The day my story proposal was approved by El Nuevo Herald was literally on Friday, June 9, at 2 p.m.
That day was also the deadline I had, to confirm to Telemundo that I could fly to Mexico to interview the cast of the hit television series El Señor de los Cielos.
Now as glam as it sounds to be “flown out” and as fabulous as it is to be staying at the St. Regis of Mexico City and writing this blog post from the bathtub, while I soaked in hot, lavender-scented bubbly water, this post is meant to express that this trip means so much more to me than just that.
On Monday, as I felt the plane land on Mexican land, I looked up at the sky (the roof of the airplane, actually, because I got middle seat on the plane – go figure) and that was when it hit me: “I’m in Mexico for work. I was literally brought here as Cata Balzano, to cover on behalf of El Nuevo Herald, as an independent correspondent.” It was happening. For the first time ever my key goal regarding Cata Balzano, Inc, was becoming a reality.
As I rode on the van on the way to the hotel, I looked out the window mesmerized, but also thinking about how much Mexico City reminded me of Bogotá, a city that I hold so close to my heart.
You see, when I went independent in August of last year, I did it because I wanted to become a self-sustained media agency that could work on behalf of any outlet that hires me (and my girl gang), where we would be able to fly around the world and cover interesting events providing the media outlet affordable and high-quality stories.
I founded Cata Balzano, Inc, because I felt that if I worked hard enough, it would give me wings that would allow me to continue writing, but also hosting and doing anything that I want within the variety of offerings my journalistic title holds.
I remember my launch party at the Epic Hotel, full of the most amazing, supportive, talented people in this city; people that I love, that I am best friends with today and many who I bend over backwards for, because they did so for me when I needed it most, and throughout the night, so many of them would say, “Congratulations, how do you feel?” Every time I would say “I feel great! I’m so excited for what’s to come,” but, you see, I believe words have some serious push and power, so no matter what, I’m always going to say that I’m good. But that day…that week, when I finally had the conversation with my editor from the Miami Herald where it was decided I would be going independent, I was petrified. I cried, I worried, and I wondered, “Will my plan work? Will my company succeed?”
I doubted myself.The only thing that kept me calm was thinking of God.
“God, I know you know what you’re doing, and I’ve made this brave and difficult decision, but now I’m gonna let you work,” I thought, knowing that the most work was going to be put in by me, to make this succeed, to continue with my goals. That was 10 months ago.
In August 2016, I was hoping and dreaming with the day that I would begin flying out to cover events and press junkets and interviews internationally. One year ago, I was sitting with my girl gang, in my building’s clubhouse coming up with the perfect strategy to get there.
There I was. I was in Mexico.
I look back and see that I’ve been able to accomplish everything I have set my mind to. That is what this trip truly means to me. It’s the beginning of a chapter of more triumph, harder work, but also being able to relax…and being able to write a blog post from a bathtub at a hotel in Mexico City.
All I needed was a glass of wine, but I don’t drink on the job- usually. Though the day I arrived to the hotel I did have a glass of champagne. I had to celebrate me and my path – even if it meant alone, with a view of Ciudad de Mexico from a 7th floor.
Once again, I raised my glass, looked up at the sky and said, “Thank you, God. You’ve seen me work endlessly, effortlessly for a dream, and meanwhile you’ve been by my side working in my favor.”
Today more than ever I know that God doesn’t give you what you wish for. He gives you what you work for.