An Open Letter to My Event Industry Friends:

It’s okay if you are struggling. 

It’s been over 6 months since events disappeared, literally from the face of the earth. Our entire industry screeched to a halt. Massive events that took weeks, months and years of planning just disappeared into thin air. And it’s okay if you haven’t recovered, or even begun to recover from this. 

  • It’s okay if you haven’t pivoted to virtual event offerings.
  • It’s okay if you haven’t started a clever and quirky podcast. 
  • It’s okay if you haven’t started blogging or vlogging.
  • It’s okay if you haven’t started your own side business.
  • It’s okay if you haven’t updated your resume or put yourself out there on LinkedIn.
  • It’s okay if you have declined offers from parents to “join the family business”. 
  • It’s okay if the thought of jumping into a different industry scares the shit out of you. 
  • It’s okay if you feel too old or tired to reinvent yourself.
  • It’s okay if you don’t even have the energy to network with your connections. 
  • It’s okay if producing and catering your own day has been a full-time job. 
  • It’s okay if your financial stress holds you back from fixing your financial stress. 
  • It’s okay if the thought of taking an entry level position makes you feel deflated.
  • It’s okay if you have been too ashamed to accept help from family and friends. 
  • It’s okay if the entire interview process seems too daunting right now. 
  • It’s okay if you are depressed.
  • It’s okay if you have thought of giving up

I have felt so many of these things. In Q4 2019 I decided to leave a comfortable 9-5 position to dive into the event contract world. I was excited and doing well! 2020 began and I moved from my first “cozy” LA apartment into a new place I could really call home. I got a puppy. I got a brand new BBQ. Everything was looking up. COVID-19 hit me like a sack of bricks. Projects stopped in their tracks. Delays. Cancelled. Postponed. Rescheduled. Cancelled. Rescheduled. Tentative. 

This morning was actually the first morning that I woke up feeling optimistic. I worked on a pitch for the first time in a LONG time. I actually put on REAL clothes and felt like writing something! It has taken me a very long time to stop being hard on myself for everything and admit to myself that it’s okay

If this article helps even one person feel like it’s okay too, I’m good with that.

Anthony Was Great, But Let’s Stop Celebrating the Quitters

Firstly, this is not a put down to anyone who has posted about how Anthony Bourdain has positively effected their lives, or how much they will miss his candidly clever content. No matter how someone dies, everyone has the right to mourn the loss. I am just tired of seeing everyone celebrate those who lose the battle with mental illness. Those who give up. The quitters.

I’d like to honor the people that fight a range of mental illnesses every day and get’er done. They show up to work. They pick their kids up from school. They do the housework. They take care of family and friends needs as well as their own. They are the winners.

Whenever a celebrity commits suicide, everyone honors them and their battle with depression and other mental illnesses. It bothers me. And no, this doesn’t mean I am heartless. I just don’t think it sets a good example for those battling their symptoms every day. Nobody should ever think for a moment that giving up is okay. When it comes to life, you must never, ever, ever, ever give up.

Our world is filled with external and internal stresses. Those with mental illness have a much tougher time dealing with these day-to-day struggles. It doesn’t matter how much success, money or fame you have. No amount of love from friends and family can fix your illness. Mental illness is like battling an incurable virus or addiction. It’s always there, even when you don’t feel it.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that we openly shame those that have taken their own life. I just feel that when we see someone who has quit, we should remember those who continue to fight through their pain and see the value in life. We should honor their strength and commitment to life.

I’m sure everyone knows someone that suffers from depression. Again, I have nothing against the posting of Bourdain quotes today. I just ask that you also take the time to thank a loved one who fights hard every day to stay in this world and not be a quitter.