Down With The Side Hustle, Down With The Day Job

Down With The Side Hustle, Down With The Day Job

Community Motivation + Inspiration Shift Of Power Work

Last week, I was at a networking event thing for activist-minded women in their twenties and thirties. Lots of rad women, lots of big ideas. Because I was feeling chatty and confident, I told myself to stay a little while longer, if just to finish my glass of “OMG It’s Finally Spring!” celebratory rosé. Because I’m an extroverted introvert and do one-on-one conversations, I gravitated toward the gal standing by the wall who was finishing her glass, too. A kindred spirit.

I ask her a little bit about herself – who she is, what she loves, what she cares about, how she spends her time on a daily basis and why (because I go hard right out of the gate). She asks me what I “do.”

So I tell her about WANT.

(And you guys, I was on fire. I promise it wasn’t just the rosé. I’d just gotten back from a speaking engagement and booked two more, I was high off of reading your beautiful emails sharing your incredible stories, and I’d finally started to own some of my long-term goals and get them rolling. I felt in my freaking element and ready to share the love!)

And then she asks me “So is that your side hustle?” And I stumble.

“…Well, no, that’s where I put my energy and efforts on a daily basis. That’s where the majority of my focus is.”

She cuts me off. “Yeah, but is it MAKING YOU MONEY.”

That’s not a typo. It’s not supposed to be a question mark. It’s a period.

Like she was trying to school me on “what I do.”

After years of struggling with “what I call myself” and how I explain who I am and what I’m about to other people – and, honestly, after reaching a really good place with it all and finally feeling like I can answer people in a way that’s succint yet doesn’t sell me short – I found myself thrown off-guard by her haste and candor. Plus I just didn’t want to talk about other things, ya know?

Thankfully, my self-awareness prevented me from getting defensive or snapping back at her. After what seemed like twenty seconds of gathering myself (probably more like two, not twenty), I calmly replied, “Well, it’s not my primary source of income, but I am, yeah” (which is not untrue)

“Oh,” she trails off…

We wrapped up our conversation and I made a beeline for the door. I couldn’t stay in this networky environment much longer.

I know. I know she didn’t mean anything by it. I know she was just trying to compartmentalize and simplify the information she was gathering. But her words stuck with me for days. Especially because she was…well, she was like me. It’s easier to brush off comments that rub you the wrong way when they come from people outside your age range or career or interest field. But peers are different. She wasn’t someone who was unfamiliar with the kind of “work” I was talking about. She was just…assuming it was on the side.

~

I have big problems with the terms “Side Hustle” and “Day Job.” I think they’re stifling, I think they’re suffocating, and I think they’re stupid.

It’s like when actors or painters or writers (hi) get asked what their “real job” is, because their work as an artist isn’t work that’s usually associated with paying the bills. To the artist, whose art is as real as it gets, asking “So what’s your day job?” feels like a passive-aggressive slam.

I have so many problems with this – where do I start? Using the words “day job” and “side hustle” assumes that one is serious and one isn’t. One pays the bills and one brings in a few dollars a month at most. One is a career at most and paycheck at least, one is a passion at most and a hobby at least. One is the big juicy main steak dish, one is the sad asparagus spears.

I realize that it’s human nature to want to simplify and find structure…but I think it’s downright dangerous to label what you do as a side dish instead of a main course. Or downplay the main course as merely something that gives you nutritional value.

If you’re constantly referring to what you love as unworthy of the spotlight, then how can you ever expect it has a fair shot at success?

I never, ever, ever refer to any of my jobs as Day Jobs or Side Hustles. To me, they’re all just different projects that serve different purposes. Never once did I refer to my job at a vegan restaurant in L.A. as my Day Job – and yet it was what paid the bills most of the time alongside my acting gigs and spin classes and freelance work. I never once referred to my acting or teaching or writing as a Side Hustle – and yet they brought in a handful of change each month at best. My restaurant job was not how I defined my days. My art was never on the side.

The restaurant helped me build community. The art helped me use my voice.

