I know it’s been a hot minute since my last blog entry. But the last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind. And to be completely candid, it’s left me a little life-dizzy.
Things started getting hectic back in August, when Amazon cancelled Style Code Live, the show I was the beauty producer for. The abrupt cancellation was a shocking, to say the least, but one veteran producer that I worked with told me this is typical in the TV industry. One day you have a job working on a show, the next day that show is cancelled and you find yourself unemployed. That didn’t cushion the blow but such is life in the media industry these days…
Before taking the job at Amazon I had never produced anything. But over the course of two years, I became adept at producing live, daily, in-studio segments and video vignettes with leading beauty experts and key influencers. As sad as the end of the job was, it came at a very serendipitous time – one month before my first book, Pretty Sick: The Beauty Guide for Women, launched in the US and UK.
Having free time allowed me to focus fully on launching my book, so that’s exactly what I did. I met with editors, did interviews with the press, traveled for speaking engagements and did a radio satellite tour. I got to talk with hundreds and hundreds of people about the book and share its empowering message. I was working overtime to promote my book and I got to do it because I was out of a job. Oh, the irony.
By October, my schedule was fully penciled in with book-related appointments, interviews and events. The highlights of the month included an appearance on the Today Show with Hoda and Kathie Lee and my book party. Benefit Cosmetics hosted the book party at their flagship store in Soho and part of the pre-party festivities included a makeup tutorial class for women in cancer treatment. The women that attended the class were such an inspiration. Each one of them had faced life-changing adversities yet remained positive, loving and grateful women. Spending time with them was a real honor. The party was everything I wanted it to be: intimate, meaningful and filled with the people that mattered most to me. It was the perfect evening.
Days after the book party, I began a slow descent from Cloud 9 back down to reality. I immediately became anxious thinking about what would come next – especially since I didn’t have a job. For two months, I had watched, in an almost dream-like state, as my personal project (one that I worked tirelessly on for two years) came to fruition. The feedback was beyond positive and it felt deeply rewarding to see it succeed. But I couldn’t linger on that for long. Girl has bills to pay! I needed to focus on getting back to work.
The obvious answer, short-term, was freelancing. I had freelanced years prior and during that time, I did my best work and wrote for all my favorite publications/websites. But freelancing is not for the faint of heart. And the fact that the media industry is slowly devolving doesn’t make it any easier. Where before it was a hustle, today it’s a grind. And the only grind I’m cool with at this point in my life is one I’m doing on the dance floor. Ya know what I mean? As fate would have it, that’s when I got a job offer.
The job – as the beauty director of Star and OK! magazines – wasn’t something I was expecting. Having done the celebrity weekly gig many years ago, I didn’t think it was something I thought I would ever do again either. My initial thoughts were, “been there, done that.” But the more I thought about the fortuitous timing of it, the more I felt like it was something the universe wanted me to do. That there was a reason that it was this opportunity at this time. (Plus, I am a sucker for celeb beauty and fashion stories.) So, I accepted the job.
The thing is, I keep wondering why life has lead me on a crazy journey the last few years only to wind me down this familiar road? What is to be gained or learned this time around? What didn’t I learn or master the last time? I’m curious.
But that’s the thing – life is some f*cked up shit. Just when you think the road is headed one way, it takes you in a totally different direction. After everything I’ve been through, you’d think I’d be a little more malleable. But I like knowing what comes next and where I am headed. That’s just not how life works though. What’s that Yiddish proverb? “Man plans, God Laughs.” Truer words have not been spoken.
As I started really thinking about the ‘why’ and mystery of what is happening in my life, I happened to hear a podcast that seemed to answer my questions. I was commuting home one night and decided to pass the time listening to a podcast: Oprah’s Super Soul conversation with Eckhart Tolle. During the interview, Oprah mentioned a quote she loved from Eckhart’s book, A New Earth: Awakening Your Life’s Purpose. Here is the quote: “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”
The quote struck me and I listened to it several time to fully absorb its meaning. The quote made me reflect on my life over the last few years, even the last few months. In that moment, it dawned on me that everything I have experienced, all the pain and sadness, joy and success, has helped me evolve as a person. It has helped me become more tuned in with what truly matters and helped me achieve greater success in my relationships and career.
I mention all of this because life can be baffling and unpredictable. One day you can experience the greatest highs, the next day, the deepest low. A parent dies and then a child is born. You get fired and then hired. You get sick and then you get healthy again. It can be scary, frustrating, even overwhelming but you have to trust the journey. You have to trust that what you are experiencing at any moment is going to lead you to a more evolved, fulfilled life. Did I like having cancer? Hells to the no! But it did give me a deeper appreciation of everything in my life and a focused purposed. Much like how a new mother forgets the pain of labor when she looks into the eyes of her newborn baby for the first time. An examined, expanded life nullifies growing pains.
I don’t know where my life is headed, and even though I’m not psyched about that, I am going to trust the universe on this one. It hasn’t steered me wrong so far. And while I’m taking this journey, I’m going to work hard, have fun and be grateful for ALL my experiences.