Christine Cook | Freelance Event Production
When I was a child I wanted to be a ballerina (unfortunately, this takes a lot of practice and natural ability), when I was 18 I wanted to be a nurse (chemistry classes did not go well), and I ended up graduating college with a fiction degree (somebody please publish my unwritten novel). All of these things somehow brought me to Sofar Sounds, a music startup where over the past four years I have put on hundreds of live events, listened to a lot of incredible music, and been given the opportunity to unite my passion for music and entrepreneurship. In my roles as City Director and Head of Global Artist Relations, I have discovered capabilities I didn’t know I had and been pushed to discover my potential.
I hail from the Pacific Northwest, land of trees, coffee, and sleepiness. I moved to Brooklyn two weeks after graduating in search of a place to find myself within anonymity.
When Sofar hired me after a year of volunteering, I allowed myself to believe I had answered that looming question: what do I want to be when I grow up? I mostly happily existed within this framework and ignored other passions and outside projects. I lived my best New York life, eating banana pudding from Magnolia bakery, taking up space in Lower East Side dive bars. I dated a lot of idiots, moved too many times, worked a lot of late nights, and learned some hard but necessary lessons.
Then one day I woke up and felt a sudden ping! in my brain. I realized I was a person who consisted of more than just my job. As someone who naturally defines myself by professional success, this was surprising and upsetting to me. Maybe it was that I had stopped writing or that I had given too much of myself to one thing, or...maybe it was just time.
It thus appeared to me in a vision (aka, too many tequila cocktails realization) that sometimes your dream job can have an expiration date. Sometimes, you realize you have more exploring to do.
There are two questions I’ve been contemplating lately:
1. What does it mean to have a home?
2. What does it mean to be honest with yourself?
3. Should I continue to dye my hair pink or leave it this kind of cool orange color?
Two weeks ago I moved to Chicago. Despite all my unfounded hopes for dinner parties with hip friends and nights in West Village wine bars, I realized no matter how much I love New York, no space within it has ever truly belonged to me. My new city is cozy and grungy in a way I feel like maybe New York used to be. Surprisingly, I have not yet frozen to death.
Most importantly, I have started coming to terms with the fact that it’s okay to not know exactly what you want to do even after you’ve already done a lot. I still want to work in the music industry. I also want to work in other industries. I want to write things that matter and build communities of inspiring women. I want to help the world become a better, safer place. I want to get through that stack of New Yorkers on my coffee table. I want to learn how to take a real vacation again.
I’ve decided to leave my full-time role at Sofar, a difficult decision akin to breaking up with a boyfriend you still think is super cool, and pursue freelance event production as well as learn more about companies that inspire me. I’m not sure what will happen next, and honestly, it’s pretty damn exciting.