If you say what you love is unworthy of the spotlight, how can you expect a fair shot at success? Click To Tweet

Instead of compartmentalizing my life into Day Jobs and Side Hustles when I go to parties or meet new people, I always lead with what I’m most excited to talk about. Most of the time, it’s WANT. Sometimes it’s my classes. Sometimes it’s a small one-off project I’m doing that fascinates me to no end. Sometimes it’s just a riff off of “I’m a writer.” But very rarely do I answer “What Do You Do” the way people expect I will: with a passion justified by a more “sensible” job.

I’m lucky enough to have multiple jobs that pay my bills. WANT is one of them. But I’ve also been working in the fitness and wellness industry for over a decade, and I love that too. And go figure, it’s the primary thing that pays my bills right now. There are a LOT of people who talk about turning your “side hustle into your main hustle” – screw that! Why can’t your side hustle be your main hustle right out of the gate? Why can’t your day job and your night job live harmoniously? In high school we had multiple classes that carried equal weight. Why not the same with how we spend our days? Nay, our lives?

Here’s the thing: you are where your energy is. What you do and how you make money MIGHT be the same thing, but might be the answer to an entirely different question. The concepts of Day Jobs and Side Hustles speak nothing to what you’re actually putting your energy toward – because they focus on quantity of hours and dollars, not quality of passion and vision. 

~

“‘Side Hustle?'” my mom chuckled when I repeated the networking story to her. “I’ve never heard that term before!”

Mind = blown. Every third Instagram post, every other blog – everyone talking about how to develop a side hustle or turn your side hustle into your main hustle or whatever. It had been exhausting for quite some time now. The fact that she had never even heard of this was absurd. How was that possible?

And then I thought about it. And I remembered how she’d never encouraged me to have a Plan B like so many of my artist friends’ parents. “What will she do if she doesn’t make it?” people would gasp. “Katie is a smart girl. And she loves many things,” my parents would say. “She’ll figure it out.”

That mentality was such a gift to me. They knew I didn’t need to plan for “real life” with a passion on the side. Real life lived everywhere.

No one who is in my life would ever think of WANT as my side hustle. They know how many hours I put in working, and they know how much energy I spend making it the very best it can be. Maybe it doesn’t look like a “regular job” to people on the outside…but that doesn’t mean they’re allowed to shove it in a corner of generalizations and assumptions. The same goes for the other ways I choose to fill my days, whether they make money or not. I streamline when I need to, but I thrive on strategic variety. Nothing I do looks normal to the naked eye, and I am alright with that. It’s normal to me.

What I propose is this:

Down with the Day Job.

Down with the Side Hustle.

Let’s ask people what they spend their energy on, and tell them where ours is as well.

Let’s view what we do as different aspects of who we are. All main courses in their own right.

Plan A all the way.

 


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To The Goddess Unchained.

To The Goddess Unchained.

Body Community Love Motivation + Inspiration Shift Of Power Work
'When you're a powerful woman, you are a goddess unchained. And everyone will have something to say.' @katiehorwitch Click To Tweet

Dear beautiful woman,

Hi. It’s me. We haven’t met, but I feel like I know you. Scratch that – I know that I know you. And I don’t mean that in a pushy, I’ve-been-there-before-so-now-I-know-you-and-also-everything way. I mean that in the way that we all come from the same source, the same sisterhood, the same #rigged system that’s made us believe false truths throughout the ages that nothing we do will ever be enough.

I know you are struggling right now. With what, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the job? The relationship status? The family or kids or lack thereof of both? As someone once said, “Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

But what I do know is this: your struggle is inflammed by the perceived expectations of the world around you.

~

To be kind, to be humble, to be gracious – to be boistrous, but not too much. To be soft, to be resilient, to be a leader, but not too much. To be heard, but not absorbed; to be wild, but at the same time tamed. This is the dichotomy of being a woman. Just a woman.

