11 years ago, on Sept. 21, 2009, I hit publish on my first post on this blog. Over a decade later, I still can’t believe that this space has grown to what it is and that some of the same women who read my posts in those early days are still here today, growing with me through marriage, our careers, motherhood and more. I also can’t quite believe I’ve hit “publish” on a post I never anticipated I’d write.
Transparency has always been a huge priority for me – I want to foster a community where trust and honesty are at the center of everything I do. So, I’m sharing with you all today that after 9 years as a Sr. Public Relations Specialist, I made the decision to resign from my job – a career I loved and grew from tremendously. This decision was probably the most difficult one I’ve ever made and was made after several months of serious thought and with the support of my family, friends and the guidance of my therapist. My last day was yesterday, following my two-week notice period.
I very much respect the mission of my former workplace – there were a lot of challenges and unexpected changes over the last year and ultimately, I recognized it was time to pursue other opportunities, as did many others.
I was extremely anxious about leaving a career where I’d flourished and that I was committed to for nearly a decade. However, once I made my final decision, after months of uncertainty, I felt a sense of peace and relief wash over me – that’s when I knew I’d made the right one. As someone with anxiety, who constantly overthinks every decision and imagines every worst-case scenario, to feel at peace with such a massive shift was incredibly joyful and validating.
If you’ve followed me for some time, you know how much passion I had for my work – so much so, that after countless people told me I should work on my business full time, I told them I could never – because I loved what I did too much. I always did both, and it worked for many years. For me to lose that sense of fulfillment and happiness in where I was spending most of my time each week and in the work I was doing, was difficult to process and I’ve cried more in the last few months than I have in years. I like routines, comfort and security. So when I was forced to really evaluate what I wanted – and needed – it was scary and uncomfortable to realize that what I wanted, wasn’t where I was.
Last fall, I permanently reduced my hours at work, but even with that change, I felt compelled to take a leap that, truthfully, I have always been scared to take (and I do want to clarify that my decision had nothing to do with the pandemic). I never had the confidence to abandon the comfort and security of my job. I always worried I’d fail or that the pressure would be too much for me. But every time I think about this space and the community behind it, all I want is to do MORE. I have this list I keep in my iPhone notes of all of these ideas I have and things I want to do – a list I could have never even begun to dream of fulfilling. But with this leap, I feel endless excitement to make everything on that list a reality.
Not much will change in terms of this space – I will continue to write about the things I love and work with brands I align with, as I always have. I will now be able to do more for this space, my family and myself. I’ll be able to work from home and make space for the type of growth I’ve always been scared of. I know there will be challenges, uncertainty and moments where I doubt myself – lots of them, probably. But, I took this leap and I’m ready for everything that comes with it – the highs, the lows, the uncertainty, the joy, the discomfort. I’m proud to have overcome my anxiety about this decision enough that I feel absolute confidence that even if I “fail,” it was still the right one.
I’m also working on redefining what success means: because logically, I know I’m successful, but I’ve spent many, many years downplaying that, to myself, and others. Much of my personal identity and sense of worth and value is and has always been rooted in my job. My therapist asked me once during a session if I understood that I had worth and value, as a person, separate from and outside of my work and I immediately started sobbing because I couldn’t tell her I did. My identity is so deeply enmeshed in my work and career that thinking about myself as a person that has implicit value, outside of my work, is challenging – which I now recognize is extremely unhealthy.
I would be remiss not to mention that though I’m confident in my decision, I still struggle with feelings of insecurity about not working in a traditional 9-5 job. Over the years, so many of you have told me that I was “more relatable” because I worked outside of the home in addition to blogging. I put my full-time job on a pedestal and I’m only now recognizing the harm that has done to my sense of self-worth. I always downplayed the hard work that has gone into building this space and devalued what I built because it was “just my side job.”
Despite my excitement for this new path, I do worry about what some people might think or say, even though I know I shouldn’t. Even if I spend more hours working on this space than I would in a traditional/corporate job (which I already know with certainty that I will), I know I’ll still find it challenging to deal with some feedback. I’m trying to remind myself that what matters is that I’m happy and fulfilled in the work I do. That the work I do has the same value regardless of whether I work for a company or in an office setting or for myself and at home. And, that I don’t need to justify anything to anyone to “prove” my value or how hard I work. I will continue to be a full-time working mother, I’ll just be working from home (like many, many others are during this pandemic).
A question I ask myself a lot is what will my future look like 5 or 10 years from now? The truth is – I don’t know. No doors are closed – I’m open to many possibilities and opportunities, including in the corporate world. The most important lesson I’ve learned from making this decision is that life is too short to be unhappy and that sometimes a radical change can be just the reset we need to be our best selves, do our best work and find our next path.
Thank you for your kindness, support, love and for this community you’ve help build. I am so grateful for all of you. Every kind message feels like a hug from a friend – know that you’ve all played a role over the years in building me up, giving me the strength to make hard choices, and allowing me to grow this space in a way that fulfills me and supports my family.