This week we talk about how "everything you want is on the other side of fear" with our inaugural male interviewee, because yes, cool guys read Dear Diary too.
I started this platform with the goal of creating an inclusive community of postgraduates, but that being said I had a lot of fears when creating Dear Diary as well. One of my biggest fears was (and continues to be) that what I am writing won't resonate with people. So, when @_frondorf reached out to me about one of my early posts with words of encouragement, I could not help but smile from ear to ear. Dawson was one of my first friends in my residence hall freshman year of college and although we ended up in different friend groups after freshman year, we continued to stay in touch. I have always admired his work ethic from juggling a finance major, maintaining part-time jobs, starting a business, Spot-U, to finding an internship in Singapore all within four years of college.
@_frondorf just moved to NYC, so I wanted to pick his brain about taking chances.
As our constant disclaimer, the Conversation Corner has one rule: it will always be real. No B.S., because quite frankly there is enough of that already on the internet.
So here we go...
DD: Quote you live by?
DF: “With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.” ⁃ Thomas Buxton
DD: Explain that a little bit more for me?
DF: "The only thing that I know how to do is work hard. Hard work pays off and it's paid off in all of my previous jobs, it got me through college, it got you
through college, got us through all this, all of these internships, all of these hurdles. It's very easy to get overwhelmed if you're looking at the big picture, but if you just put blinders on, then you (can) just take one thing at a time."
DD: Why NYC?!
DF: "Why not? I feel like everyone loves New York, but from a distance because of what an animal it can be. The big city has always attracted me. Also, I’ve heard of so many people moving there and then the city spits them out and back in their hometown. I wanted to take on that “impossible” challenge so I sold everything I had and only took my clothes with me. So now I’m just trying to make it happen, as best as I can, given the circumstances."
*Obviously, his hard work paid off. We actually changed our original interview date and the rescheduled date of our conversation corner ended up being the same day @_frondorf landed a huge (and paid) opportunity in NYC. Shows you what hard work can do, right?
DD: What's been the most exciting part?
DF: "I’ve always wanted to live in the city, so the fact that I can drink my coffee on my fire escape is everything for me. Plus I live right by Central Park, so I can take a beautiful walk if I need to clear my mind. But I love how many different people and different personalities you see on an everyday basis. There are some interesting characters living in the city and it’s pretty entertaining! I live in Harlem right now and my street is like a 24/7 entertaining tv show."
DD: What's been the most difficult part?
DF: "One of the hardest parts about living in New York is actually living in New York. Yeah, it’s expensive to live here, but you have to learn how to work the system. Either finesse or get finessed. I’m not going to lie, it was a hard transition for me. I’ve always been grinding so I’m used to pushing myself to my limit, but now I can see how easily NYC can beat you up and leave you defeated."
"The hardest part is keeping your focus. It’s easy to get lost in all of her glory, but if you are in NY then you are there for a reason, so you have to put blinders on and work in your own lane."
DD: Advice for people wanting to take a leap of faith?
DF: "Do it now. You’ll never know if it’s your calling or not unless you give it a shot. You have to plan though, not your whole life, but at least your first couple of steps to get you in the door. If it’s because money is tight then try to crash on a friend’s couch and save every dollar. If you’re willing to risk it all to succeed then you’re going to have to do things that you don’t always want to do."
DD: Now for our final question of each interview, what now?
DF: "I mean last night when I was reading this question, I honestly had no idea. I was like I literally have $5 to my name and it costs $6 to do laundry. I literally don't have anything and I don't know what's next. But, I was like, something's got to work out and then f*cking today, today happened and I guess that's what I'm gonna do now. I'm ready to grind it out, work 70 hours a week, prove myself, and then figure it out."
"You'll never regret taking a chance, you'll only regret the ones you don't take."