And to be a powerful woman – oh jeez! That is a task of itself, a dance more precise and more stress-sweat inducing than walking through eggshells. One misstep and the craaaaaaaaack of everything delicate below you rings loud in your ear. You must be bold. You must be brave. You must be a mind-reader and truth-teller but always know when and where your place is to say such things.

Success, you must learn, is relative. And success, you must say, is nothing but smoke and mirrors. But success, you must learn, is both the pinnacle of acceptance and the beginnings of lifelong critique. You are not kind enough, or humble enough, or gracious enough – or you’re boistrous, but way too much. No softness, too much resilience, too wild, too heard.

 

Because when you’re a powerful woman, you are a goddess unchained.
And everyone will have something to say.


I believe in you, lady. I believe in your grandness and your solitude, your quietness and your noise. I believe in the way you walk through the world, step by forceful step; the way you trip sometimes but always keep going. There are pebbles lodged in the soles of your shoes and dirt encrusted on the laces, relics from the places you’ve been and the things you have seen. Resist the urge to scrape them off. They belong there, they complete you – shoes were not meant to stay crisp and clean, in my opinion.

You have the answers you’re looking for, deep down. Whether they’ve made their way to the surface yet, TBD. You’re not supposed to wake up one day and know. But anyone who says they do or assumes the opposite is a liar.

Surprise, surprise: the hallmark of being a true adult is knowing that you will never know.

~

And so you, goddess unchained, you are grappling with the knowing and the not knowing and to that I say you’re doing it right. The world wants you to believe it expects you to know but all that is is a desperate plea to fill in the blanks. Blanks that are not yours to fill, blank spaces that aren’t meant to be filled in the first place.

But the last thing I want you to do, sweet friend, is get defensive and stew. How Dare They! How Dare This! The world is not conniving against you, the world just does not know. The world is a child, curious and stubborn. It’s wary of change. It wants to see what sticks. It wants to know what can be cuddled, and how hard, without being smothered. It wants to know what can be crushed, and how hard, without being broken. You don’t have to be the parent or sitter – but rather, the other curious child on the playground who is building sandcastles in the sand instead of eating it.

Nothing you do will ever be enough?
Everything you do is already enough, by the very nature that you’re doing it.


The world is reactive, so you must be proactive.

The world takes cues, so you must make your own.

I don’t want you to look down at the quicksand and say, How Dare They!

What I do want you to do is stand in the middle of the storm and exclaim with pride, How Dare I!

 


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WANTcast Episode 024: The Art Of The Planned Freak-Out

WANTcast Episode 024: The Art Of The Planned Freak-Out

the WANTcast

Last weekend, I blocked off a few hours, set a timer, and totally lost it.

It was amazing.

Going through – or just went through – a major transition? Had a stressful year? You might be in need of a planned freak-out.

In this episode of the WANTcast I break down my OWN structured, PRODUCTIVE break-down – and how you can do the same.

Visual learner? Never fear. Read the nitty-gritty details and plot your own PFO here.

WANT Yourself:

Listen in iTunes + Subscribe | Play in new window | Download | Support the WANTcast by shopping on Amazon like you normally do

 

Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunes, share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!

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The Art Of The Planned Freak-Out.

The Art Of The Planned Freak-Out.

Body Community Love Tips + Tools Work

If you’ve been following along, you know that about seven months ago I moved to New York City with my partner Jeremy. I’d lived in Los Angeles my entire life – entire life – so the shift brought up all sorts of emotions (you can read about some of them here and here). About two weeks before we left, I started to get a little bit anxious. Being the calming force that he is, he mentioned to me that we should probably plan for at least 2 to 3 big freak out moments in the first few months. Cool. Okay. Permission to lose it. I can do that.

Fast forward to now, and while I’ve definitely had my own one-off moments of spontaneously crying or stressing out, I hadn’t sat down and really allowed myself to digest the big change. What more, it wasn’t until last week that both of us sat down, frazzled, and realized that neither one of us had truly taking the time to digest the enormous change that we had just made.

