the city of New York.
As I hustled to work through the bustling intersection of Midtown Manhattan in which Gotham is located (true story: I once saw a woman in full costume and tap shoes applying makeup in the bathroom of a coffee shop in this area), I was expecting the usual sights – the big ol’ New York Times building, the hordes of tourists strolling along e-x-c-r-u-c-i-a-t-i-n-g-l-y slowly, the people in business casual trying to get to the office. What I didn’t expect was a beautiful, huge, black and yellow butterfly. I think it was a tiger swallowtail.
I’m trying to figure out how to make this butterfly into the perfect metaphor. How this internship was a gestation period after which I emerged as – you guessed it – a beautiful butterfly. In some ways, this is so perfect. I came in having never been an intern anywhere before, and I could not have asked for a kinder, more welcoming introduction into the professional world (I use the term ‘professional’ lightly *big wink*).
But the metaphor of Gotham-as-chrysalis is not quite perfect. Chrysalises are too static. And Gotham is razzle-dazzle (see: last post on cheese). It’s been a wild ride. I’ve learned a lot about Gotham, about writing schools, about brainstorming and problem solving. I’ve learned that Britt is passionate about poetry and compassion; that Kelly dispels the myth that super knowledgeable people can’t also be the nicest; that Alex loves the type of humor and sarcasm that terrifies you on your first day until you realize he’s very kind and therefore must be joking; that Street is unendingly hilarious; that Dana always has your back and is a good model for treating people like people on the phone even when you’d rather get as far as possible from the conversation. I’ve learned that baristas in coffee shops are generally pretty open to leaving Gotham postcards out for their customers. I’ve learned that in a level one Gotham class you can have a journalist from Brazil, a primary care doctor, an editor of an online women’s journal, a 21-year-old, figuratively dimple-cheeked college student from the Midwest (that’s me!) and more. I’ve learned that sometimes a person can get a little bold from the free wine at Write-Ins and start telling everyone about themselves based on their astrological signs (all I got was: “Gemini, eh? Interesting …”). And on, and on.
The point is, I don’t know if butterflies miss their chrysalises, but I’ll definitely miss Gotham. I’m happy to continue the last-intern-blog-post tradition of pointing out that once you’re a part of Gotham, you’re always a part of Gotham. Thanks for the good times. I’ll be back.
P.S. Just off the phone. That was the most times a person has ever asked my name. It was literally this. I’ll miss you, Gotham callers.