“It’s ok to think about what you want to do…until it’s time to start doing what you were meant to do.”
Recognize this quote? It’s from another one of my all-time favorite cheesy sports flicks, The Rookie. In case you haven’t seen the movie (which you should), it’s based on a true story where high school baseball coach Jimmy Morrison, rediscovers his fastball at the age of 40. After being recruited by a minor league team, he contemplates whether or not to make a drastic career change to the sport he loves or continue on the current path with a stable career as a teacher that allows him to provide for his family.
When he asks his father for advice, he gives him the statement above, and these words of wisdom don’t resonate too well with ol’ Jimmy. You see, he wanted his father to say, “Go for it – chase your dream!” But, instead, his father hit him with a bit of a reality check.
This quote has been in the back of my head for quite some time, in particular when I started The Sometimes Healthy Living Blog…
I started this blog, because, ever since I interned at my first magazine as a junior in college, I have been convinced that I was “meant” to be the editor of health magazine (i.e. SELF, Fitness, etc.). And while I truly love and value where I work, I’ve never actually thought that public relations is what I “want” to do with my career. It’s not in my nature to give less than 100% at anything, so I’ve always given that and more at my job…but at the same time, that dream remained in the back of my mind.
I used to watch Devil Wears Prada in bed every night in hopes that this seemingly odd routine would some how help get me to that pie-in-the-sky magazine job (yeah, I know, that’s embarrassing.) But, I was also pretty proactive as well. Up until last year, I would apply to magazine jobs on a regular basis and had even enrolled in NYU’s Masters in Publishing Program, which gave me access to some pretty top tier editors at major women’s consumers magazines. I networked with past Northwestern graduates who had been able to land the very job I wanted. I did anything and everything to get myself into the industry…except write.
While I’ve been published in magazines in the past, it’s been a long time since my last story (2006), so I needed to build a portfolio. At the same time, I wanted to get back to writing about my passions (running, healthy living, wacky food combos, etc.). Like so many of you out there, I felt very unfulfilled at my job and needed an outlet. In the back of my mind, I had actually moved to New York City to be a writer (even though I transferred with my last pr firm)…so I decided to grab the bull by the horns and just do it.
Enter Sometimes Healthy Living Blog.
The minute I wrote the “About Me” section, I was hooked. It represented me perfectly, and although I had always been hesitant to “put myself out there,” I felt comfortable writing about my life in this way: A transplant Midwestern girl trying to get the most out of New York City, while maintaining a (sometimes) healthy lifestyle, but more often than not, experiencing some humorous roadblocks along the way.
I remember thinking that my first post about the National Marathon was extremely long (any writer knows that less is more when it comes to maintaining your audience’s attention, especially on the web), but reading it over and not being able to part with a single word (what can I say? I find myself extremely entertaining.) I published it without a thought, sent it to my family and a couple of close friends and prepared to be embarrassed.
But it was just the opposite…I was proud.
The compliments from my friends and family fueled me to continue, and I literally wanted to write all day every day.
It was almost as if there wasn’t enough time in the day to get down all of the words and ideas. In actuality, there really wasn’t, but I was determined to make it work. I’d wake up early in the morning, get in my quick workout, work 10-12 hours a day, write a little bit in between and go home and write more. In the back of my mind, I knew this lifestyle might not be sustainable, especially as work got busier.
But, in the meantime, I got to write about all of the things I had been dying to write about for years. It was almost as if my blog became the magazine I dreamed of working for, and I was the editor!
I experienced many quirky Sometimes Healthy milestones with all of you, and had a great time sharing.
I was a little nervous to post about my Wacky Food Combos, but you all embraced the weirdness and actually seemed to like them!
I got to go home and write about the differences between Nebraska and New York, while expressing my clear love for both.
I faced my fear of cutting open a spaghetti squash, and the recipe seemed to be quite a hit!
I even got to use this blog to express my gratitude to the friends and family that have been so supportive of me pursuing my dream! (Thank you mom, dad, Eric, Julie, Jamie, Michelle, Becca, Emily, Anjelica and one other very special person for reading my crazy posts every day – I’m lucky to have you all in my life).
I was able to discuss my passion for organizations like Girls on the Run, which teach young girls self-esteem and running at the same time.
I met amazing women, like Lisa, who was kind enough to ask me to guest blog. I wrote a post for her about mixed emotions I felt over an upcoming high school reunion…and that little post drove 1500 readers to my blog in one day!
I also was able to write about that high school reunion…and what a truly amazing feeling it was to realize I was content with my place in life.
I enjoyed writing about all of the reasons I love this great city that I live in.
I baked…weird healthified treats…a lot. And it seemed that most people actually liked the recipes.
If you can’t tell from the length of this post, it’s very hard for me to part with this blog for a while. But, at the same time, I’d rather not write than put up less-than-stellar posts.
What Am I Meant to Do?
I’ve decided, at least for a while, it’s time for me to focus on making the most of my current job. You all know how much I love the people that I work with, but I don’t think I ever express how truly amazing my job can be at times. Just last week, I was sitting at the headquarters of a major sports organization talking to the director of marketing about potentially executing an exciting public relations campaign to get children more interested in the sport. And last night, I was at the headquarters of a major consumer electronics company discussing all of our ideas for public relations activities in 2012, many of which, are pretty damn exciting! Throughout my career in public relations, I’ve had the chance to work some very incredible people who inspire me to better myself, including, most recently, Paralympic athletes.
Every day, we get to dream up aspirational, crazy, out-of-the-box ways to get people interested in our clients products or services, and once in a while, we even get to execute them. A couple of years ago, I was leading the charge behind an event centered around a ball pit in Grand Central to bring awareness to my clients’ new product…and it actually happened.
In short…my job is kind of cool, and I’d like to stop taking it for granted. Am I saving lives? No. Am I profoundly impacting the world by putting a ball pit up in Grand Central? Debatable. Am I at least giving back to the community in some ways through my daily work? Not usually. BUT, it’s a fun job, and it can take me anywhere.
Right now, it’s impossible for me to put my energy into both this blog and my job at the same time. So, I’m listening to advice from the movie and trying to see if perhaps, public relations is indeed what I’m “meant” to do. I think I could be fulfilled doing this for the rest of my life – I just need to find the clients and products that interest me most and perhaps lend themselves to actually having an impact in some way.
To use some
overused common words from the PR world: “I’m streamlining my life so that I can leverage my skillset and potentially build upon my strengths to propel my career to a synergistic bliss.” END SCENE
So, goodbye for now, my friends! Thanks so much for reading these past months – it turned out way better than I ever could have imagined! I’m sure I’ll be back eventually, so feel free to stop by every now and then to pick up a recipe and perhaps they’ll be a new post up.
A Cheesy Goodbye
And just because, I like to leave something the way I come in, here’s a bit of cheesy inspiration for you from one of my favorite songs of all time:
“When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you.”
I may be focusing on the path I’ve chosen…for now. But, I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t “wishing upon a star” maybe just a little bit every night before I go to bed. After all, the only thing better than a good night’s sleep, is a good night’s sleep accompanied by the perfect dream.
(So, Lucy Danziger, if you by chance come across this blog, feel free to reach out. Maybe a little Sometimes Healthy charm is what SELF magazine needs…)