I think that, for me personally, I pride myself on being resilient. Change the schedule of a day I’ve planned out and I’ll break out in anxious trembling, but when it comes to big changes, failures, or loss, I put myself in a leadership position and warrior on.

Is my resilience helpful? For sure. Is it a defense mechanism? Sometimes. I have a tendency to take my penchant for resilience for granted – and because of that, I sometimes downplay huge moments and transitions in my life that are completely worthy of a good old-fashioned freak out. I don’t allow myself to lose it because I know the challenge, feeling, etc is not only surmountable, but I “know” in my logical brain how to surmount it. But just because you know how to navigate the waters doesn’t mean it’s meant to be a smooth ride.

Just because you know how to navigate the waters doesn't mean it's meant to be a smooth ride. Click To Tweet

So here’s what we did: we scheduled a two to three hour block last weekend and decided we were going to go somewhere, get a nice warm cocktail (because it’s cold outside) (you don’t have to get a cocktail if you don’t drink or that’s not your thing but it felt kind of cozy) – and have a planned freak-out.

At first I thought we were going to sit and, for lack of a better term, vent about whatever we wanted or were worried about and allow ourselves space to stress out, cry, and react however we wanted to in a safe environment. But being the left-brainer he is, Jeremy devised an exercise to provide some structure to the situation (so we didn’t, you know, leave even more crazed than we began).

We ended up spending about three hours on the exercise total. And I’ve got to say it was one of the most cathartic, helpful, impactful exercises I maybe have ever done.

common freak-out: you're an adult now and should know way more than you do. (lies.)
common freak-out: you’re an adult now and should know way more than you do. (side note, these are all lies.)


Going through – or just went through – a major transition? Had a stressful year? Life just feeling like a roller coaster? You might be in need of a planned freak-out, too. 
A note: Something that’s important when you’re planning your freak-out moment is that you allow yourself the time and space to let anything that bubbles up bubble up judgment-free. I’m not just talking about if you do this exercise with someone else – you’ve got to commit to be judgment-free with yourself and create your own safe space to feel. Trust that you’re going to get to a positive, proactive place eventually in this exercise. But it might not happen right off the bat. And that is FINE.

 

Here’s how we planned our planned freak-out:

• Get a notebook. Any notebook will do. Preferably one that won’t end up at the bottom of your backpack or purse or below your bed under the receipts from last year. Open up a spread of two pages. On one side, write THINGS I HATE (*you know how I feel about the word hate). On the other side, write down THINGS I DISLIKE. Set a timer for 20 minutes, and go.

We originally set the timer for 15 minutes, but realized that not only did we need extra time at the beginning to sit and mull over what it is we actually disliked and hated, but once we got into the zone, the words just flowed. With a planned freak-out, it’s important to recognize and accept that not everything is going to come to you right away. Whether you’ve been suppressing feelings, there’s shame involved, or you’ve just been accepting vague truths as THE truths, this might take a while.

• Now that you’ve got your two lists, draw a line underneath or flip to the next page. Write in bold letters: SO WHAT YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

(After you’re done, I suggest taking a walk to clear your brain. Grab a coffee. Sit in the park. Go pet a dog. Do something to press your internal “reset” button.)

• Once you’re ready, open up your notebook again to a new spread of pages. On one side, write THINGS I LOVE. On the other side, write down THINGS I LIKE. Set a timer for 20 minutes, and go.

• And then, yes, once you’re done, write at the bottom: SO WHAT YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?


What I found interesting was that when I started writing my lists, I could see very clear themes.

Some things I wrote under HATE: Feeling ineffective and insuffient. Feeling like “just another so-and-so” – not feeling unique in any way. Societal pressures on women and how they affect me negatively. Holding myself back because of money when I’m feeling financially strapped. Waiting for situations, people, etc to be “ready” – aka waiting for permission – before I take action. Loneliness.

Some things I wrote under DISLIKE: Feeling like I can’t help the people I love when they need help. Feeling like a child. Low work structure and routine. Not making more money when I feel financially strapped. Looking and waiting for opportunities to come to me instead of just going for them myself.

