The past two days I spent at Chicago Gourmet, and event in Chicago's Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Thousands of foodies gather to see the best of the best in the Chicago food and beverage scene. Wine is tasted. Food is devoured. Friends and connections are made.
Having already attended this event before, I knew what to expect. I was prepared to be absurdly full. I knew that consistently drinking water throughout the day is an absolute must. I knew that I would be surrounded by incredible people. What I was not ready for was the extent with which I would be inspired and motivated. Each time I meet a new person in this industry, I am amazed at the level of support and camaraderie they give. Perhaps it is because my 9-5 job is within sales, an industry that is notorious for cutthroat competition. The food and beverage community is not that way. Sure, restaurants are often vying for that top award or recognition. However, it has quickly become evident that people want to see each other grow and succeed in their endeavors.
This morning as I was drinking my third cup of coffee, I couldn't help but smile. Blogging, writing, taking pictures. This all can be exhausting. It can be difficult to not compare yourself to that one Instagrammer who has thousands upon thousands of followers. I mean, what are they doing that I am not? My photography is just as good. I am genuine in my pursuits. That's not the point though. The point is that I love what I do. I love coming home after a long day at work and sitting at my computer, writing and editing photographs to share with you all. I love being Tommy from Smak. Thank you for allowing me to be me. Thank you for listening to me as I navigate this funny thing called life.