MORE's Over-40 Intern Diaries: I'm In Over My Head

Ruth Morganto, 49, wanted to explore a new career but wasn’t sure how to go about it. Read what happens on Day 1 when she joins the MORE team to assist on an upcoming issue

by Ruth Morganto • Midlife Intern
ruth morganto image
Photograph: Ari Michelson

The first day at More begins with rain. Does anyone have a good hair day when it’s raining? First impressions matter, even when it’s only at a two-week internship. Surely a bit of sunshine isn’t too much to ask, but since I’m clearly not getting any, I drag out the waterproof boots, spritz an extra dose of hairspray and head for the train that will take me from my friend’s suburban neighborhood to More’s Manhattan offices.
 
New York City has always overwhelmed me. Too many people, too much traffic, endless noise. My grandparents lived here, my parents met here and I was born here, but I never lived in the city. Last year this same week, my daughter started an internship in Manhattan, and visits with her increased my comfort level. Still, I’m a suburbanite at heart, albeit one who’s up for this adventure.  
 
In spite of the rain, my commute runs smoothly. The train and subway arrive on time and my seatmates are quiet, allowing me to knit in peace. My famously poor sense of direction improves dramatically in New York, leading me to wonder if being born in a Manhattan hospital means I have an inner GPS that’s set for this city. As I proceed down Third Avenue toward the midtown building that houses More, even the walk lights turn green at my approach. If I only had a hat (and that missing sunshine), I’d cue the Mary Tyler Moore music.
 
When I took this internship, I was terrified that I didn’t have the right wardrobe, the right style, even the right body type. I rarely do my nails because I use them as tools and destroy them, and my habit of chewing off my lipstick quickly ruins my makeup. Yes, I lost nearly 30 pounds last year (thank you, Weight Watchers), but I’m 5 foot 2 and curvy. I considered starving myself to drop a few more pounds before I arrived, but realized that I couldn’t afford new clothes if I succeeded.

 

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