I juggled a lot of balls there-- writing for the magazine/Living blog and doing a fair amount of market editing for food, making sure nothing fell through the cracks with the food department, managing all aspects of the Mad Hungry brand (merchandising, social media, books), co-hosting a weekly radio show, and being the food person on all-things American Made. I was continually running at 600 mph, to say the least.
I remember the day I was called by the MSLO human resources department; it felt like winning the lottery. I had recently graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in June and had been relentlessly sending out resumes and portfolios to every magazine in NYC and beyond since February. All I had ever wanted was to work at a food and lifestyle magazine and decided that Martha was perfect. Since I was unsure what to do with my life, I figured I could go to a place where I could do everything.
Not hearing anything back from anyone, I sat in the Suffolk County Civil Service department where I had worked for many summers (and it looked like I was going to continue to be there part-time), and put off registering for classes at the local community college as long as I could. In my heart, I knew that if I went back to school I was admitting defeat on this dream. Hours before the registration deadline, I got a call and I remember having my eyes go so wide all I could see was white in front of me. This could not be happening. I couldn't really be having this dream come true?
I took an HR interview the very next day. I had prepared for months for this-- I read 3 Martha biographies in full, rented and watched every season of Everyday Food, and researched the magazine from cover to cover. The interviews themselves were a wild goose chase-- I met with the HR representative at one location, my two supervisors at another location and was sent off, with all approvals, to meet my top manager at a Starbucks on the Upper West Side. We talked a lot, she had her major doubts because I was so green, but in the end I was sure, more than anything I had ever thought I was sure about in my life, that I was the right person for this position.
Two days later, I was hired and the rest is history. I think back to what I was like before I worked there. A career changer that had been to 3 colleges in 3 years (and had changed my major at least twice that), a massive food lover, cook, and experimentalist, so wide-eyed and determined to "break in". It was a turning point in my life; I was barely 22 when I started and it feels like I grew up there. I did, really- I spent most of my 20s walking the four avenues to the pier every day; it was my first "adult" job.
After lots of back and forth of whether or not to leave I finally bit the bullet, texting Brown one beautiful morning walking to work, "I think I'm going to resign today." It was by no means easy, especially without another job lined up, but I look back at the person I was when I entered Martha and the person I have become leaving, and I am so grateful for everything. I met the most talented, inspiring, amazing people there that I'm lucky enough to call some of my best friends, I met Brown there (well, through a set-up there, but it counts), and I learned volumes.
Beginning new chapters are always scary, but the freedom to follow my passion and begin to build our dreams feels like the whole world is in front of me. This is the next step, to create delicious recipes, offer functional tips, give useful information, find the best restaurant/bar/store/attraction/story/product, and have a lot of fun doing it. In short, I'm so excited to take the next step, to focus on Adventures in Red and Brown, and see what new adventures we go on. I hope you come along for the ride too-- RED.