Self-suppression, low structure, stagnation, and disconnection were at the root of most all of my problems, “hates,” and dislikes.

Some things I wrote under LOVE: Love and gratitude. Coffee time in the morning with Jeremy. Walking around and exploring. Helping people feel proud of themselves. Working out for my own enjoyment and strength. Actively listening, and being outspoken when I truly have something to say. Singing loudly. Great conversations. Feeling proud of my appearance and presence. Feeling loved and safe and trusted.

Some things I wrote under LIKE: Good sleep. Good hair days. Dressing in dark clothes. Getting paid to write. Running. Yoga. Putting together the podcast. Holding hands. Hugs. Kisses. Massages. Structure.

Self-expression, definition, progress (personal or professional), and connection were at the root of most all my likes, loves, and happiness.

And when I started to write my second list of “To-Do About Its” and realized I could just refer to the To-Dos on the prior page, I could see one more pattern: that honestly, stepping up, “living UP” (kind of like leveling up or leaning in), and self-assertion were at the root of most everything I could do to feel the way I wanted to feel.

~

It’s only been a few days, but I feel completely refreshed after our planned freak-out. No, this is not the end. Yes, I’m already planning on allowing myself this time again in six months (or sooner if needed). But the biggest takeaway for me is that sometimes I need to break down in order to build up stronger than before. And planning that – allowing myself the time and space to just sit with all my highs and lows simultaneously – prevents shame or guilt from getting in the way.

Resilience is a strength for sure, but just because you’re able to tough things out or go with the flow doesn’t mean you need to pretend it’s easy. You cannot truly live into your high highs if you ignore your low lows – and if you look close enough, you’ll see the extremes are directly related.

So. What you gonna do about it?

planned-freak-out
Listen to it here:

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WANT YOURSELF:
If you’re like me and need a good old fashioned freak-out, block off a few hours in your calendar and when the day comes, get to writing. I’d love to hear what comes up for you. Do you see patterns? Difficult realizations? Stuff coming up you didn’t expect was even there? I’d love to hear in the comments.



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WANTcast Episode 022: On Breaking Out Of Your Comfort Zone + Getting Your Voice Heard with Abiola Abrams

WANTcast Episode 022: On Breaking Out Of Your Comfort Zone + Getting Your Voice Heard with Abiola Abrams

the WANTcast

Don't use the fact that someone else has your idea as a reason to hold yourself back from going for it - @abiolaTV Click To Tweet

Seven years ago, I was going through a huge life shift. Or, rather, I was about to go through a huge life shift – I just didn’t know it yet.

I had just moved to Venice Beach, gotten a steady job at one of my favorite fitness studios, finally gotten over a rough breakup, and was starting to feel more like myself than ever. I was starting to realize that maybe the life I’d planned out for myself wasn’t the life I was really supposed to lead…and instead of being scary, that glimmer of a thought was actually starting to feel freeing. Basically, all of my channels were open for change – I just didn’t know what was coming next.

It was also around this time I started running. Every week, I’d lace up my New Balances and drive to the long stretch of grass along Ocean Avenue and just go. I’d call them my thinking runs: the time that was just for me, where I could zone out and tune into what my heart was really saying.

One day before a thinking run, I was looking for a way to tune into the radio show I’d been listening to on my drive over (I miss the car radio in NYC!) and came across these new things called “podcasts.” My first observation? There weren’t a lot of female hosts. Finally, I found one. The Goddess Factory by Abiola AbramsLooked promising. I could get down with goddess talk.

