The view from my second apartment in the city. Not terrible. I loved that place and proudly negotiated the hell out of the rent.

In 10 Years

Date: January 9, 2013 at 9:31 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 52

If you’d asked me 10 years ago, “Hey, Alison (no one called me Ali then), where do you see yourself in 10 years?” I could have answered you pretty matter-of-factly.

“I’ll be living in New York City, working as an editor at Dance Spirit magazine! I’ll be in a happy relationship with a guy who knows how to cook, and I’ll take dance classes in the city all the time!”

Swap out dance classes for running laps in Central Park, and I may as well have been a psychic.

You can’t beat that. Sometimes I think, “Maybe I’ll leave NYC one day.” And then…no.

At the ripe age of 17, I had it all figured out.

I had my dreams and my goals firmly solidified and I took all the necessary steps to reach them. I went to college to major in journalism and became captain of the university’s competitive dance team. I carefully crafted my academic course load and extracurricular activities to meet what I anticipated were the needs of Dance Spirit. I applied (totally blindly, actually — I emailed someone in sales because it was the only contact information I could find online) for an internship at DS, managed to get hired and spent a summer commuting from my university in Connecticut to what I hoped would be my future home: NYC.

The view from my second apartment in the city. Not terrible. I loved that place and proudly negotiated the hell out of the rent.

I loved that internship so much, and I made sure the people there loved me back. I worked my butt off and I was constantly pitching stories, crafting new ideas and trying to be innovative, even if some of my “brilliant ideas” were so far-reaching they could never work.

I dreamed big.


When my internship ended, I stayed in touch with the editors I worked with. As I wrapped up my senior year (also known as the year I spent waitressing, drinking and powering through classes hungover), I did a few freelance articles for Dance Spirit. And the day I graduated, I made sure they knew I was ready for hire.

I have a degree, now start paying me!!!

It took a “frustrating” three and a half months after I graduated for a position to open up at Dance Spirit. I remember thinking I’d never ever ever find a job. But I got a call one day from the editorial director at DanceMedia, the company that owns Dance Spirit, saying they were creating a new position for a web editor (that was a “new thing” in 2007) and wanted me to come in and interview for it.

I took the train to the city, interviewed with three different people and was offered the job. I didn’t care that the salary would mean I’d have to starve and possibly live in a gutter for a while. I was making my dreams come true.

Playing at a photo shoot at Laguardia High School — the “Fame” school!

My growth at Dance Spirit was something of a miracle. I transitioned from web editor, where I worked on seven of the company’s publications (including American Cheerleader — loved it), into a fulltime associate editor position working only on Dance Spirit.

Job description: You will meet Miley Cyrus. You will watch her “Today” show performance from her green room with all her dancers and family members. Hope that’s OK, Feller.

My titles changed — deputy editor, deputy editor in chief and now editor in chief — and my responsibilities were constantly growing.

The first time I met Nigel Lythgoe. I don’t know which is cooler: his hair or mine.

With Tabitha and Napoleon, who are still two of my favorite people in the industry.

And outside the office, life stayed exciting, too.

I started running soon after I moved to the city, and discovered the fitness industry and the racing world. I got hooked quickly, as I tend to do with things, and made lots of friends that way.

Fun with work friends! This was the first “gala” I ever attended and I didn’t own a dress even remotely appropriate. So I borrowed one. Thanks, Lauren! Also, I do not know the guy in the back. No one knew him. Probably the best photo bomb I’ve been a part of.

My little life in New York City was turning out exactly as I’d always hoped.

Monday morning in NYC. Isn’t it supposed to be light out at 7 AM now? No? I got that wrong?

Somewhere along the way, though, I think I stopped dreaming so big.

I got content. I got comfortable.

So I stopped looking so far into the future.

Now, I don’t know what I want next. I don’t even know which race to register for, let alone where I want to raise children in the I-don’t-know-when future.

Things aren’t perfect. They’ll never be perfect. I guess I’m part content, part “I have no idea what to do next.” A little lost, but a little OK with it?

Ten years ago, not having a plan would have driven me crazy. I needed big goals, big dreams and high hopes.

But now?

I don’t have a plan at all. And that’s fine.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS? Do you have it all figured out, or are you as lost and clueless as I am?

Comments (52)
Oh, this? This is no big deal. Just a little something I whipped up last night. That happened to taste amazing.

What Do You Eat?

Date: January 7, 2013 at 7:18 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 136

Don’t freak out. This isn’t a “What I Ate Whateverday” thing I’m starting. (We’d all be horrified if I kept a daily log of every morsel that went into my mouth. I try not to think about it.) I’m not […]

Posted in Recipes and tagged -
I took a picture of the door again. I think it's really pretty.

I'm Still Here

Date: January 4, 2013 at 9:03 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 35

So we’re on board with being thankful, yeah? Mostly. Whenever. Sometimes. Thank you for the honest feedback yesterday. Whether you love or loathe the grateful day, it’s always good to know where your head is at. Especially since most of […]

Posted in Happy Things and tagged , -
These deliciously fancy macarons were the favors at my friend Lauren's bridal shower. I definitely only took one...

Thankful Things Thursday: Kicking Off The New Year

Date: January 3, 2013 at 6:49 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 89

I am sick. I know. Wahhhhh! My life is the absolute worst. No. Not really. Not at all. I just have a cold, and I’m handling it supremely well. I did not scream for Brian six times last night asking […]

I know to look out for oncoming runners and cyclists, but cars I don't quite notice.

The Way I Will Live My Life In 2013

Date: January 1, 2013 at 9:09 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 42

Ah, a new year. Finally. There’s so much possibility, so much optimism each January 1. And I eat that stuff right up. You can be all, “I’m sick of all the talk of resolutions and who cares about the new […]

Posted in Holidays and tagged -
The best moment of the year was seeing Tyler at mile 18 of the Manchester City Marathon.

The Lessons I Learned In 2012

Date: December 31, 2012 at 8:38 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 26

I think maybe I’ve mentioned once or twice that 2012 just never quite felt like my year. A running injury plagued the early months… …and from March through August I had that nagging Crohn’s flare-up that refused to quit. But […]


My 12 Joys Of Christmas

Date: December 28, 2012 at 8:23 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 36

On the first day of Christmas, my friends and family gave to me… …all amazing things. I’m sure you’re sick of Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa recaps by now. But if you’re up for one more, I can do my best to try and […]

Posted in Holidays and tagged , -
Color Scheme #2

Thankful Things Thursday: The Magic Of The Holiday Season

Date: December 20, 2012 at 9:30 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 41

It’s been an emotional few days, huh? In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, I can’t decide if it feels trite to put on a peppy, thankful face (let’s be honest, my “thankful things” are hardly deep thoughts and are […]

I'm sorry I don't miss you more, Central Park...

Zero Week: Eight Days Not On The Run

Date: December 19, 2012 at 10:08 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 27

Greetings from my office for the morning! It’s my second time getting my Remicade infusion at Mount Sinai and I’ve already got the Benadryl in me. These next few hours with the IV should be a sleepy breeze. My plan […]

The lights at Columbus Circle. I watch them twinkle every year during the holidays, and every year they amaze me.

Be Kind

Date: December 18, 2012 at 8:54 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 21

At 3:40 PM yesterday, I felt my first twinge of Race Registration Anticipation. Not for any race in particular — I just had an out-of-the-blue thought that I might want to run a race sometime in the next year. Or […]