…So I Moved to New York

Have you ever felt like something in your life was just a little . . . off? Not that anything is wrong, but you just feel like there’s something you’re missing? I get that feeling from time to time. It’s a sure sign I need to shake things up a bit. If I ignore it, it usually ends with me buying a house or a car on a whim. I really wish I was joking right now, but that’s how I ended up with this:

Chevy Blazer

 

And this:

Foxboro Townhome

 

And maybe this:

Chevy Trailblazer

 

And then this:

Farmington, UT House

 

But when that didn’t pan out, I got this instead:

Chevy Equinox

Look, it’s a problem, I get it. But my point is, if I follow the urge to shake things up instead of shopping it away, I’ve learned that some pretty great things happen.

I started getting the “something’s off” vibe about a year and a half ago, and so I started “shaking things up.” First I hired life/business coach Tiffany Peterson to help me get clear on the direction I wanted to head. That was LIFE. CHANGING. It lead to me getting out of my job and starting my own marketing consulting/copywriting business. That was, and continues to be, a great experience. But apparently it wasn’t quite enough “shaking,” because I still had the feeling something was off.

Next I partnered with a Lindsey and Heather, a couple of AMAZING ladies, to start a blogger outreach business called Connective Circle. We host monthly workshops for bloggers to teach them how to be better at their business (or as we like to say, “ignite their inner awesome”), and we also connect brands and businesses who are looking for promotion with those bloggers. That business is really taking off. It has been fun to get to know so many great bloggers, and Lindsey and Heather have become two of my very best friends. We sometimes wonder if it can really be considered a business when we have so much fun running it.

Connective Circle Team 1

But despite those major “shakings,” I still kept coming back to the feeling that I needed change. And the change I felt like I needed? A move to New York. Now I’d been talking about moving to New York for awhile. In fact, I announced it back in September. At the time, I wanted to go. I hoped I would go. I was trying to go. But I wasn’t sure I would actually go.

And then, in early November, everything changed with an email.

An email saying that plane tickets to New York were on sale. So I bought one. Yep, just one. As in, a one way ticket to New York for February 4.

I may or may not have burst into tears the second I clicked “confirm.”

Ok, I definitely did burst into tears.

I think I probably looked something like this:

Smile Cry

That’s my “I’m smiling and pretending to be happy, but if you look at my red face and eyes you can tell I’ve been bawling” face. We’ve all got one.

I texted my friend Whitney in a total state of distress, and she let me come hang out for a bit until I stopped hyperventilating over what I’d just done.

But aside from Whitney, Tiffany, my business partners, and one or two other people, I didn’t tell anyone. I continued to talk in vague “I’m planning to move to New York in February” terms, but no one knew I was REALLY going. Or at least planning on it. I didn’t tell anyone because I wanted to make sure I had an out if something happened and I decided it wasn’t what I was supposed to do.

But over the course of the next couple of months, all of the pieces started coming together. I found a place to live, business picked up, and it still just felt right.

So I started saying my goodbyes. That was tough. I’m horrible at goodbyes. While social media and technology definitely makes it easier to keep in touch, I’ve said enough goodbyes to know that things are never the same. It’s a part of life though. A sad part, but a part nonetheless.

I’m sorry I didn’t get pictures with everyone, but here’s a quick recap.

I had dinner with Steph, Anne, and Pam. Friends from a ward I used to be in.

Blue Lemon Girls Dinner

Tiffany, my coach who ended up becoming a close friend of mine, and I went to grab some New York style pizza. Appropriate.

Tiffany Peterson

 

Sharley, Quade, Chad, and I relived some of the glory Burger Bracket days by hitting up The Garage—a dive bar with oh so good cheeseburgers.

IMG_1927

Now earlier that day I had sold my car and gotten a rental car. When I picked the rental car up, they told me the one they were going to give me had a flat tire. “How do you feel about mini vans?” they asked me. How do I feel about them? Not good. Not good at all. That didn’t stop them from sending me home with this beauty:

IMG_1928

So naturally my friends and I drove the minivan to the bar for burgers. And naturally I got the minivan stuck in the snow and mud of the dirt parking lot afterwards. Of course. Because a single girl driving a minivan around town isn’t a spectacle in and of itself.

I also got to meet up with my friends Christin and Rebekah for some breakfast and lunch.

Rebekah and Christin

 

When it came time to say goodbye to Lindsey and Heather, we decided to do a photoshoot with Lauren from LaLa’s Lens, to get pictures for our soon to launch website.

Here’s Heather, being cute:

Heather Blowing Hearts

And Lindsey, keeping it classy:

Lindsey Leaning

And then there was me:

Mel Pocket Hands

 

They told me to put my hands in my pockets. So I did.

Next we headed off to a grub crawl complete with 1,000,001 self portraits. Café Rio pork nachos. Check.

 

Grub Crawl Stop 1 Cafe Rio

 

Bombay House tikka masala and naan. Check.

