Thank You so much to Tropicana for sponsoring this post! As always, all opinions are my own.
“If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be too cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” ~ Annie Dillard
Once upon a time, I was a girl who strongly disliked (“Hate” is probably a better word here, but I try not to use that in any capacity, because it just promotes bad vibes, all around, you know?) her job. I’ve talked about this before and I probably will again.
When I graduated from college and moved to New York City immediately thereafter, I wanted to become a magazine editor. I wasn’t entirely sure what that would entail, but I was certain that I loved to create and write, and that thinking about things like branding, packaging, colors, and layouts very much excited me; they still do.
To get my foot in the door so to speak, I began temping at magazines like GQ and Lucky. I would work at each for 2-3 days at a time doing very glamorous things such as organizing fashion closets and stuffing PR mailers. I really enjoyed those tasks though, in part because I always felt that in doing them I was getting one step closer to my dream of becoming an editor. We all have to pay our dues.
Eventually, I landed a full-time position at another magazine…in sales. I had never considered working in sales before, but I was young and naive and above all, reasoned with myself that I would do this particular job for a year or two at most, and ultimately cross over into editorial as planned. Right.
You might guess by now where this is going.
Without me even realizing it, one year turned into almost ten. Time is good like that; it flies. I did a lot of things in that period of my life, of course. I moved back to Boston and got my MBA. I traveled as much and as often as I possibly could. When I graduated from Boston College once again (I also did my undergrad program there.), I moved to Los Angeles.
In all that time, I continued to work in sales in spite of the fact that my heart was never in it. What I know now is that I was never cut out for sales, and if I am being honest, I was never very good at it either. Yet in every new position that I accepted, I continued to reason and make concessions with myself as to why I kept on keeping on. I suppose I had decided that I would make a change “someday”.
Before I go any further, I want to say that in the handful of jobs that I had in that decade, I met some incredible people and made some of my very best friends. While I was not once particularly thrilled about the work in front of me, I was learning; a whole bunch. I will forever be grateful for those two things if nothing else.
The truth is, however, I knew deep down that for as long as I continued to work in sales, I would never be genuinely happy.
That realization practically smacked me in the face by the point at which I landed in L.A. The company that I was with at the time had numerous internal problems. Those problems definitely made me feel worse off, but – that aside – what the situation boiled down to is that I was utterly unfulfilled. Not even a new job with the coolest company, or the kindest people, or the best perks, (insert superlative here) etc., etc., etc., would change that.
What I still wanted to do was to create. I spent my free time taking photos of random objects and scenery. Where I could, I planned adventures and road trips. I invited my friends over for dinner parties. On the weekends, I wandered from farmers’ market to farmers’ market obsessing over the pretty produce California had to offer and dreaming up new recipes.
I also found that age old thought running on repeat in my mind “There has to be more to life than this“.