Events, motivation, connection, dreams…
Last weekend I put on my second event/meet-up (with the help of my amazing co-hosts Julie Loung and Emily Sopo). I just wanted to explain why I want to put on more events, what my motivation and dreams with them are, and how It all started….
After moving to Orange county and starting my first job as a registered dietitian (that I wasn’t exactly passionate about), I needed a way to meet more like minded people and also get out of my comfort zone and do/explore new areas and activities. I soon realized that I lived in a place were there are ALWAYS events happening, be it in Orange county or close by in San Diego and Los Angeles. Foodie meet-ups, fitness event, wellness panels… you name it, they have it.
So, I started following more “influencers” that lived in these parts (and that aligned with my passions and health philosophies) and kept my eyes out for events they were hosting or knew about. Crazy enough however, I was actually found and invited through IG to my first “wellness” event in LA. It was a workout, lunch, health panel event in Culver City and I’m sooooo glad I went because I met one of my bestest foodie friends there (love you @dancing.for.donuts). After that I knew this was something I needed to do more for many reasons.
- It got me to get out of the house
- It got me to explore new/fun areas
- It got me to socialize and get out of my comfort zone (I like going to events alone for this reason, forces me to talk to more people)
- It got me to meet people in real life and make real connections – and now life long friends with similar interests and passions
- This was a huge one for me. Growing up I always felt a little different- different likes, interests, dreams, etc. I never really made the strong friend group that I always wanted… but now I finally feel like I am- it’s one amazing thing about social media that I am thankful for!
- It was also just fun! Getting to do new activities or learn new things – it reminds me of being a little kid and going to a b-day party or play date… things we do not normally get to do as adults any more!
The more events I went to and the more people I met… the more inspired I became. Inspired to live the life I truly wanted, to have a job I truly loved, to be around people that lifted me up, to take the steps myself to MAKE SHIT HAPPEN!
So, I started reaching out more to other local RDs, foodies, eating disorder practitioners, food companies, etc. Asking them to get coffee, to join me at an event, to chat about how they got to where they are and any advice they had for me! This was the real game changer for me… when I took a leap of faith and made drastic changes in all areas of my life! By doing this I started making connections, getting my name out there, becoming a reference….. Guys, when people tell you its about who you know not what you know… it’s true and I’ll tell you why!!!
If you read my life update post, you’ll know I worked for WIC before… but the last few months of working there i was MISERABLE. Nothing was wrong with the people or the company at all, the opposite actually, I loved everyone and I loved WIC more than I ever thought I would, but it was NOT my passion at ALL and my heart was NOT in it. From day one I wanted to work with eating disorders and mental health… but instead of listening to my gut I listened to my parents and other adults who told me to go the traditional 9-5 secure job route, to not work with EDs because it may be too close to home… well, I tried it to please others, but it just wasn’t for me. At first I thought something was wrong with me… why did I hate the 9-5 structure, why did I hate the rigidity, why was I so unhappy? Was this what life was going to always be like? Was I the only one who felt like this? Were there other options?
I soon learned I was not alone in this… not everyone is cut out for, or made for, a “normal” job, and I was one of them. I thrive off unusual hours, a bit of freedom in my work, constant change… and that’s OKAY. Yah life would be a lot easier if I stayed at a 9-5 (steady paycheck, good insurance, retirement fund)- but all that is not worth it if I was unhappy. And there is not one size fits all job or life.. But not everyone is willing to take the risk and make the leap of faith.. But for me, happiness is more important than security… but I also know I am lucky to be able to have this option too.
Going to these events and meeting more like minded people… I found other entrepreneurs, others with “weird” or “odd” jobs. I got to talk to them about how they made that happen, what steps they took, what helped them/what didn’t. I found people that GOT me… and gave me the courage, inspiration, and motivation to make the life I really wanted!
So, when a friend of mine gave my name to another RD, who I then got to know and was offered a part time job at an eating disorder treatment facility…. I had to take it. But there was a catch.. It was only part time and short term! After a huge internal battle and long chat with my parents- I decided I had to do it for my future. It was a HUGE risk… BUT it also gave me the HUGE kick in the butt to start MAKING THINGS HAPPEN! …. In short, while continuing to put myself out there and make connection… SO MANY doors started opening for me, so many job opportunities, learning opportunities, event opportunities. I got my website, I submitted my DBA so “marvelouseats” could legally be a business in Orange County, I started doing more continued education (seminars, workshops, webinars, etc).
-okay sorry got a little off track, but had to give that background.. Back to events..
In the midst of all this, Julie (a girl I met volunteering at the goodfest LA) and I became BESTEST friends. Like me, she went to ALL the events all over SoCal, loved trying new restaurants and foodie places, and was always up to go exploring (PERFECT match for me!)
…. However, we both realized there weren’t really events in Orange County specifically, and that there was also no sense of real community or connection opportunities at the events we were going to- i.e, you went to the event, did the activity, and left. So, we decided to put on an event ourselves! And now we are 2 events down and hopefully many more to come. And I am LOVING it.
As I have said, events and meeting new people/making connections changed my world- So I want to bring that to other people too. I never really had a mentor or a role model in my field. I never had help or advice on how to be a dietitian, how to start a business, how to make connections, etc…. So If I am able to help someone else in any small way- I want to try my best to do so. I want to give to others what I didn’t get, and what I would have wanted. If I can help, or inspire just one person, my heart will be filled.
Okay… so I do not know if any of that flowed or made sense… but there you go. My blog post are never going to be perfect… they are going to be mostly unedited, real, raw, in the moment, brain vomit on a page- but thats me, and thats real life. If you have questions hit me up, ill be happy to answer them!!
PPS- all the companies and products at my events were all companies I reached out to myself. Companies I love and want to support. Mostly small business, local business, or women owned business. If I can, I will always help the little guys. Companies tagged below!!
Kweenco granola butter, Eatlikeawomen, Sneakz, meetthesource, lavva, suja, soozys muffin, rulebreakersnacks, gr8nola, AWG bread, fermensch Kombucha, MoonGoat coffee shop, accesselite, purify sauna lounge
IG Friend shoutouts: @dancing.for.donuts, @Juliegoeshealthy, @maddiesmarket, @emilysopo, @lettuce.thrive, @airwaterandgreens, @corinnerecovery, @fromsydneytoyou, @veggie_trails, @kellyscleankitchen, @jillzguerin, @ocnutritioncoaching, @beliasfit, @balancedpeach, @constancelyeating, @charlottesyoga_ , @Danielle_eatwelllivewellrd
… to name a few (local- IG followers now friends)