Grub Crawl Stop 2 Bombay House

 

I think we were halfway through our Indian food when I started crying. I basically didn’t stop until I got on the plane . . . three days later.

 

The Chocolate cazookie and manicures by Lindsey. Check.

Grub Crawl Stop 3 The Chocolate

The next night was a family dinner party with all of these great faces:

Family and Friend Goodbyes

Monday there was much stressing, cleaning, packing (a huge shout out to my parents and brother and sister-in-law for making it happen), lunch with Melanie and Machel (the bottom right in the above picture), a blind date for dinner on my last night in town (hey, you NEVER know what will work out), and the next thing I knew, I was sitting at the airport with my dad, waiting to board the red eye flight to New York.

Close Your Eyes and Leap Bracelet

 

The bracelet I was wearing was a gift from my friend, Whitney. It is stamped with a phrase from Wicked that says, “Close your eyes and leap.”

And so I did.

Next stop, New York City.

Date #12 of My 12 Dates of Christmas: Brad W.

I know, I know, I suppose since I finished all of my 12 Dates before Christmas ::ahem:: almost two months ago ::ahem:: you expected me to write about them all then too. Sheesh, kind of demanding, don’t you think? Ok, sorry for the delay (I’ve had a few things going on—more on that to come very soon), but I’m finally ready to give you the low down on Date #12, Brad W.

Brad W. was sent my way by my friend Amy. She is a crack up, and since funny people usually hang out with other funny people (that’s a pretty standard rule, right?), I was excited to cap off the dating series with her guy.

Date #12 Brad W

I was trying to wrap up all of the dates before Christmas (so I could write about them two months later, obviously), so I ended up having only one date time slot open before I left town to head home to Idaho. This meant—breakfast date. Now if you know me AT ALL, you would know that I have a bit of a love affair with breakfast foods (read: BACON). I love them, and I’m pretty sure they love me back. (It should be noted here that I was into bacon before bacon was cool. Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof: Bacon Party 2008. You can call me the Bacon Hipster) So to me, a breakfast date was heaven.

As a side note, you know you have a bacon problem when people give you bacon items as gifts (Thanks, Quade for the bacon mints, air freshener, chapstick, soda, and other delicious bacon items) or post bacon related things on your social media pages. A few weeks ago three separate people posted this on my Facebook page. Hi, my name is Melanie, and I have a bacon problem. And by “problem”, I mean awesomeness. That’s right, I have a bacon awesomeness.

Bacon tshirt

Anyway, back to Brad W. I left it up to him. to choose where we ate. Now when you’re taking out a girl who has made it a mission to try breakfast eats up and down the Wasatch Front, and she tells you to pick the restaurant, it’s a test. It’s definitely a test.

Fortunately, Brad W. picked (all on his own, mind you) The Park Café and passed with flying colors. The Park Café is a Salt Lake City classic, and definitely a favorite of mine—and on a Saturday morning, it’s a favorite of everybody else in the city too. The extra wait gave us time to sit outside and chat for a bit while we slowly lost all feeling in our outer extremities. (I wasn’t panicked because I knew if my hands were too cold to operate a fork I could go straight plate to face to get that bacon handled.)

It was in our chat that I learned Brad W. works two jobs and goes to school. Talk about a busy guy. But not just busy, going places. I was pretty impressed by his determination to make things happen in his life. He had left his home in Washington to move to Utah for school, with a promise that when he was done, he could go back to a better job at the company he was working for previously.

It was also during our chat that I learned the second half of our date was supposed to consist of us running through Liberty Park and attacking each other with Nerf guns, but due to a malfunctioning firearm, we’d have to settle for a walk instead. Now any other day I’d be happy to bob and weave and pelt a date with foam bullets, but this day was COLD, so I was actually a bit relieved for the change of plans. Plus, I was leaving town in a couple of hours and still hadn’t packed a thing.

Finally, the time for eating came, and I was presented with this beautiful creation:

Park Cafe Breakfast

What you’re looking at there are the four basic food groups: bacon, cheese, potatoes, and carbs. AKA, heaven.

Breakfast apparently brings out the true confessions in Brad W., because he told me, 1) He is a fan of the TV show Glee (at which point I tried REALLY hard not to judge him); and 2) He’d never been on a breakfast date before. He then proceeded to describe the date he would have taken me on if I hadn’t been pressed for time.

One of his jobs is as a security guard at Energy Solutions Arena (where the Utah Jazz play basketball). So his idea would have been to take me on a date there, play a little basketball on the court, walk on the cat walk, and have dinner on the roof. Honestly, that description made me look up from my bacon. It sounded pretty cool, and I almost was a little resentful of breakfast. Hold it, I said “almost.” I didn’t lose my mind completely.

After breakfast we headed across the street to the park, wandered around the semi-frozen pond, and chatted some more. Brad W. was funny and we had a lot in common.

Liberty Park pond

But alas, I had to run, so we called it a day. Bacon and good company. I couldn’t possibly think of a better way to end the 12 Dates of Christmas series.