Life Update

Been a while again. Whoops.  But I’m back. With another round of life updates because change is inevitable, right?

Life Update #1 – I’m preggo again. Yup, baby Fusco 2.0 is currently cookin’ and expected to arrive in early June, though I’m planning for an early arrival this time… call it a hunch.  We haven’t (yet) found out the sex but more on that in a future post…

Life Update #2 – My job has changed a bit. After five years working for a content marketing and publishing company on the Cape, the company abruptly shut its door four days before Christmas with no notice. My role with this company was dual-sided; working as a social media manager on the marketing side for boating and lifestyle clients and also working as a writer and helping with blogging and social for our magazines, tv shows and websites.  In October, I was notified that the company would be going through some changes and that a spinoff digital marketing company was being formed. There was a large round of layoffs and I was offered a job with the new spinoff, effective Jan 1. Business was to essentially “continue as usual” until then for those of us who remained.  Fast forward to Dec 21st when an email went around AT NOON to all remaining employees that the company was shutting its doors for good at 5pm. To make a long story short and spare you the nitty-gritty details (although if you’re curious, start with the Cape Cod Times article I linked to and do a bit of Google/Facebook searching of the company/former CEO to see the outrage that ensued), let’s just say that the spinoff never happened and my employment status (at least in the full-time sense) has changed.

If-you-dont-build-your-dreams-someone-will-hire-you-to-help-build-theirs-Tony-gaskinWhat’s Next – I have been extremely lucky since moving to RI five years ago to have a steady stream of freelance work/side hustle to supplement my full-time job. Armed with my NYC work experience and thanks to some local connections and some good luck, I was a big fish in a small pond as my dad would say, and without having to do much, I was in demand for many social media consulting and writing projects around the region. I’ve had the chance to work with some really great local companies and brands, and see my work published in several regional publications and websites.  I’m currently still freelancing and I’ve recently had an epiphany of sorts, not to be all dramatic about it. I realized quite frankly that while I really do love the variety of my work and plan to continue down this path, I have been busy building other people’s brands, and oftentimes, their dreams, instead of my own. Every time I celebrate a milestone with a client, whether it be a great PR hit, an increase in followers, etc., I feel conflicted. On the one hand I am so happy for them and proud of my role in it, but on the other, I can’t shake the nagging feeling that I’m building someone else’s future and not my own, while mine is just sitting on the runway somewhere waiting to take off itself. I realized that I have a lot to say, a lot I want to share and many professional goals of my own that I have not yet fulfilled. As my husband says, I’m a dreamer I guess, always have been and probably always will be. It’s not necessarily a great thing but it’s also something I’m not sure I can change. Ignore – maybe, but change, probably not.

So to wrap up my rambling, I guess this recent career change was the kick in the butt I needed to not give up on my dreams just yet. One of them is to write a book. Others revolve around ultimately being my own boss, building my own brand and being able to do what I love everyday on my own terms. Being able to freelance and work remotely has been a great luxury that I in no way take for granted. It has allowed me more time with my son, more time to take on passion projects and more time for myself. I’ve been away from a big city and an office setting for so long now, I don’t even know if I could go back. When I was in my 20’s and early 30’s and living in NY, I absolutely loved my lifestyle. I loved commuting, I loved working long hours with coworkers who quickly became good friends, and I envisioned myself climbing the corporate ladder and living the fast-paced city life forever. But then I grew older, and the call back to the ocean and back to a slower pace came, and now here I am. I’m in my mid (late??) 30’s, I’m about to be a mom of two and while that’s a big part of my identity, it isn’t the ONLY part by any means.

So, TLDR, expect a lot more frequent posts here, and probably a lot more self-promotion (sorry in advance) while I give this a go. I’ve updated my blog a bit and hope to get some professional photos and maybe a new logo made in the coming weeks, and I’m working on my portfolio to better showcase my writing and work experience.

So stay tuned friends and as always, thanks for reading!

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Lessons from a Coffee Shop Wanderer

Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 10.56.39 AMI’ve become one of those people. I’m that girl with the headphones, the Macbook and the scattered papers taking up prime real estate at your coffee shop. I’ll totally ask you to switch tables if you’re near an outlet and I need one. You probably think I’m pretentious – sorry about that!

Coffee shop working is pretty acceptable and even common place these days, especially in big cities, but when you live in a destination tourist town and summer is right around the corner? Not so much…

Most of the winter I camped out at my favorite local coffee shop, Empire Tea & Coffee, with no problem. There were plenty of others just like me there. As the nice weather rolled around however, I started seeking out some outdoor spots. I tested out the local Panera which sits across the street from the harbor and has several outdoor tables with umbrellas, a new Empire location which also has outdoor seating, and a downtown joint with no outdoor tables but good people watching never-the-less. This is when my coffee shop wandering started to present a few problems. For one, parking meters downtown switched on for the summer meaning I’d have to trek by foot to the downtown spot, lugging my laptop the whole way. This walk also forced me to walk by fudge shops, throngs of “cruise shippers,” t-shirt shops and vacationers, which can really breakdown your motivation when it seems you’re the only person that actually has a destination and obligation tied to your afternoon stroll. Then there was the sudden crowdedness of my spots. People were actually there to sip coffee absent-mindedly and chat about the weather. How dare they, I’m trying to work!

Maybe I should just hole up in my home office for the summer and leave the coffee shops for the tourists…but what fun would that be? I find it harder to stay focused at home when the sun is shining out my window and if I’m at least out enjoying the ambiance while working, I feel infinitely more motivated.

Since my current work mostly consists of telecommuting from my home base in Newport, RI or posting up somewhere on the Cape, I’ve learned a few tricks for being a New England digital nomad:

1) Tip generously. Duh, I was a hostess/waitress/bartender/shot girl for a good portion of my first quarter century of life, so tipping well has always been my mantra but some people may not realize those baristas need a little love too. If you want them not to hate you as you return day after day for that $2 coffee and a wi-fi password, make sure they see you throw a couple bucks in their cleverly wordsmithed tip jar/bucket/mug.

2) Accept the fact that the majority of people drinking coffee outside on a gorgeous June day in Newport/Cape Cod/anywhere with salty air are probably not concerned with the fact that you’re on deadline. They probably wonder what the heck you’re doing, as they order another scone and debate what they’ll do for the day (beach? shopping? cocktails?) Yeah, their life is rough…

3) Which brings me to point 3. Headphones are key to avoid overhearing the mostly vacation-minded conversations happening all around you. If you let yourself get sucked into people watching *cough* eavesdropping, you will find it extremely hard to continue working and very much want to cut your day short to go sunbathe/sip cocktails/frolic, etc. DO NOT DO THIS – you have bills to pay!

More tips to come, as well as my ever-growing list of favorite coffee shops in little Rhody and beyond.  Happy sipping friends 🙂