We are roughly three weeks into the very significant month we call May. May marks the beginning and the end of many momentous life events. College students are clad in cap and gown, ending one chapter and entering another. The dreaded long winter we New Englanders face is finally at its tail end, while we begin to remember what lush greenery and cherry blossoms in full bloom look like.
May usually marks the beginning of wedding season and the rite of passage to add white pants to your wardrobe again. And earlier this week, we celebrated Mother’s Day, honoring the influence of mothers in our society who have created and nourished life and, thus, new stories.
And while to many, May means new beginnings, it also is a month of evolvement. In fact, May is one of the few months that allows us to re-tell our own story and rebrand ourselves as we head into a new season, or walk down the aisle. May is a reminder that we need to be always evolving and growing and leaving our comfort zones, both personally and professionally.
For me, May was the month I realized I had to leave New York City and the world of television production. It was the month I began really asking myself, “Am I happy with my own story?” I knew some sort of change, some ‘new headline’ for my own life, was needed, no matter how scary and exhausting that change would be.
Since May of 2016, I have moved a total of four times (including a final move this month!), both in state and out of state, switched careers, changed jobs twice and experienced a long-distance relationship. But through all of these changes, my life has not permanently changed at all. Instead, it’s evolved and grown (and even took a few steps backwards, in some cases, before it could move a few steps forward).
So, for anyone looking to re-write his or her own story, here’s what I learned:
- Everything will come full circle.
When I worked in television, I was constantly on a set under lights and cameras, covering breaking news or special feature stories for national television (heels were not my footwear of choice). My main goal was to share the story – and get the story right. Now, I work for a public relations firm called Hollywood Agency, whose name reflects the nature of my television days. At Hollywood, our job is to make brands famous and to create ever-changing stories to keep our clients at the head of their game. What you learn in one chapter of your life will always come in handy the next. Essentially, those lessons and experiences are the tools you need to reshape the canvas.
- Home is whenever I’m with you.
Although Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros made a great hit, I tend to disagree slightly with their catchy tune. Home is defined first by finding a constant with yourself, because you are the only one re-writing your story. While home can be shaped by places or people that helped you get there, home will always evolve based on what path your story takes. And the one reliable source in that journey is yourself. When I made the decision to move and switch careers, I avoided asking for opinions. Instead, I told people my decision and hoped for their support. Boy, was that hard. But to really re-write a captivating story, you have to create your very own headline and cold open. Only then can you build the foundation for home.
- Be the protagonist.
After that headline and cold open, comes the plot. And if you are not writing your own story with yourself as the main character, no one else will. Talk to everyone you can and ask about their stories too. Pitch ideas – whether at work or in your circle of friends and family. The more experiences that come from these ideas and conversations, the more content you’ll have to work with when it comes time to write yet another chapter of your life’s storybook.
And while the month of May will be ending soon, it will be back again. Just don’t forget to plant some new seeds. That’s how your story will truly shine.
Joanna “Jo” Weinstein
Senior Account Executive
I’m Joanna, but often go by “Jo.” I left the world of television news in NYC and shifted gears to public relations. I’m an award-winning publicist for disruptors and innovators in the startup space, from semiconductors to canned wine.