Well, I ended up becoming HOOKED. I found Abiola’s enthusiastic yet no-bs outlook on life just the type of inspiration I needed. It felt like she wasn’t just talking directly TO me, but like she was a friend who was giving me permission to be as passionate, deep, silly, funny, and BIG as I wanted to be. It was just what I needed to catapult me into the next stage of my life, which ultimately, has led me right here. It sounds kinda cheesy to say I couldn’t have done it without her, but honestly – I couldn’t have done it without her.

abiola-abrams

Abiola Abrams is an award-winning author, advice columnist, motivational speaker, and certified life coach who has given her life-changing advice on networks from MTV and BET to the Discovery Channel and the BBC, as well as being a popular advice columnist for Essence and on sites like Match.com. Her book The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love won Best Self-Help Book at the African American Literary Awards. As what she calls the “Midwife for Your Inspired Life,” her online empowerment programs help women to answer and rock their callings, by turning self-love to self-launch. She is the founder of the women’s empowerment blog and web series on SacredBombshell.com and the podcast Spiritpreneur School, aka – yes – The Goddess Factory. (and yes, I know. She’s a master at naming things. Just you wait ’till you listen to the episode)

I LOVE each twist and turn of this conversation, talking everything from what to do when you feel like other people just don’t quite GET what you’re about yet and sticking to your guns when it seems like everyone else is getting ahead, to getting your voice heard even when other people are trying to manipulate it to their liking along the way. We also talk about being an extroverted introvert and getting swept up in the bigness of whatever’s going on around you, and whether you’re super extroverted or incredibly introverted, how to stay grounded AND enthusiastic even when life is demanding a lot of you (especially when things are really good and borderline overwhelming, which are the times that can sometimes throw us off the most if you’re anything like me).

The reward is what counts - the risk is just a path along the way. Click To Tweet

We seriously could have talked for ages – you’ll hear, her energy and genuine enthusiasm are infectious. Make sure you download this one everywhere you listen to podcasts, because you’re gonna wanna go back and re-listen later. I know I will.

WANT Abiola:

Listen in iTunes | Play in new window | Direct download

Show Notes:
Sacredbombshell.com
Gift for WANTcast listeners!
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
The Goddess Factory
Spiritpreneur School
Say Word! Voices From Hip Hop Theater

When you get knocked off course - which you will - positivity is being appreciative for your journey. - @abiolaTV Click To Tweet

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Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunes, share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. The more you share, the more Abiola’s message can be heard. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!

abiola-abrams

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Beside The Point: Should I Follow My Calling And Change Everything?

Beside The Point: Should I Follow My Calling And Change Everything?

Beside The Point Community

Hey Katie!

I hope this email finds you well and in joy, and that you’ve been settling into NYC nicely.

I’m reaching out to you because I’m curious as to what your decision making process was when you decided to move across the country. I’ve had a calling to relocate to the Bay Area (where I’m from) and yet, have had qualms, setbacks, and doubts, especially because life in LA has been wonderful.

I know every journey is different, and your decision to move is yours and yours alone, but any insight you might share to illuminate my path?

Sending love and kindness,
Anais

 

my last walk through my "backyard" the night before moving

my last walk through my “backyard” the night before moving


The short answer to why I moved is usually the easiest to give people: my partner had a job opportunity here. The long answer, which applies more to this question, Anais, is that it was a long time coming. A lot of lessons and stories and dreams evolving to the point of expansion.

Some backstory: NYC had always been in the plans for me – and by “always,” I mean it was the path I thought my life would lead me down post-college. I had it all figured out: I’d go to school for theatre, move back to LA for five to six months to get a solid base of work (why I thought six months was a reasonable time to get a “solid base of work” as an actor, I have no idea), then leave for New York in the late fall to pursue a career on the stage.

That’s obviously not what happened. My prediction of six months to get work was miraculously spot on – not only did I get work, but I got into SAG-AFTRA and was on track to be able to join AEA (Actor’s Equity Association), too. An AEA membership was essential to my NYC game plan. It was all working out just as I’d planned. By the end of the year, I was all lined up to be able to make a career move to NYC.

