It’s been a long while since I turned to the blog to share some insights on my personal life. Not since early spring, in fact, have I taken the little spare time that exists in my schedule to just sit down and reflect for a moment on all that is on the go. Now is that moment.
After sitting in draft mode for now nearly a month (this post was originally titled “the last 30 days”), it’s time to deliver to you – my few but devoted subscribers – the long-in-the-making life update post. It’s particularly fitting that I sit down to write this on the 2nd of August, as the journey begins appropriately precisely two months ago. That particular June day was atypical for two fairly significant reasons. First and foremost, it was the day of Cornell University’s Icon of the Industry Awards, where the School of Hotel Administration attracts over 900 attendees (and even University President Skorton himself) to Manhattan for a glitzy evening of networking, boozing and – oh yes – award-giving. This year’s honorees were the Tisch Family and Four Seasons CEO Kathleen Taylor, who turns out to be one awesome lady after we chatted it up a bit post-awards dinner (she also had me play photographer for her as she posed with her entire Four Seasons entourage on the red carpet).
As amazing as it was to mix and mingle with hospitality’s industry elite that evening, the far more meaningful event that day had already occurred many hours earlier. That morning, I had an informal early breakfast meeting with Michelle Wohl – a fellow Cornell graduate and, more notably, the current VP of Marketing for Revinate – a software company based in San Francisco that provides hotels and restaurants with a solution to manage their online reputation and social media. Having been an unabashed fan of the company since its 2009 founding, I had eagerly wanted to meet more key players in the company, with the sole intention of forging new relationships that – far later down the line – may be fruitful for my career. With this exact approach I met with Michelle, eager to express my adoration for the company but without a “hire me!” agenda. After all, it was at this time that all was right with my New York City life: I had a well-cultivated network of friends, a wonderful girlfriend and a perfectly suitable digital marketing job at one of the city’s finest luxury hotels.
While everything on the surface was nearly perfect, something was missing. A mantra I would find myself repeating consistently during the first months in the new job was that “I’m perfectly happy, but hardly content.” Was it that I was my role as “in-house social media guru” had grown stale? Was it that I struggled to see where my digital marketing specialist role would take me? Was I just too impatient to wait and see how it would pan out? These not-so-rhetorical questions had weighed on me for weeks and engineered a sort of emotional roller-coaster that was only tamed by how much fun I was having as a New Yorker. It was a “professional path” mental mind-game that I was restless to put to rest, a feeling that would soon subside.
Less than three weeks after Michelle and I had sat down to eat our oatmeal, I had a job offer in hand to join the team out in San Francisco – in a newly-created Marketing/Community Manager role no less that would have me doing all that I’m most passionate about: publishing and curating thought-leadership content, working with academics on our university program, managing social media strategy and engaging with our nearly 11,000 hotel and restaurant clients on what’s best practice in the space. To say it is a role that is tailor-made for me truly would be an understatement. After touching base to iron out the offer’s logistics, I signed and within twenty-four hours time had abruptly put in motion the “moving to California” plan.
The period that followed my euphoric new-job signing moment I’ve ubiquitously described as a whirlwind. While the turn of phrase I believe is an egregious cliché, it’s certainly an apropos way of defining the series of events that ensued. To highlight this “confused rush” as Webster would define it, I share with you a brief timeline:
- June 20 – Receive Revinate job offer. Do a happy dance.
- June 21 – Give my employer 3+ weeks of notice so can move out my apartment July 15. Sounds like a super easy transition for Greg.
- June 25 – Realize need to move out of my apartment 2 weeks early. Do a panic dance.
- June 30 – Move out of NYC apartment with 3 luggage pieces left in my possession. Tennis bag included.
- July 1 – Begin 2 week period of “couch surfing”. More accurately this means leaving luggage under my office desk and finding floors, sofas and occasional hotel room bed to rest.
- July 5 – Break up with my girlfriend after weeks or uncomfortable conversation re: our future.
- July 13 – Last day of work at the office. Pop some champagne and say my goodbyes.
- July 14 – Have a goodbye hangout with friends at favorite beer garden. Beer garden catches on fire (literally). Stressed.
- July 15 – Take early fight to San Francisco on no sleep. See two apartments and realize San Francisco housing market is awful. More stress.
- July 16 – Travel down the Southern California coast with a friend. Much needed scenic break. Thank you Katrina.
- Later on July 16 – Hear back from my preferred potential apartment roommate. I got the apartment. Do another happy dance.
- July 19 – Celebrate the three weeks of transition with friends in Vegas. Great times.
- July 22 – Stayed in my best friend’s bedroom for over a week. You’re welcome, Katrina.
- July 30 – Move into new apartment and finally start the job. Phew.
While the transitional “moving here” whirlwind may have subsided, there are still innumerable uncertainties that lie ahead. Will I enjoy living on the West Coast? Is San Francisco life going to suit me? Is this really indeed the “perfectly suited” job and company for me? As of this writing, there are no concrete answers, as only time will tell how things turn out. What I do know resolutely – and have learned first-hand through my numerous jobs, moves and living scenarios since graduating – is that you can discover meaning in each life experience that comes around. Just as my individual stints in Bermuda, Boston and New York City have shaped my worldview, I eagerly anticipate what experiences are in store for me in the City by the Bay. Stay tuned, my friends.