Twenty Someone: Sam Todd

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Hometown: Atlanta, GA

College: Southern Methodist University

Age: 25

Occupation: Managing Editor, GrandLife Hotels

1. Describe your job in three words. Content. Content. Content.

2. I heard you, but tell the readers. Is that content like happy or content like words? I mean, I try to always be content, like happy, but this time I mean content like words. I manage the editorial content for GrandLife Hotels, a boutique hotel group downtown, so I’m constantly thinking of story ideas, assigning stories to contributors, and writing and editing stories to post on the website. It’s meant to give our guests (and anyone interested in NYC) context about goings-on downtown and to give them an authentic experience – forget those tourist traps, people. There’s more to life.

3. I hate this question, but it doesn’t mean I won’t ask it. What brought you to New York City? The energy and the pace. I spent the spring semester of my junior year in Paris and then interned in NYC that summer. Going back to Dallas for senior year was great, but after living here for the summer, I knew it was where I really belonged.

4. You can go anywhere for 48 hours. Where do you go? I’d go to Paris. When I studied there in college it was the first time I was truly out of my comfort zone, and because of that I figured out who I really was. I wasn’t able to depend on what the people around me thought of me, or who they thought I was. I had to figure it out on my own. And in a city like Paris, you can easily spend 48 hours getting lost without a single plan and have an unforgettable experience. It’s like nowhere else.

5. I always say there’s six degrees of separation, but one degree of Sam Todd. How do you know everyone? Do you know everyone? Real question. I don’t really know everyone, but people like to say I do. I guess it comes off that way because I never forget a face or a name, and I guess people don’t forget me either. I have an unusually good memory – it freaks me out sometimes. I learned to never meet a stranger from my dad at a young age, and I don’t think I’ve met any since. When I was a kid he worked in the Grady ER in Atlanta, and he came across every kind of person you could imagine. He could make anyone comfortable, which is so important when you’re dealing with people who are going through unimaginable pain. I feel like he could sense when people were struggling, and do whatever he could to put them at ease – whether it was a kid with a broken arm at the hospital or the girl bagging groceries at the supermarket. Watching him taught me how to talk to and interact with people. I guess you can make a lot of friends that way.

6. What gets your day going? Music. I’ve always been obsessed with good music and I’m guilty of listening to a  new favorite song on repeat for way too long, and being in NYC, I live with headphones on. No one bothers you while you’re walking down the street and if I’m having a bad day, it gets me back on track. It takes my mind off of things.

7. What keeps you up at night? That to-do list I forgot to write before I left work. And even if I do have it written, there’s always that one little thing I remember right before I go to sleep. A quick email to myself does the trick.

8. Remember the movie Freaky Friday. With Jamie Lee Curtis? That’s the one. You open a fortune cookie and you become someone else. What? I didn’t realize cookies could do that. Like the movie! Okay. Who do you trade places with? It’s up to you. I guess there are a lot of people I could trade places with, but I think I’m ok with being myself. I know, corny. As a kid, it wasn’t always easy being myself, but now that I’m starting to really figure out who I am and where I fit in the grand scheme of things, it makes being me something I really enjoy. I’m really fortunate to have incredible friends and family, I’m living in a city that never gets old, and my list of worries isn’t too long. And all of those worries are things I can work toward resolving. One of my mantras is that it could be worse. People forget that – it could always be worse. But I guess Ryan Gosling is never a bad option.

9. Write a haiku describing your life. (Hold please, googling Haiku) Ok I just read the Wikipedia page on Haiku and I still don’t really know what it is. But I’m not giving up on this. (Googling again.)

I figured it out.

It is really cold outside.

I still want ice cream.

10. In ten years you will be… content, as in happy. Happy with the decisions I’ve made over the last 10 years and excited about the next 10, knowing I’m headed in the right direction. Surrounded by good people and good things. And eating ice cream.

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