Hey there! It’s been awhile since I’ve been on the blog. I’m happy to say it feels right to be posting again. I’ve had a lot of content ideas over the past few months, but I just didn’t have the motivation to write. I’ve been in some denial over the stress I was putting on myself to get things done at home and work, so it’s taken me some time to get back here.
To give you a little more context, a year ago I landed the job I had worked my whole career (nearly 25 years) to get. Then I spent the last year trying to convince myself how happy I was about it. In reality my stress and anxiety were so high, I was physically and mentally exhausted. There have been some tough emotions to work through as I love producing events and selling sponsorships, but at what price? I kept asking myself - “Was this really what it was like at this level? Was this worth it?” I really wrestled with sucking it up because this was the job I had always wanted. But the reality was I couldn’t keep going in that state. It was affecting all aspects of my life.
I spent the first three months of this year literally sick to my stomach. I was put on a no booze, no caffeine, no chocolate, no spicy foods regimen. Yikes! These were four of my main food groups! And have you ever tried to give up caffeine cold turkey? It’s way worse than giving up wine, tequila and chocolate cake. I felt like I had the flu for the first four days. Worse than these restrictions though, I was missing time with friends. I was missing parties and events that I wanted to attend. All because my stomach felt like someone was trying to pull it through a pinhole every time I ate. When I wasn’t traveling, I just wanted to spend time at home which was fine, but then I was compulsively baking things I really couldn’t (or shouldn’t) eat. And to add insult to injury, all the work I had done nutritionally over the past year and a half to eat more balanced and clean was now the same food that was irritating my stomach. My stress was causing me to hold on to weight I had previously lost, and now I was forced to eat a bland diet full of things that didn’t really bring me joy. This was not helping my mental state.
Something had to change. No job, dream job or not, is worth making yourself sick over. I started a self-care routine that used a LOT of tools - meditating (the Calm app has been amazingly helpful), journaling, reading, listening to podcasts, limiting my screen time at night, adjusting my work outs and sometimes just sitting (which is REALLY difficult for me). I’m not great at any one of these things, but when I can fit one or two of them into my day, I feel really good. I noticed I’m much more productive and creative when I take the time for myself. Taking 15 minutes a day to meditate and journal was making an incredible difference in my day.
My husband is the real hero here. I know I haven’t been easy to deal with during this time. His support has been amazing, and I needed it more than I would ever let on or tell him. Which leads me to ask - Why is it so hard for us to admit when we need help? Why is there this underlying feeling of shame around asking for it? I’m 100% guilty of never wanting to appear like I’m weak or can’t do it all. That feeling just puts unneeded pressure on top of the pressure we’re already putting on ourselves. This cycle has to stop. We can’t do it all. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Asking for help is how we gain strength and knowledge, and ultimately confidence and respect. This is what I’m working on - being better at asking for help. I’m still not great at it. I had a meltdown with Don last week over laundry. This is a baby step situation, but we’ll get there.
Most importantly, I quit the dream job. I knew in my heart this was what I needed to do and thankfully another opportunity presented itself at the same time. So I made a change three weeks ago. You’ll start to see me post about it very soon. I’m working with some of my favorite people who I worked with over 10 years ago in a different industry. The new company is in the fashion industry so now I feel like all the time I’ve spent on Stella Shops the past 10 years has really come full circle. I have so much to learn about this industry, particularly around technology and how it’s changing the industry, and I’m really excited for that. I love learning, which may seem weird to say, but it’s refreshing to dive in and learn about new innovations in a space I have some familiarity with. This is what’s led me to feel inspired to write here again. It feels good to be back with hopefully a fresh perspective.
Along the way I've read a lot of great books and listened to a lot of great podcasts. I’m linking them here for you.
Champagne and Queso (of course!)
I’ve been listening to some really great music too, so I made a new playlist this week and it felt right to share. So here you go. I hope you enjoy!
I don’t 100% know what’s next here at Stella Shops, but I appreciate you all being along for the ride this long. I hope you’ll stick around for this next chapter.