It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently. (Warren Buffett)
I’m pretty sure I’ve had the craziest two weeks I can remember in a long time. Which is fine by me, because I’m probably under the biggest amount of stress I can remember, too. (Did I ever say anything here about my life always seeming to have equal ups and downs? Because it does.)
Here’s a list of everything that’s happened to me from my last blog entry until last night. Just take it all in for a moment.
- April 11-12: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Supporting my friends Brett Davern and Rutledge Wood, meeting Sam Witwer, Nick Wechsler, Tricia Helfer and Cole Hauser, and doing my first IndyCar series interviews with Will Power, Helio Castroneves, and Juan Pablo Montoya.
- April 15-17: Las Vegas to support my friend Criss Angel for the return of his stage show Criss Angel BeLIEve (not to be confused with the Spike TV series of the same name). Also visited my friends Nathan Burton, Armando Vera and Russ Merlin at their show. Criss introduces me to a sold-out crowd not once, not twice, but three times over a four-show span.
- April 21: First live show for Season 6 of The Voice. Three years later, I finally get a posed picture of me with Adam Levine where I don’t look terrified.
- April 24: Visited the set of History’s Top Gear to catch up with one of my best friends, Adam Ferrara.
- April 26: Caught up with my other friend (and Adam’s other co-host) Tanner Foust before his first Pro2 truck race in Lake Elsinore. 20 years overdue, finally go to my first Barenaked Ladies concert, in which I am invited to meet the band before the show, have a third-row seat that leads to Ed Robertson and Jim Creeggan noticing my off-key singing of their songs, and get to move to right in front of the stage for the encore.
Yeah. That’s a crazy 15 days, isn’t it? I’ve gotten to rub elbows with some of my favorite people on the planet, cover one of the biggest motorsports events in the country, and go to a concert that I’ve wanted to attend since I was a high schooler singing “If I Had $1,000,000” over and over and over again. If you’d told me back then that I’d get to meet Barenaked Ladies, I think I would’ve laughed in your face. Yet that happened to me last night.
I don’t mention all of this to gloat; far from it. I mention it to temper the much less joyous news. As some of you may have heard already, I lost both my jobs with NBC News and Fan TV over the last few months. NBC News elected not to renew my contract and Fan TV decided to shut down Fan Voice altogether. Those were also the only two paying positions that I had, so I’ve gone from financially stable to essentially unemployed in the space of about two months. Right now, I’m facing a very difficult decision: to either continue to pursue what I love while not being able to support myself, or start looking for other work that will allow me to survive but won’t be anywhere near as gratifying.
Unless I somehow find another outlet(s) that are willing to pay me for my articles, you’re going to see a change of some kind around here. Inevitably, either I’m going to run out of money for the gas, hotel rooms, and other expenses that I have to pay out of pocket to bring you the stories you’ve come to expect from me, or I’m going to be working a second job that will cover those expenses but mean that I have less time to pursue press opportunities in the first place. It’s a lose-lose situation, and one that I hate having to tell you about, but it’s the cold truth of the situation right now.
Needless to say, this has shaken me up quite a bit over the last few weeks. I love what I do so much, whether it’s going to all these crazy events or writing articles in the dead of night or just interacting with you, my readers. I’ve never felt happier or more fulfilled emotionally than I have over the past four years. Yet I’ve also worked my ass off hoping to take my career to that next level of recognition and financial stability, and it just hasn’t come to pass. At a certain point, you have to recognize the realities of the situation.
I’ve been contemplating what my next moves will be, and I still really don’t know. But take a look again at the list at the top of this blog. That’s a pretty fantastic life, I think. Maybe I’m not getting engaged to George Clooney, but to have all that stuff happen to me in two weeks? Having just one of those things happen to me is something to smile about. Having all those things happen to me is just insane. It’s made me realize that no matter what the outcome of this current struggle is, this is where my heart belongs. I spent last night at a Barenaked Ladies concert in a Tanner Foust T-shirt with one of Adam Levine’s guitar picks around my neck. What isn’t to love about that?
Most importantly, I get up in the morning able to look at myself in the mirror with a smile because I’m proud of not only what I’ve accomplished, but how I’ve accomplished it. As I’m looking down the tunnel that is my professional future, I know that the light isn’t necessarily in finding another job, but in knowing that I’ve done things my way – and in turn have had some of the best experiences of my life. I’ve learned over these last two weeks that even if I have to make a decision soon based on money, it’s love that I can always be proud of.
Now, if I had a million dollars…we wouldn’t have to eat Kraft dinners. (But we would.)
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Criss Angel Productions