Friday, January 05, 2007

The thrill is gone

The first wedding of the year is tomorrow, but gone are the excitement and anticipation previously associated with coordinating an event involving a dozen vendors and hundreds of guests.

When I started my company just over two years ago, I lived for the moment when my team's efforts came together flawlessly and the dream the clients had been envisioning for many months became a reality. I worked tirelessly on the day of the wedding, feeling almost as excited as the bride and groom, and I glowed upon receiving appreciative comments from guests and clients. My work complete, I would climb into bed feeling proud and satisfied because I'd touched someone's life in a positive way.

Two years later, the good performance and uplifting acknowledgements are still there but the work no longer feeds my spirit. I now climb into bed after the conclusion of a wedding feeling thankful that yet another event is over and I don't have to deal with that particular drama anymore. Planning weddings has become tedious, boring, repetitive, and uncreative. I developed a hard, crusty shell of cynicism as I realized that many couples place more importance on the color of their flowers than on the meaning of their union. They stress out over the most insignificant items and blame me for not meeting their unrealistic expectations.

I see my wedding planning job merely as a way to generate much-needed income, but most of the time it leaves me empty inside, yearning for my true calling. The problem is: I am not sure what that calling is. What I am certain of is this: I don't want to be in the same place at this time next year. I want to find the passion in my life, rekindle the flame that pushes me out of bed in the morning and keeps me awake late into the night.

Inertia, complacency, and fear are keeping me from moving forward. Leads keep arriving in my inbox, my vendor team has become strong and trustworthy, and I've automated the wedding planning process to make it easy for my clients and I to navigate. Faced with this scenario, I am forced to listen to a voice inside my head that asks: "Why would you throw away a good thing?"

I must agree that this voice has a point: I've worked hard for over two years, putting in countless 14-hour days and sacrificing most of my weekends to build a stable source of full-time income that now requires only part-time attention.

Many would consider me fortunate, since I have the opportunity to search for my true calling while still putting food on the table. However, this might be the very thing that's holding me back. When I started my company, it was out of a burning need for independence, autonomy, and freedom from the financial and emotional oppression of my marriage. Am I the kind of person who must find herself in dire circumstances before rising to meet the next challenge? I pray that I am not.

All I know is that the thrill is gone, replaced by apathy and fear of failure. Writing about it is cathartic; reading my own words reduces the dimensions of my quandary into manageable proportions. I've re-made myself several times already: from Human Resources manager to magazine editor and then to wedding planner. It is time for me to step into the magic phone booth and re-emerge as my new identity...As soon as I figure out what that new identity is...



Blogger hattigrace said...

Since you can produce income with less effort, maybe that means you can volunteer and give in areas that do feed your soul/spirit??

I have no answers. Just feel for the whole burnout issue. I know this, the wedding scene is very stressful and dramatic. Cannot imagine being there 24/7.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Maya said...

Wellll....I tell ya what, if you want to do a house swap in, say 2008 (after I finish my weddings for this year) - and I'll work with your team in Mexico and you can find something of your Next Thing in SB....that might be fun, huh?

Dream big!

1:30 AM  
Blogger twobuyfour said...

I certainly understand your feelings of stagnation and wanting to move on to something better. It doesn't really matter how good your current job is if it's not what you want to do. Spread your wings. Strike out in a new direction. You are strong enough to handle the challenge.

But before you go, Slim and I are getting married in July in San Diego. I'll send you an email to you requesting some brain picking.

3:40 PM  
Blogger twobuyfour said...

Oops. You don't have a link to your email address posted. If you don't mind my having your address can you drop me a line at Otherwise we can discuss it here if you'd rather.

3:43 PM  
Blogger shellz said...

Remember the teachings in The Secret though? If you are in a place of apathy and fear of failure, that's what you will attract into your life. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to hold a place of gratitude and excitement, when you spend 8 hours a day not being fulfilled...yet, it's so important to do that. An answer to your very same dilemna just appeared to me...and I now realize that every answer appears at the right time, as long as you have the question in your heart.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Change is very scary! Especially when you're very good at what you're currently doing. I wish you all the best figuring out what it is you want to move on to. You built a company from scratch - you can do anything!

5:09 PM  
Blogger Pleaby said...

Great post! My fiance and I are getting married this November so it's nice to read about other peoples experiences. Thanks!


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5:06 AM  

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