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The Positive Force of Reconnection
The email that brought so many amazing people back into my life
I guess I can admit it now. I was broken and bitter when I left New York two and a half years ago. I'd been in the throes of menopause but didn't know it for many years. Perimenopause, to be exact - I'll write about that at some point because there's still so little information and knowledge available about this massive change in a woman's life.
It was no joke, though. I literally thought I was going insane. I mean, I even started researching psych wards to check myself into!
I had about thirty of the thirty-four symptoms of menopause. My career had crashed and burned because I didn't realize I was supposed to shout, fight, and backstab to keep it. (I learned that lesson the hard way and refused to be that person.)
I quit drinking a couple years before I left NYC, so various friends drifted out of my life. It's hard to socialize with partiers when you're always sober. Well, at least in the beginning, it is.
I'd lost my passion for food advocacy because, from my perspective, the part I was in had become too corporate. Except for one consulting gig (which was long-term and incredible), I didn't have the energy to hustle for more work when it finished. And, frankly, I was treated like shit by a bunch of people. Crikey - do I have stories! Maybe someday I'll share a few.
I felt like a complete failure. And then covid hit.
The beautiful part is that I finally got out of New York. I'd been stuck - I had phenomenal rent, an okay routine, was comfortable with my surroundings, and I didn't know where else to go. I'd been trying to move for several years before the pandemic, and thankfully, covid was the final push that got me off my ass.
When I arrived in New Mexico, I kept myself busy the first year exploring the state, establishing a new routine, and figuring out things like where the co-op was, the local farm, where I could drop off compost, where to go for walks, etc.
I also landed in Santa Fe with ideas for a business. I was off and running with meetings and planning with the same NYC energy I'd had for decades. The slower pace here infuriated me at the beginning, so I ran harder - until I crashed.
Why do we all rush around so much, trying to attain things that really are meaningless. All of us, and I mean ALL of us, are going to die. We can't get out of that one. Why do we get so worked up about so many things? (That's my new Stoic philosophy of life.)
I needed to relax more, watch the clouds roll by, and be in the moment. It wasn't easy, and I still fight my workaholism, but I'm getting there. And I'm so much happier.
I also realized that I've been pushing myself too hard with my writing and promoting my book, trying to be the east coast success I was bred to believe in. So I'm now giving myself permission to go slower. And breathe. Slow Life, that's my motto. I believe I'll be more productive in the long run.
That gets me to the point of this post. I'm currently finishing a course for authors and publishers about branding. Among the many things we learned, we looked at our blog, website, social media, and how we reach out to the public.
The short of it is that I'm still confused about the best way to build a community around my work. Social media is a time suck, and I'm not paying Mark Zuckerberg one penny to try to reach my friends on Facebook. Pisses me off.
I'm currently deciding if I want to stay on Substack and Medium, but that's a decision I'll make at the end of the year. What I'm doing is putting a blog back on my website. I'll then cross-post to places like Substack, Medium, and LinkedIn - but the blog will be my home base.
As I started getting that set up, I went into my newsletter system to figure out the best way to set up a mailing list. I noticed I had thousands of email signups from previous work I'd done, but they got mixed up when I transferred them to the new program I’m using.
I was going to delete them because they've been sitting there for a couple of years, and, well, I thought everyone had forgotten me - and who'd want to stay in touch anyway? But I decided to send one last email, asking if anyone wanted to remain on the list, even though my main focus wasn’t food any longer. So I sent out a note last night.
Wow. I'm grateful and so moved by the number of people who responded, saying they wanted to stay in touch. If you're one of them, thank you so much. Just seeing your name has brought back so many good memories.
Why do we often assume the worst? I left New York feeling pushed out of my career and former life. And I thought I'd get angry emails telling me I was spamming - or hear nothing - but I've reconnected with so many wonderful colleagues and friends over the past twenty-four hours.
So, the moral of this post is - never assume. Take the risk. Reach out. Be vulnerable. We're all in this together, so let's make the most of it with each other.
If you’re not on my mailing list and would like to join the community, please sign up! I’ll still be posting here on Substack (and feel free to subscribe here!), but I’m hoping to make my personal newsletter more of a private community where I can be more me. And you can be more you.
I’m on the road for a couple weeks (so excited!), but that means it’s doubtful I’ll post for two or three weeks. I will be back though! Thanks!
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