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Reading the Signs: My scary, new journey

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Serge and I were out to lunch discussing what my next steps would be since I just lost my six-figure job as an executive assistant (the third E.A. role I’ve had in the last two years; the other two I moved on from due to restructuring).

But for you to really understand my situation, let me take you a little further back.

This summer, I visited a psychic (I don’t always believe everything they say, but it’s a fun thing I like to do to garner some insight/inspiration from time to time), who basically told me that I’ve accomplished a lot, but I’m not living up to my potential. I need to believe in myself, follow my heart into something creative, and that I will be taking on a lot more. (This is not the first time a psychic has told me this exact thing, so there must be something there, right?)

Well, I ignored that and stepped into another executive assistant job.

After almost three months, the universe/God basically said, “No, Vanessa, you got it wrong! THIS is not what you’re supposed to be doing!”

I go home and put on a Hallmark movie, A Shoe Addict’s Christmas, starring my former cover star, Candace Cameron Bure, which happens to be about an HR employee who is visited by an angel trying to redirect Candace’s character to her intended/fated path as a photographer (her passion!). Um, hello, is this the story of my life or what? Sign number 2!

For those of you that don’t know me, I am a firm believer in signs, fate, and everything happening for a reason. I moved from L.A. to NYC based off a few signs.

All of this further convinced me that I’m supposed to pursue my passion for writing full-time and wholeheartedly.

So, what has stopped me from doing this in the past, you ask?

1.) Executive assistants get paid much better than the average mid-level writer at Hearst and Conde Nast magazines (my original goal upon moving to NYC, until I found this out after taking a few meetings with them).

2.) E.A. work is easy, steady, and comes with health insurance!

3.) I was content fulfilling my passion for writing as editor/writer of MIAMI LIVING part-time (which, unfortunately, doesn’t pay enough for me to sustain my lifestyle).

So back to my lunch with Serge. As I was talking about all the things I’d like to do now that I don’t have a full-time job, including writing a book and only pursuing writing jobs --no more executive assistant roles (bye-bye reliable safety net), he suggested that I start a blog.

Now, he’s not the first person to suggest that I start a blog. Many have suggested this in the past, (I always thought working for a big magazine was the ultimate goal and didn’t want to be labeled a “blogger” since anyone can do it and you don’t need a writing degree.) but something finally clicked. Plus, now I have something to blog about.

For several years, I’ve had the tagline, “Journey of a Passionate Writer” on my website (Passion is my favorite characteristic.), so I decided that this would be the theme for my blog.

This “lifestyle blog” is about my journey --what I’ve experienced in the past and what I’m experiencing now as a celebrity interviewer, editor, writer of a luxury lifestyle publication, and as a woman who has just decided to take the risky route and really, really try to make it (meaning, live off my art) as a “full-time” writer, and hopefully not end up a starving artist.

For the last decade, I’ve interviewed some extremely successful people and heard their journeys firsthand, learned about their struggles, and how they made it; I have retained years and years of these inspiring stories and now I’m ready to create my own and am embracing the mindset, WHY NOT ME!? -- inspired by the title of Mindy Kaling’s book of the same name. (Great book! I love memoirs!)

The average writer doesn’t make as much as what I can make as an executive assistant, BUT why can’t I be one of the writers that does? Why not me!?

If I really focus on just writing for a full year (365 days!) and don’t entertain roles outside of my passion, can I make it? I don’t know, but I am going to really, really fight for it, and continue to ask myself, Why not me!?

Trust me, I’m terrified. All of this is definitely outside of my comfort zone -- I’m not used to putting my story and personal thoughts out there for others to read and judge, unlike the celebrities I interview and admire for their inspiring candidness. It’s not easy to be vulnerable and share your insecurities with the world. But I’m jumping in, and hopefully my story inspires you to go after your dreams wholeheartedly. Thank you for joining me on my journey.

Cheers -- I’m going to need another martini or five.

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