Music to the rescue

Orlando, FL | Miami, FL 

It seems no matter how many different directions I begin to take career wise, live music always finds me again and pulls me back in. A deeper interest in the non-profit industry recently had me looking at a wider variety of jobs in the past few months, as opposed to focusing on entertainment jobs like I had planned on doing for several years. But when the non-profit path wasn’t working out, I found an alternative.

I didn’t get a non-profit job in Salt Lake City, UT after two rounds of interviews but a couple days after I found out I didn’t get it, I was hired by Foundation Presents in Orlando to do marketing work for local venues like The Beacham and The Social. It doesn’t satisfy my burning desire to move out west but it’s at least something I know I will enjoy for the time being. Working for live music events always feels right to me and I’m of course thrilled to start going to free shows again. So thank you, Foundation, for the opportunity.

As an unintentional celebration for this new chapter, I headed to Miami this weekend to volunteer for a music event called House of Creatives Music Festival. I had the gig planned for a few weeks now, and found the timing to be absolutely perfect. It’s like live music came back into my life full force to remind me how much I love it and to not let go of it too quickly.

The festival in Miami was a small one at Virginia Key Beach Park, only on its second year, but with a great lineup. I got to see Wild Belle, alt-J, Washed Out and MGMT to name my favorite. All for $0. Another reason why I love working music events… 🙂 The work is fun to me as well because of the type of people the industry attracts and the energy that comes with the atmosphere. Everyone enjoys what they’re doing and wants everyone around them to enjoy it too. The environment is welcoming and comfortable, and people’s outfits rock. I did jobs like ID check, wrist-banding and customer service & sales at the box office throughout the two-day festival but meanwhile never missed a band I wanted to see.

House of Creatives Music Festival, alt-J, Miami
alt-J performing on the main stage at HOC

One of the best parts about working a festival is meeting a bunch of people around your age who are all about the music as well. I made some fun friends who I hope to hit up next time I make it down to Miami and even made some business contacts from L.A. Music has a way of bringing people together and that’s always been one of my favorite parts about it. I enjoyed the festival with new friends and found the Miami vibes exciting. For me, it’s always more fun to be on the inside of the festival. You get the perks, the inside scoop and in a way feel like the event is partly yours.

New friends (and fellow volunteers), Tati and Fernando

Getting out of Orlando for the weekend was a great way to refresh and inspire myself again. I explored Wynwood and the Wynwood Walls Monday morning before I headed home, and felt rejuvenated by all the art I got to experience over the weekend. Passing street art after street art while sipping on cold brew coffee from the legendary Panther Coffee is certainly enough to channel one’s hipster side.

I’m looking forward to the next time, Miami!

– Annaleigh







Orlando, Florida, USA

Limbo – what a rough place to be.

And yet many of us 20-somethings and especially recent graduates find ourselves stuck in it at some point, no matter what we try to do to prevent it. It’s just part of the process, as we have to tell ourselves for our own self-confidence and sanity.

Since finishing my temporary job with Heart of Florida United Way, which I refused to accept a permanent position for because it wasn’t what or where I wanted, unemployment has had its fair share of highs and lows. The uncertainty certainly does drive me crazy at times but I find comfort in the couple of job prospects I’ve been interviewing for and the activities I enjoy that make the days pass.

“But what happens if those don’t work out?”, I keep wondering. Should I be applying to backups to fill all this free time? Or should I wait it out and take it step by step? So far, I’ve opted for the latter but of course I get anxious about that decision on the daily.

What keeps me sane during this uncertain, confusing time in my life?

Healthy food, exercise, friends, family and the faith that if I take it step by step, it will all work out eventually.

Do I just want to find another Au Pair job and take off to another country some days? Or find another place to volunteer and just go for it? Heck yeah! It can be hard as hell adjusting to this rat race of a country and realizing that the next life step I am planning could lead me to hours upon end at a desk instead of to a couple of a cute kids and beautiful beaches. But there comes a time where you feel you need to be responsible – for your personal finances, direction, adulthood, etc. – and I guess that’s where I am now. Maybe I will feel differently in a year or two and decide to ditch it all again (I mean who knows), but for now I am open to and excited for the chance to find my new city, settle into a new job that is meaningful to me, create new friendships and plan new adventures. It may not be Australia or the mountains of Northern Thailand but I’m trying to give America its chance at finding harmony with my adventurous, celebratory and meaningful outlook on life.

So what does my “limbo” look like?

It’s a lot of scrapbooking, random writing, bike rides, random jobs people ask of me, volunteering, occasional job hunting tasks, daily exercise (yoga on the best days), errands with my retired mother, Stranger Things viewings with my grandmother, and some fun outings and celebrations with family and friends sprinkled in there.

As the wait continues (hopefully for not much longer) for the answer I need to either start packing and heading west, or buckle down on more job hunting, I remain calm with the idea that “figuring it out” isn’t failing, it’s life. I’ve been reminded by so many people that there will always be something to figure out in life so finding your inner peace (as cliche as it is) and keeping what makes you happiest close, is what’s most important. There’s no point in tearing yourself down or competing with the next guy because it’s figuring out your life, with positivity at practice, and toward your vision that will lead you to your version of success. At least that’s what I think…

So shoutout to all my limbo-ers or ex-limbo-ers who get me! And here’s to life! Stay tuned.

– Annaleigh