Two Years Ago – I Quit
Two years ago today I sent an email. After telling my parents in a tearful and hard conversation the day before I sent probably one of the most important emails of my life to date. The email was to my boss, it stated I was giving my notice and would be leaving the school and my job at the end of the month. With the push of a button I was off on a new adventure. It was not without much reservation that this occurred.
In the spring of 2012, things were changing. I signed my first professional sponsorship contract with a company and was receiving enough money from this deal to pay the rent, food, and gas (the basic needs). I also had a few other companies supporting my endeavors as well. It was around that time I had set up the shop on this site as well. My work life consisted of a very good “on paper job”, of which I worked 6-7 days parts of the year for 12+ hours a day, and on the “off-season” working 5-6 days a week and about 8-10 hours a day. I had some cool titles to share at parties, and was just about done with my Masters Degree. As a family member told me, “I had made a nice little life for myself.” However more than one day I woke up thinking I was living the lyrics of a Talking Heads song.
A few months before my email. I had a friend Vanessa Runs quit her job and move into an RV with her boyfriend at 30 years old. As she was prepping for her next stage in life her sister had quit her job as well posting an emotionally charged youtube video of the click of the button. It was nothing like the singing and dancing quit or anything like that. It was just her and her computer and the realization of what she was and just did. Around that same time another friend Christine quit her job to pursue writing, and I read an article of another woman who quit her six-figure job to live in her car and pursue her passion of photography. It was as if the world were telling me it would be ok and I needed to take this next step.
A couple years later I realize now where I was and the job I was doing was keeping me in a holding pattern. I fell back into the world of boarding schools because it was comfortable. It was what I knew, and the ski industry was all I knew from a young age. I spent most of my twenties in a holding pattern, somewhere between adult and child. It wasn’t until I sent that email that I started to really “grow up”. I don’t mean growing up in the sense of dressing better, or making more money, but I had to look at myself, my actions and start to hold myself more accountable.
Quitting is a powerful thing and recently a This American Life podcast reenforced this notion. The introduction to the episode made complete sense to me and quitting is a powerful thing and one which we should all have the luxury to do at least once in our life. Yesterday while at a 4th of July party it dawned on me that it’s been two years since I sent that email.
Since then so much has happened. When I quit I was told I was stupid, I would not survive, bat-shit crazy, dumb, and overall “what was I thinking”. Since then I have been called a lot of names, some warranted some not. My life has changed a lot, I have been on the top, on the bottom, humbled, honored, and inspired. Going your own way and taking the road less traveled so far has been an exploration into myself, my good and bad. It has forced me to grow a thicker skin, manage extremely high levels of stress, constantly question what I am doing, continuously innovate and strive for the next thing. Along the way some have supported me, some have knocked me down, and some have been downright nasty privately and publicly. It’s OK we all have our reasons for how we act and I know I have said and done a lot of dumb things and will continue to.
For me the last two years has been such a huge time of growth and personal development, more than any company could have given me. It’s been a struggle everyday to continue to build something out of nothing. I have been lucky to be given opportunities. My ego has been inflated and as all that comes up it must come back down. I have done things for the right and the wrong reasons, said stupid stuff, but in it all been brutally honest and my honesty has gotten me in trouble before. I have held some claims to fame but that and a few bucks will buy you a coffee. I can truly and honestly say, I don’t think I am special because I am not.
Maybe in 2012 I thought I was but not today, just like I thought my shit was pretty cool and I was pretty badass back in the day. It’s hard not to when your life is turned upside down and you find success like you have never had before. You may say and do things that are cringe worthy in hindsight, but I have learned to own it all the good and bad. Now I am just me, my brutal and honest self. People can like me or hate me it’s up to them because at the end of the day the only people who have to live with me are my boyfriend, our dog and our cat. And that is what matters most. I now know who I am when I go to bed at night.
Since that quit in 2012, the biggest lesson learned is gratitude. I am more grateful each day for the people and opportunities that have entered my life. From the companies that have taken a chance on me to the people behind them that have helped with my growth as a person. Five years into this OCR experiment and two years into it as a career, I feel like it is starting to come together. I am starting to see the whole picture, and one of the biggest things has been letting go of a growing ego and finding gratitude in each day.
This is a big thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way, whether it was through support or those who questioned my sanity. To those who publicly have questioned my character, my motives, or my background – I must thank them as well for they have helped make me stronger and look within myself as to why I might have made them think that way. Mostly, the love and support has been and continues to be amazing. It has been an amazing journey the last two years and it’s only just begun.