Sunday, March 28, 2010


I spend most of my work day running around, literally lapping the restaurant where I work as an event planner, zipping from my office through the kitchen to our dining rooms and private rooms and back. It was during one of these routine rushes last Thursday that I had a realization that stopped my clapping heels in their tracks.

I thought, "Is this really my day, my job, my life?" or something to that mellow dramatic effect. If someone would have told me, five years ago, that today I would be living in Manhattan working as an event planner for one of the country's most fancy shmancy restaurants (to use technical terms), I would have instantly dismissed it as crazy talk. Not at all because my current lifestyle is so unbelievably fabulous (or any of that BS) but because my current day to day can sometimes look so un-me. At least not the me I thought I was a few short years ago.

Back then I was a fearless reporter fresh out of journalism school where I was obsessed with my major. My goal was to earn a spot on the masthead of a national publication, and I was very sure I'd get there. In fact, when I quit my first newspaper job to move to NYC a couple years ago, I was still convinced that journalism was my only option.

This unpredictable city had different plans for me. An odd turn of events found me applying for a job as an assistant private events manager and, even odder, I landed the position with zero experience. It began as a means for survival while I continued to scatter my resume and portfolio around the city's magazine offices. It has grown into my main focus. I'm having fun. I'm challenged and energized. I'm making a little bit of money (foreign to an aspiring journalist). And on most days, I'm pretty good at it. Years of deadlines and performance under pressure as a writer transferred seamlessly to events where the ticking clock still dictates my work day. I edit my event contracts like I did my stories. I win over bridezillas and other clients the same way I once coerced my sources.

I wouldn't be surprised if I continue a career in events. But I must admit there are moments when I pause to think about how different things turned out and evaluate just how OK I am with it all.

I'm still a writer. I don't think I need daily printed bylines to validate this. But, when a friend from journalism school asks what I'm up to or, worse, when I read a perfect article and wish the words were mine, a twinge of doubt bubbles up inside.

At the end of college I was so sure of who I was. I was so sure of who I wasn't. I was wrong. Event planner is as me as aspiring journalist was me, and if in three or thirty years I'm a pole dancer or best selling author (fingers and toes crossed on the latter) that will be me as well.

My newest goal is to be it all (eh, minus the pole dancing). I plan on enrolling in a continued education personal essay writing class (stay tuned for a post) and forcing myself to shop some stories around to magazines. Hold me to it loyal readers!

Thursday's moment of pause and that irking feeling of "Wait, what am I doing?" still scare me a little, but I'd be more scared if I fluttered through my twenties without it.

PHOTO CREDIT: Rebecca Loyche from the amazing


  1. I stuck with journalism and I still find myself thinking, what am I doing with my life?

    I'm excited for your class to start. Maybe it'll motivate me to take one!