Stepping Up

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Recently, I've had the incredible opportunity to take a new step in my career - and with all the puns intended, in a few weeks I will start as the new Social Media Manager at the coolest spot in Pike Place Market, ChefSteps! I'm so, so thrilled. And pretty terrified. I think all the best decisions wrestle with that dichotomy, and if I didn't jump, if I didn't create change, I'd never know what I was capable of creating.

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A lot of what I'll be doing is helping to answer that question many of you may be asking: What is ChefSteps? I'm hoping to create some major buzz about this awesome place and how they're revolutionizing cooking. It's going to be a lot of hard work, and a lot of fun. Food, like music, is universal, which was one of the major draws for me. Food is always in style. How many memorable conversations have I had around a table? How much have Raz and I bonded (and bickered) while cooking? How fulfilling has it been to invite people into our home and share a meal with them? How many pies have I baked with my grandma? And how has food been the thing people bring when you're grieving? It gets my heart all swelled up. It fills so much more than a thrice-daily appetite.

One thing I've learned from growing my career in Seattle the past few years is that everything leads to the next thing. From dabbling in lots of areas - magazine editorial, teaching, PR, marketing - I've been lead to a place where I've found that passion people talk about that makes you feel like your job isn't a job. Because I've had so much fun at Nordstrom Rack growing our social following and overall awareness, I knew social media was where I wanted to continue my career.

Then this opportunity knocked when I was at a place where I felt like it made sense to step up. The stars aligned, and here I am, taking a risk, telling Raz he probably won't get as much cooking out of me as he thinks he will, and feeling really eager to learn from all the people passionately moving this company forward - content creators, chefs, engineers, mathematicians, artists in all their forms.

What all this means for my little space on the internets is I'll probably be here more often! I'm so excited to share more of my life with you - its ups, its downs, its randomness. My big ideas are flowing and I have some fun things cooking in the brain space, including the super obvious food puns I've been making throughout this post.

Something worth mentioning, too, is I had a hard time making this decision without my dad's counsel. I have a phenomenal support system and I knew in my gut it was right, but not melodramatically word vomitting at him about my pro/con list and forcing him to talk me off the ledge every day after work was pretty soul-wrenching. 

I listen to the StoryCorps podcasts from NPR and a recent episode featured a dad whose son was shot by a police officer in the early '90s when he was playing with a toy gun in their Brooklyn neighborhood. The dad said in the past twenty years, his mourning, how much it hurts, has only deepened. Whenever I have to make these big decisions without verbally assaulting my dad, making him help me be realistic while still reaching and then forcing him to love me through it, I feel that ache I don't like to feel. Feels, I has them.

All that aside, I'm so thrilled for my Seattle life to come full circle. When I moved here seven years ago, I wrote a list of all the things I wanted to do, including (but certainly not limited to) finding a friend with a boat and buying myself flowers from Pike Place Market every week. The irony of my first internship at Seattle magazine was working for free didn't afford me the floral luxury, but this new role does. It's in the same hallway I walked through every morning on my way to my intern chair overlooking Western Ave. I can't believe it's true.

I plan to keep in touch with my teammates at Nordstrom. They are the hardest part of leaving. The people always are. Thankfully, I'll be right down the street from them in a place I hope they'll want to come for lunch and inspiration.

And, this. I can't wait for this. I know Raz is reading and seething with jealousy :).

Get ready for my Instagram feed to become very food and flower heavy. And thank you for your support throughout my sporadic posting. This is the beginning of something new and exciting, I hope for all of us.

All images courtesy of the ChefSteps Facebook page or sourced from


  1. Congrats on the new position, and so excited to follow your new adventure!

    This may be weirdly intimate for an online comment, but I completely connect with the need/desire to process big decisions with your (my) dad, and feeling at such a loss that you (I) can't. I recently interviewed for and was offered a leadership position at work and really needed to talk it through with my ever-so-practical father, and it caused many sobbing, heartbroken evenings that I couldn't. Going about day-to-day life gets easier, I suppose, but those big life events and changes, whether happy, sad, or confusing will likely always be "soul-wrenching," like you said. I appreciate that you often talk about him (and your feelings) in your blog. Big sighs, and big hugs!!! xoxo Michelle

    1. Thanks, Michelle. I try to put as much out there about him as I can, and be honest about how the feelings continue to evolve. Congrats on the offer - I'm glad I'm not the only one who *should* be happy about awesome opportunities, but often feels all mixed up instead. Let's get together soon!


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