In a last-minute turn of events, I’ve found myself in Chicago for the More Magazine Reinvention Convention, sponsored by Eucerin (who was kind enough to fly me out here and put me up at the gorgeous, old, recently-renovated Allerton Hotel on Michigan Avenue). I arrived this evening, went to the highly-recommended Rockit Bar and Grill for a burger and cocktail, and now am back at the Allerton, all tucked in.
Tomorrow’s conference features several inspirational speakers, including author Lee Woodruff, Olympic swimmer Dara Torres, actress Dana Delaney, fashion goddess Mary Alice Stephenson, Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, and More editor-in-cheif Lesley Jane Seymore. I’m excited to see what’s in store, and am honored and thrilled to have been invited!
Obviously, I’ve been traveling like a fiend recently. When I flew through Mexico City on Saturday, on the way back from Acapulco to Los Angeles, I nearly left the terminal, changed my flight and stayed there overnight–but chose sanity, responsibility, and not getting kidnapped in the end.
I haven’t written anything about my mother in ages, but know that I’ve lived these past few months–the traveling, the laughing, the seeking, the pondering–with her weighing firmly on my mind. She was a More magazine fan, and would have loved the theme of Reinvention, filled as she was with such a vibrant, can-do spirit: something I am very grateful she passed onto me.
Funnily enough, Chicago holds a special place in Jolie history, as it was my 1st choice city for college. I was desperate to attend Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism when younger, and still remember how utterly crushed I was on December 13, 1997 when that slim, stern letter arrived in the mail. I had been so certain of my Northwestern-approved future-newspaper-writer path; the reality that I would have to make a new plan stunned me.
Of course, all’s well that end’s well: I moved to New York, backdoored Columbia University through Barnard College, racked up a slew of magazine internships, and set off on this wonderful path, instead. I reinvented myself before I’d even begun.
The theme of reinvention and the reminder that every day is a fresh chance is an important sentiment for me to remember now as 30 looms large (only 3 months left on the 20′s clock!) and I take daily stock of where I am, what I want, how I’m going to get there, and–oh, the eternal question!–what it all really means.
I don’t know what it all means, but I do know I’m damned determined to enjoy the ride anew each day!