When I first moved to New York City out of college, I got a job right away at a top public relations firm making $28,000 a year. I steadily worked my way up within 2 years time getting two promotions, before transitioning over to another company. And from there bouncing around from agency to agency, climbing the ladder. (The best way really for us Millenials to actually earn any coin). I dealt with microaggressions, terrible pay, pushy clients, envious and shady bosses. Never really getting any of the credit I deserved for all the hard work I was putting out. Yet, I still persisted. Telling myself that this was all worth it because my goal was to be the Head of Communications for a luxury fashion brand. Well, I got that–at age 27.
What seemed like a dream, slowly turned to a nightmare. Here I was, head of an entire department–reporting directly to the designer, and still, the abuse I received from previous jobs came creeping back. Over the course of those 7-years, I was shrinking myself, being in the background, dealing with people who maybe grew up with more money than me–but way less intelligence, and it was taking a toll. My spirit was drained.
So, I asked myself again, is this worth it? My heart wasn’t in it. For so long I had put in my mind that once I got that title and salary, I’d be happy. I’d feel better and it all would have been worth it. But when I got it, I felt even more empty than I ever had, and after a panic attack in the bathroom of that office, I knew it was time to make a change. One year ago, I knew that was my moment. I left the fashion PR industry and never looked back.
Scary is stepping out on your own. Scary is going for your internal wants and desires, not what society tells you is right. Scary is taking a leap of faith. Dangerous, is staying in a situation or with a person that does not and will never value you. Dangerous is letting your gifts and talents fall by the wayside to accommodate others. Dangerous is shrinking yourself to fit in. I knew a year ago that I’d take scary over dangerous any day.
Since then, things have been hard, but through it, I’ve had peace because I know that each and everything thing I’ve done has been for me. I’ve learned so much about myself along the way and have grown so much in the process.
In one year, my blog’s monthly readership has grown to the thousands. I’ve gotten paid brand deals. I was featured in my first ever beauty campaign, as well as a handbag campaign. I went to every single modeling agency casting call in NYC and submitted my images to all the others–I was rejected by every agency except one, who signed me. I wrote for the blog of one of my favorite podcasts, and from there was discovered and hired to write for an even more amazing outlet, Shine. I did my first Instagram takeover and was transported out to host a beauty event in D.C. I applied for the Spotify podcast competition and was rejected. I started taking acting classes and before those even started has a small role in an off-Broadway play. I’ve gone on a number of model castings for big brands like MAC, Target, VISA and I haven’t been hired for any of them..yet. I was, however, featured in a video by Allure magazine and made an appearance on Good Morning America. I’ve been broke, with a negative balance in my bank account–but I’ve also developed a real budget for the first time in my life, and now I have a consistent income again. Lastly, every morning I dictate my day. I plan my week, and I choose what I do and do not participate in.
This is my testimony. I hope that with these words and my story that you can bet on yourself. Whether that be through a grand leap of faith or smaller everyday changes to your routine. Don’t wait for fulfillment, because it’s already inside of you. You have the power to breathe life into what gives you true joy and a sense of purpose each and every day. So why not start now?