But I didn’t. It wasn’t a conscious choice not to move, but to be honest, it never really felt right. I kept getting work in LA. I was making friends who encouraged me to be who I was, not who I thought I should be. I was learning how to live in the “real world” as myself, tied to no institutions or predetermined social groups, for the very first time ever. I became an L.A. gypsy, living in a grand total of nine places in the span of eight years. Each place I landed was a perfect representation of where I was at that time in my life (although I rarely realized it in the moment). L.A. became not just where I grew up, but my own treasure-filled city to explore and discover. I became an L.A. evangelist and its biggest fangirl. “People who say they don’t like LA don’t REALLY not like LA,” I used to tell people. “They either came here with an expectation of what it should be like and moved to a place that wasn’t that…or they just haven’t found the part of LA that speaks to them yet.” I truly believed there was something in LA for everyone. I still do. 

When Jeremy asked me if I’d be willing to try out some time in NYC, my decision to say yes didn’t come without qualms, setbacks, or doubts, probably much like your own. Like you, I didn’t have any beef with the city. Like you, life in LA. had been wonderful. 

But here’s the thing: life in LA had gotten familiar. It had gotten comfortable. And after living out an entire decade as an LA gypsy and am entire lifetime before as an LA resident, it had gotten to be a place I felt I’d explored from top to bottom. In order to learn anything new about this city, I knew I was at the point where I’d need to learn a lot more about myself first.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset


You say you’re feeling a calling to relocate. You also say you’ve had qualms, setbacks, and doubts, and that life in LA has been wonderful for the most part.

I have two questions for you, which can apply to any time you feel called to change something up in a major way:

First off, is your calling telling to run toward something, or run away from something – is it telling you to escape, or to expand? I mean, obviously if you’re in a dangerous or harmful situation, get the hell out of there. But if you’re running away and escaping from things like big, scary opportunities or awkward situations that you just don’t want to deal with, that’s a different kind of running away. On the other hand, running TOWARD something means you’re more curious and passionate about what’s on the horizon than you are comfortable sticking with what already IS.

Are you running toward something, or away from something? Do you want to escape, or expand? Click To Tweet

Second: Are you still learning? Are you still growing? And maybe the most importantly, are you able to be the YOU you know you’re meant to be? For me, LA had become a place I was able to be most of who I knew I was meant to be. But I had never known life outside of my small familiar bubble. I also felt like I was at a growth standstill, especially when it came to self-perception in my career. Yes, I had crossed the line from novice to expert and become a professional writer, editor, speaker, what-have-you. But I still felt like something was missing. I felt incomplete without being able to pinpoint exactly whyIt wasn’t ’til I came here and was forced to really, truly OWN being my own boss that I was able to BELIEVE that I was. I realized I’d been taking cues from others for so long that it had become so much easier – and almost accepted – to emulate others’ paths instead of do the challenging but eye-opening work of finding my own way. In five months here I’ve done almost as much as I did in a YEAR in LA. Sure, the fast pace of NYC helps, but it’s also because displacing myself from my safety net of familiarity has made me confront all those little parts of myself that, in the past, have held me back. The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is just a fraction of the biggest lesson I am still learning: I don’t need to know everything in order to make shit happen.

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Now, I’m not one to do things “just because,” and I certainly don’t make big choices based solely on adventure. I probably wouldn’t have made the move if I had not had a concrete reason like J’s job.  I’m way too pragmatic for pure risk. But – and this is a big BUT – I do not view a “calling” as risk. And you say you have that calling. That’s your intuition speaking, girl. That’s your gut and heart and soul knowing something your brain and body don’t yet, which is probably why it feels so weird and confusing. I can only speak from my own experience, but I have a hunch that yours is a lot like mine in that what’s holding you back is that confusing disconnect. I didn’t know what was here waiting for me, and in many ways I still don’t. I only knew it was right. And for me, the risk of going for it, hating it, then moving back was way more scary than the risk of staying safe, staying the same, then regretting it later when life had gotten in the way so much that I no longer had the strength to push it aside.

Your gut is telling you something right now. Whether it has to do with a move or something else, I can’t say. But it’s telling you it’s craving something MORE. Find out what that is first, then move forward fearlessly toward that and see where it takes you.

xo
kt



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