I'll admit it. I'm a quitter.
Usually, quitting isn't lauded as a positive development in life. Since we're kids, we're told never to give up. Never quit. Grit your teeth, get through it, and finish what you started. We didn't raise a quitter. We don't accept quitters. It's one of the ultimate insults that you can bestow on those with self-respect, passion, and drive.
But sometimes quitting is necessary. It allows you to make a change. To move on. To end something that is bringing you down or keeping you from achieving your goals.
In October 2015, I became a quitter. And I'm so glad I did.
I was working in fashion, the industry that I had been trying to break into since graduating from college in May of 2014. I was on a marketing team, doing social media for a brand that I had respected for years. I was exactly where I thought I should be: the dream job. Decent pay, benefits, free parking (hey, in Downtown LA, that's a big deal). But I wasn't happy. And I hadn't been happy in most of the jobs that I had inadvertently bounced around to and from over the last year and half.
From unpaid internships that weren't leading anywhere to start-ups that would shutter after just a few months, I had a string of bad jobs that left me feeling untethered and lost. So I did something to keep me creatively occupied and act as a sort of digital portfolio; I started a blog. I started this blog. It began as an ode to the city that I had returned to after 4 years away in college; but in that time, it seemed like everything had changed. In between going on job interviews and exploring LA, I would write about the new favorite restaurant or the best coffee shops. I asked my wonderfully kind boyfriend, Kyle, to photograph my outfits. And as I was looking for LA-based fashion companies to apply to, I made some great connections and discovered some ultra-cool, local companies that I had to write about.
But as I jumped from internships to start-ups to a corporate job, the blog suffered. And six months ago, while working at my "dream job," I knew that I had a choice. I could continue the blog as a hobby for an indefinite amount of time, taking years and years to build up a following. Or, I could quit the job that was making me unhappy, take advantage of being 23 and without serious financial obligations (a situation of which I'm very grateful, as I understand that many others don't have this opportunity), and focus on growing the blog into a business that one day had the potential to be creatively, intellectually, and financially fulfilling. Obviously, I chose the latter.
Even though I started this blog as a way to keep me creatively occupied, I still started it with an intention. An intention to grow, develop, and become something more. Since quitting, I've had the time to learn, to invest in the blog. I've forced myself to become acquainted with photography, working with brands, SEO, marketing, social media, and business in general. Running this blog has allowed me to become a writer, a stylist, a web developer, a photographer, a social media and marketing aficionado, a food critic, a model, an Editor-in-Chief, and a small business owner. I've had to become more organized and persistent, and figure out how to reach out to others and pitch myself to them. It's allowed me incredible development both professionally and personally.
Joining The Quitter's Club was neither an easy decision, nor one that I took lightly. I questioned it a lot in the beginning, and missed the consistency of the 9-to-5 work day (though I did NOT miss that hour and a half commute). But now I thoroughly believe I made the right decision. Since quitting, I've been able to focus full-time on this blog, posting 3-4 times a week, quadrupling my Instagram following, producing more engaging content, and meeting creative, interesting people that have quickly become collaborators and even friends. Sometimes, the growth feels slow, but I know that it's happening, and I appreciate everyone (friends, family, and readers) that have helped make it happen. To me, being a quitter means following my passion, doing something I'm good at, and creating my own dream job. I'm still growing and learning, and I'm still working on making this blog into a viable, long-term career, but I never would've gotten this far if I hadn't made that intimidating leap.