Hi, my name is Tejal Patel. I am a third-generation hotelier, born and raised in America with Indian roots and a proud kid of immigrants. Welcome to my first blog post.
(Wow. That was such an unmoving opener. I knew this was going to suck the life out of me. Where do I even begin?)
First of all, I love hospitality. It’s in my blood. When my mother’s family immigrated to America from the UK in the 70s, they worked in hotels until they were able to purchase their own. My father arrived in the 80s from India, and shares a similar story. After he met and married my mother, they owned and operated a small independent motel in Bainbridge, Georgia where my brother and I spent our baby years. The rest is history – one of the many different love stories about the American Dream.
My professional purpose is to continue that legacy by choice and that too on my own terms. However, I experienced challenges along the way professionally and personally that I was not prepared for. From a young age we are told that life isn’t fair, nor is it easy, and I believe that 110%. What we are not told is how challenges in different areas of your life could affect you mentally and emotionally and how to tackle them in that aspect. I guess that depends on a lot of things like your family support system, your friends, or your culture. I didn’t know until much later on what to do. I just internalized everything because I didn’t know what to do, who to go to, or because I just didn’t want to. I’m still learning.
So where this whole idea of a blog get conceptualized from? Last week I sat down with my coach (actually I don’t know what she is to me yet, but she’s really badass and encouraging like one) and we had a discussion about publishing thought leadership and owning your voice and the expertise you offer. One thing is definite about me. I have a million thoughts that go through my head every minute, and I am terrible at articulating them. So, she said start a blog where you have a master list of everything you want to write about such as the hospitality industry, mental health awareness, cultural topics, or whatever you think you can share your thoughts and expertise on.
It sounded like a great idea in the moment. Perhaps this will be therapeutic, and the plus side is that I get to learn more about things that interest me or find new interests! Well then, she challenged me to write my first blog post where I introduce myself.
Wait, what. Shit. As usual, a million thoughts went through my head such as:
- “Well I’m not interesting enough.”
- “I regret asking for this meeting.”
- “I suck at writing.”
- “What even qualifies me to write about anything”
- “Dang, how is she always glowing like that?”
- “Is this really necessary.”
- “I should’ve just stuck to resharing hospitality-related articles on LinkedIn and double-tapping motivational quotes on Instagram.”
- “Man, she kind of sounded stern.”
- “Fine, I’ll do it.”
So now, here I am in disbelief writing this at 6 am on the day that I was supposed to have her review this.
(Scratch that, my anxiety got the best of me. I’m writing her an email to reschedule.)
It’s been a hectic week…,
No, it’s been a trying week.
Trying and hectic.
Wait no, I’ll just do hectic.
Well, what was most truthful?
“I’m sorry, my depression got the best of me for two days so I was in bed crying like a blubbering whale and I was so anxious to write this that I waited until 6 am CST to write this. Also, it’s been a hard week for the region where I live because the hospitals are in a crisis over COVID-19 and the hotel industry is suffering which is affecting my family and everyone I know….”
Never mind. I’ll just stick to hectic.
It’s been a hectic week and I failed to complete my first post. I need a little bit more time, do you mind if we move our meeting to Monday at a time that is convenient for you?
Thanks, ADD. I can always count on you.
Long story short, I will be writing thought leadership on being a female hotelier on my own terms while continuing the legacy and creating my own at the same time. Along the way, I’ll share some thoughts on other valuable topics to me.
Maybe this blog might help someone feel empowered or maybe no one will read it and that is alright with me. However, if someone does come across this particular post, please let me know your thoughts because this is new territory for me and I welcome all feedback.