Some people call me CW. Others call me Chrissy, C-Dubs, Chris, Cwayne. It depends on how we met, really. When we've met. If you've known me long enough, you've called me more than one of these names... But how did we meet? Was it Scarsdale, NY, where I grew up? Did we play on the same lacrosse team or compete against each other in tennis? Did we meet at sleep away camp in Maine? Were we camp counselors together in Westchester? Did I babysit you when you were a child? Did we study together at Stanford University or Syracuse in Florence? Were we roommates? Maybe I trained you on the floor at a restaurant in NY, California or Martha's Vineyard. I've worked with a lot of restaurants over the years. Is that how we know each other? Maybe I planned your big event at Megu, 230 Fifth Rooftop or Pranna? Or, I know, maybe we partied together at the OpenTable company party in New Orleans. Was that it? It could have been an OpenTable reservation, instead. A first date, maybe? I'm very open to new connections and I've gone on more Match.com dates than I can count... A few non-matches have even become friends. And I've been invited to their weddings (smile).
Yes, I've met a lot of people over the years. All of these people and places and experiences have shaped me into the person that I am today. I think it's fair to say that I'm a bit of a wanderer at heart -- always searching.
On Thursday, December 15th, 2016 at the age of 37, I had a heart attack. Yep. That happened. Wild, right? I don't fit the profile! Maybe that's the point. Lightening struck to remind me and those close to me that life won't always go according to plan. But we get by by appreciating "the minutes" and the people in them. The grass is not greener over there, but you won't know that until it's yours. And grass has to be mowed. "We all have our sh*t." That's becoming clear to me. Accepting that reality is giving me a sense of peace to just BE ME.
Early this year, when life started to get back to normal, the idea of "normal" scared me. How could I go through a major life event, die 4x, come back, witness my own memorial service online and then just go back to the way things were? With NO explanation for what had happened? I couldn't. So I made a major life decision to go with my major life event. In April I decided to step away from my position as the Marketing Director for a NY based restaurant group that I love. I decided to go ALL-IN on me and go back to being my own boss. My Plan B is now my Plan A. My side-job as an independent consultant and market builder with Rodan + Fields pays for gas and food and health insurance and prescriptions. I moved out of my apartment. I'm simplifying to get a clearer picture of what is important. It's incredibly scary and exciting beyond words.
At the end of April 2017, I began my #IHEARTADVENTURE TOUR with a trip to Providence, RI. Manhattan Beach, CA, and Austin, TX, followed shortly behind and then Boston. On June 4th I started driving down the east coast to Florida. I'm staying with friends and friends-of-friends along the way. I have a map and a plan, but we all know that there will be bumps and detours and forks that take me down "the road less traveled." For better or for worse, this is life. And I'm rolling with it... I'm just glad I don't have to go it alone.
Friends and friends I have not yet met, I hope this blog inspires you to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones, and explore new places around the country. Leave a comment or follow me on social media! I'd love to hear from you.
Photo Credit: Todd France Photographer