I was working in fine dining in Arizona. I hit a ceiling and was feeling that I wasn’t going anywhere in my career.

I’m from Cape Cod, so I went home, spent the summer, saved money and sold my car. Then I picked up and moved to New York and started all over again.

Everything I saved was gone in one check for my apartment. It was terrifying, but everybody says the first year in New York is the hardest. Once you get through it, you know you can make it. I was driven to make it through that year.

I was very lucky. I took [a bartending] course that was quite expensive. I paid for it with the help of my mother and my nana. Because of that, I met people who put me in the right direction — I’m now the Beverage Director at The Dead Rabbit in New York.

If I had just moved here with no idea, it would have been a complete disaster. I am thankful I had enough sense to make a plan and to save, because otherwise I know I would have been putting myself in a really bad position.