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…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.

Singing Along with The Ready Set at Macy’s

Right after I graduated from college I got a job doing promotions work for a group of local radio stations. I LOVED working in radio. Part of my job was to set up and run on-site broadcasts and events. Basically, I got to hang out with the DJs (and occasionally pretend I was one) and talk to people all day. Not a bad gig.

Melanie Donahoo Radio DJ

The bonus? I got free concert tickets. I saw a lot of big names perform, but I also experienced some of the up and coming musicians when they stopped by the station to put on more exclusive shows. I definitely miss that.

So when I heard the Macy’s MStyleLab was putting on a concert series and The Ready Set was coming to Salt Lake last Saturday, I thought it would be a great way to relive the “glory days.” I was right.

The Ready Set Macy's City Creek Center Outdoor

Never heard of The Ready Set? I bet you’d recognize some of their songs. Especially their most popular one, “Love Like Woe.”

It was a gorgeous day for an outdoor concert at the new City Creek Center. If you haven’t been there, you have to check it out. It really brings the “big city” shopping experience to Utah in a beautiful atmosphere. Definitely not your typical mall. I could wander around there for hours. Who am I kidding? I HAVE wandered around there for hours. My friends and I met there, had a really tasty lunch, and headed to the concert. It was a perfect fall day and the perfect setting.

The Ready Set Macy's City Creek Center Outdoor Concert
There was one small problem, though. When we got to the concert we learned that Jordan Witzigreuter, the lead singer for The Ready Set, had a wee case of bronchitis. Yeah, apparently bronchitis doesn’t mix well with, oh, I don’t know, singing? I felt bad for him, but he actually handled it really well. Instead of canceling or being a jerk because he didn’t feel well, The Ready Set held a sing-along. It was really fun, and the crowd LOVED IT!

The group also spent a lot of time answering questions and talking with the crowd. Are you kidding me? When do you ever get to chat it up with your favorite band? To top it off, there was a meet and greet inside the store after the concert, where Jordan took pictures with the fans and signed autographs.

The Ready Set Macy's City Creek Center Outdoor Concert

It was a really fun afternoon and a great event put on by Macy’s. I was happy to be able to get back in touch with my concert-loving self and I was reminded that I need to do stuff like that more often. How do I know that? Well I sent out some Tweets while I was at the event, and when The Ready Set retweeted one of them, I kind of squealed like a 13 year old girl. I didn’t even know that was possible. But I guess that’s what a little fun can do for you.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s and the mstylelab Concert Tour. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

A {Less Than} Ideal Brainstorming Room

You should probably know something about me . . . I do my best thinking in the shower. TMI? I’m sorry, but it’s true. That’s just one of the many reasons why I take ridiculously long showers.

So the other day when I had a business problem I was trying to think through, I decided headed to my brainstorming room to get my creative juices flowing. I guess I was in there for awhile, because I started hearing a strange chirping sound coming from outside the bathroom.

Yes, you guessed it, my “brainstorming session” had set off the smoke detectors! They weren’t full on blaring, but all four of them were definitely chirping loudly and warning me that they were about to go off any minute.

Fire Alarm

Since I live in a townhome, I know my smoke detectors are somehow hard wired to the other units in the building. I’m not exactly sure how this works, and strangely enough, in the six years I’ve lived here, I’ve never tested it. Weird, I know. So basically I was panicking thinking I was going to set everybody’s alarms off and that the fire department would come break down my door and I would end up standing in the street in a towel while trying to explain to my neighbors that everything was ok, and oh, by the way, did they want to hear the great business idea I just had?

Luckily for everyone, a few open windows seemed to do the trick. The smoke detectors settled down and I was able to resume my brainstorming session. The thing is, it didn’t seem to be quite as effective as it had been previously. I guess there is some peace of mind knowing that in the event of a real emergency, my smoke detectors have me covered. On the other hand, it may be time for me to find a new favorite brainstorming spot.