Sometimes Things Fall Apart... A Year In Review
A year ago today, my life changed forever. I went on a trip to New York, for Fashion Week with two of my closest friends, and by the end of it, I knew I was in trouble. I've said it before, and I'll probably say it a million more times: that city is magic to me. We were there just long enough for me to catch my breath and reevaluate, everything.
At the time, I was working for a creative staffing agency as an account executive. This was going to be my big transition from grad school, and second attempt at Corporate America, only this go-round, I would be in the creative industry, so I just knew I'd be fine. I graduated from Grad School in December of 2013, and started working at the company just a couple of months after -the same week as my 27th birthday actually. I was pumped. Salary, benefits, opportunity to make a commission, the whole nine... Instead, it drained the very life out of me. Literally.
My commute was an hour at minimum. The walk from the parking garage to the office was another 15 minutes. We had a meeting that started every day at 8:30am on-the-dot. I'm pleasant in the morning, but I'm a full-blown night owl. My brain doesn't even kick in until 10am. Don't ask me why. It's just my wiring haha For the next 3hrs we had "Power Hour" where we would be on the phone reaching out to ad agencies, corporations, small business and so on developing new business. Power hour ends. We break for lunch at 12pm for an hour -a real hour, not a minute over- and back to the phones unless we had client visits...
Day in, day out this was my life. I hate monotony, with a passion, and that had become my story. My nonprofit, Mia's Closet, suffered, more than I could have ever anticipated, and it was heartbreaking. I'm not a crier, and I cried a lot that year.
I very quickly realized that I had been sold a dream, and that I was partially responsible. I got that job in an effort to impress my parents. Plain and simple. As much as I like to think I'm a free spirit, I have to be very intentional about not subscribing to traditional means of success, and that's the thing about understanding your purpose. When you feel you're moving in the direction that God is calling you to, the opinion's of other's mean less and less.
My first day back to work from New York, I requested a meeting with my boss as soon as power hour ended. There we were in that small conference room. I had it all figured out in my mind. I was going to sit down, look her in the face, thank her for everything she's done, tell her I just couldn't do it anymore, and politely resign.
Well, somewhere along the way, I started to feel bad, really bad. She had stood up for me, cheered me on, and I felt awful for still wanting to leave after all that. It started to feel just like a break up... and then she asked me if I thought this is where I was supposed to be --I burst into tears and choked out a no.
See, leaving this job was more than just leaving a job. I'm a planner, futurist, and there were so many factors tied into this move being a successful one, and the fact that despite all that, I still couldn't shake the gut feeling that it just wasn't working scared me. This was going to be my bridge into being a career woman, buying a house, traveling, saving up to move to a new city, and so on...
My mom, said something to me one day while I was on the phone with her having a full on melty on the way to work that I'll never forget. She said, "Chelsea, at the end of the day, you're the one who has to live this life, no one else. Life is too short to lead one that makes you miserable."
More or less that's the summary of 2014. It was a rebuilding year, and the crazy thing about rebuilding it that you don't get there without things falling apart.
I've spent the last year breaking apart every area of my life asking God to clarify my purpose in all areas. My work, me personally, my calling, spirituality, family roles, all of it. The last year hasn't been perfect, but I can actually see the progress, and I wouldn't sacrifice this lifestyle again for anything, even if that means saying no to opportunities I would have jumped at two years ago.
As I sit here on the rooftop having breakfast up here for the first time, I can't help but think of the following quote: Build your career around your lifestyle, not the other way around. That's the goal.
I'm praying for any of you guys who want to make the leap, and just haven't quite figured out how. All things work together for the good of those who have been called according to His purpose.
Just wait and see ;-)
Peace, Love & Sunshine ~Chels
Photos from last year's trip: