Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Whenever I am asked what I do for a living, here is how the conversation usually goes:

Asker: So, what do you do?
Me: I'm a food writer.
Asker: Oh really? Who do you write for?
Me: Well, a few different publications, but mostly myself.
Asker: Huh? Yourself?
Me: I'm...well...I'm a professional blogger.
Asker: Wow! How'd you make that happen?
Me: I got really lucky.

Lucky! I say I got lucky. As if I'm talking about getting out of a speeding ticket or finding $5 on the street, and not my life's work and livelihood. Yes, luck is involved, but it's in tandem with a whole lot of work, sweat, disappointment, rejection, perseverance, learning and tears. I love what I do, but even when you do what you love, there are moments when quitting is tempting. I don't quit, though. I work my ass off.

And yet, I tell people I'm just really lucky. I say I was in the right place at the right time--that I made great connections with talented people who helped me make great things happen. I take myself out of the equation. I say this so often that I begin to believe it myself. I am haunted by the fear that one day my luck will run out.

I hear many of my women friends speak about their successes the same way. They attribute their achievements to other people or happy coincidences. There is passivity in their descriptions of what they do for a living--and what they hope to one day do. I wonder if it's simply because they feel pressure to talk about work without claiming too much credit, or if these are their true sentiments. For me, it's a fluctuating combination.

But today, I had my first look at the the mock-up of the layout for my first book. My words, and my recipes, on the most beautiful pages in the most stunningly gorgeous font with the most incredible illustrations I had ever seen. For the first time, I had a visual of what it was going to look like and was able to truly imagine it on a shelf in a bookstore. Also for the first time, I realized that this was all actually happening--that I actually wrote a book that someone wanted to publish. A book that is going to be good.

And sure, luck was a part of it, and certainly many talented people were involved. But none of it would have been possible without me.

Lucky or not, I made it happen.


Ben Simrin said...

Yes you did Gabi! Congratulations on all of your successes!

Heidi Schulz said...

You're like that guy in Titanic that says "I make my own luck." Only you're not a sociopath.
Congratulations! Your hard work led to this.

sarah said...

I can't wait for your book! *I'm* so lucky to know you. Mazel tov, Gabi :)

Christine said...

Well said! Here's to your continued badassery!
p.s. I must admit, I do feel more than a little *lucky* to be your cousin. :)

ouizoid said...

to echo Heidi--your Panta used to always say, "you make your own luck"--and he was right!

eve said...

Girl--love reading your posts and I'm so happy that you've been working so hard at something you love and that it's paying off.
I've been thinking similar things about luck & life lately. Maybe taking responsibility for our own luck is part of our growing up!

eve said...

It's Margaret, by the way--I realized my profile is under a pseudonym.