On August 19th I will hit my one-year in New York City. It’s been a year of growing, learning and changing. I’ve heard that your first year here is always the hardest. I agree. It’s the first time I’ve lived completely on my own without family nearby, and I didn’t have a set game plan of what I was supposed to do. I feel blessed by the fact that I have had a support system around me this year, but most of all, I’ve learned more about the person I am, and who I want to be going forward.
When I moved to New York, my heart was set on working at a fashion magazine. My first job was working at a popular fashion magazine during New York Fashion Week as a fashion assistant. I was in charge of schedules and RSVP’s for 15 editors and it was an eye opening experience. I felt a rush of excitement and knew I had made the right move to NYC. I then went on to freelance at a luxury fashion accessories magazine and e-commerce site. Soon after I jumped back to a women’s lifestyle magazine (where I interned in college) as a fashion closet assistant. I was excited to quickly hop around the industry and move my way up in ranks – being from Arizona I never imagined I would get so much experience straight out of college. Nearing the end of my contract with the lifestyle magazine, I received an offer to do a trial period with another magazine for their fashion assistant position. This was the position I had worked for and dreamed about throughout college. It was the first ‘real’ stepping stone to work in the fashion editorial industry – but after my first week there, things changed.
I always knew that at some point in my life I wanted to pursue styling. As much as I loved magazines, or whatever else I was involved in, my long-term goal was to become a fashion stylist. I gave myself a timeline when I moved to NYC that I would work my way up in magazines for a few years and eventually break into more styling roles. I had a plan. I’ve always had a plan and I’ve stubbornly followed those steps through and through. But after my first week in my new position, I sat down and re-analyzed my life. I was working about 12 hour days at the office, I would get home around 9pm, maybe eat, and jump into “SAK” land and blog, answer emails, style and freelance write for another five to eight hours. I was managing about four hours of sleep per night. My work, life balance had crumbled into nothing over the past year and I needed a wake up call.
In college I was an energizer bunny – I easily managed 20 hour days with a smile on my face because I knew it was all part of my “plan”. The wake up call was when I started writing out my new plan and goals for the future. What made me happy each day? What did I see myself doing in the next five, 10, 20 years? It was absolutely terrifying and heartbreaking to finally stand up for myself and admit that I needed a break. I needed a mental break to sort out my life and say, “hey, I cannot handle this” no matter how many people told me I was living the NYC dream, that I was “lucky” (I hate that word by the way) or that they were jealous of me. I loved magazines, my job, my side hobbies – so what was I supposed to do?
I knew that the things that consumed my thoughts every day and the things I saw myself doing in the next five, 10, 20 years included, styling, travel, writing, and finally living a healthy life. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved, absolutely loved working at a magazine and maybe one day I’ll have the opportunity again, but for now I needed time to focus on my newest chapter: Me.
The past month has spurred an era of change. I said goodbye to a lifestyle I wasn’t 110% happy with, I ended a relationship I couldn’t figure out, and I said hello to a healthy and happy new me. I booked several vacations, I changed my hair, I have actually been to the gym (shocker!) and, my inbox count is finally under 100 emails daily. It’s the little things guys.
I am now styling, blogging, writing for various websites, and I am working with a start-up doing branded content and social media. My busy level has not decreased by any means, but I’m excited for this new adventure. It has been the first time that I’ve made a little detour in my plan, and I decided to jump a few steps ahead. The week I quit my magazine job, I spoke with someone who has always given me great and unbiased advice, and she said, this is my chance to finally “Create Audree.” It is my time to take ahold of my plan, my schedule, my life and do the things I really want to do. This advice has propelled me the past few weeks to dive into new projects and create a new plan.
I’m excited you’re here for the journey and let’s see what the next year takes us; your guess is as good as mine! xo
SHOP SIMILAR LOOK IN THE LINKS BELOW:
JEAN JACKET (WRANGLERS – L TRAIN VINTAGE) | CROP (ASOS) | SKIRT (C/O MORNING LAVENDER) | HEELS (ANNE MICHELLE) | CLUTCH (C/O IMOSHION) | SUNNIES (JACK PURCELL/CONVERSE) | CUFFS (THRIFTED)
PHOTOGRAPHY: SAM KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY