Life After Quitting: Week 6

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full time blogging

“If you don’t think Beyonce doesn’t cry in the shower every so often you’re wrong.”

I’m married to such a great person. Karl said this to me Saturday morning. Friday night I cried in the shower. And for some, the shower may muffle the cries, but the way our house is laid out I think the shower amplifies them. Karl was at the door, and then Emerson, but I couldn’t stop. I was tired, sick, in pain, and overwhelmed and my body just needed to cry.

This week was tough on many levels. It started with me beginning personal training, which made me realize how very out of shape I am and how desperately I needed to start this. The first day was legs and I was breezing through it feeling like a BAMF and then the next morning I couldn’t walk. Like rolled out of bed, pulled my body up by the bedpost, crying out when trying to bend to use the toilet. For two days, I walked semi-hunched because my hip flexors and quads decided they were on strike. When the legs got better, it was then arms and back that were worked, and by time those calmed down we did cardio which left my calves crying and they’re still sniffling and dabbing away tears today.

Then Tuesday I got what Emerson and Karl had the past weekend. Coughing, sneezing, headache, chest congestion, and exhaustion. Oh, did I mention I was also having my period? I received confirmation that the lump in my breast is nothing at all to worry about and once I got that I finally felt the feels for being in that moment last week. With my period, and legs not working, and chest and head full of snot, and uncontrollable coughing. All while shooting outfit photos for the blog in 30-degree windy weather. Good times.

Thursday I felt much better and with some Musinex DM I was ready to party with ELOQUII. They invited me to host their holiday party at their store in the DC area. We had treats, champagne, a selfie area, a lipsologist who would read your personality from your lip print, and plenty of fab fashion. It was a really great time. I love working with ELOQUII, the people behind the scenes are some of the nicest folk and so many wonderful people attended. It was a great night, but my first day of feeling well it left me drained. Even the lipsologist said I was spread too thin, too hard on myself, and that I needed to get away very soon, at least three days of R&R by myself without work.

This was a week full of blog finance and administrative stuff. The blog? Still acting up. Took several calls and email threads with brands, companies, and services. Some left me feeling inspired, but most left me wondering why I decided to make this my full-time job.

I know a base number I need to bring in each month to cover the bills and basic family needs. When you blog for a long time, you see patterns and can kind of gauge you’re going to make a minimum each month, and which months are bigger ones so you can scrimp and save to balance out the year. This week I worked on a contract for 2018 that was so stressful because it affects a good portion of that monthly minimum. Previous years, I could easily say hellz naw when I got an offer that I didn’t like, but now with it literally feeding my family I can’t be so flippant. It takes an emotional toll, trying to support your family without selling your soul.

Friday I went to personal training, took Emerson to school, wrote my newsletter, sent out a bunch of invoices and followed up on emails, took three different work calls, wrapped some presents, picked Emerson up from school, and then took a 45 minute nap. The entire nap was spent coughing up a lung and thinking of all the things I need to get done. I got up and went to take a shower since I didn’t fit one in earlier after working out. I had 40 minutes until I had to take Emerson to a Girl Scouts sleepover and attend a parents’ meeting for the troop parents. The water hit my shoulders and I broke down.

I got out of the shower and Emerson brought made me a drink she and K made of orange vanilla seltzer with a lemon twist (so cute). I dried my hair and pulled myself together and was only 10 minutes late to the meeting. Sitting around a table with a group of parents I’ve known for the past four years who have such great kids but we’re sharing our real life trials and tribulations with them grounded me. Before I left, Emerson raced upstairs in her narwhal nightgown to give me a hug goodnight and to tell me she loved me.

I came home, Karl and I had the home to ourselves. We snuggled on the couch and watched an episode of Riverdale (I shared in my newsletter how I’m obsessed with this show, it’s so beautiful to look at and a nice replacement for Gossip Girl) and were upstairs before 10. Lying in bed next to Karl in our home, our kid safe and sound at a friend’s house surrounded by her besties, I started to cry again, but this time tears of happiness. Life is super overwhelming right now physically and emotionally, but this is a good life. I feel really blessed. How many people get to follow their dream gig at 42 years of age? This week Karl took one of my brand calls with me since it involves cooking and photography. It was the first time he got involved beyond discussing strategy or scheduling and we both really enjoyed collaborating together on another level. To be able to do this, and with such a great family who supports me is pretty phenomenal. Thursday night at ELOQUII was also pretty phenomenal, to be able to partner with a brand, be completely myself, and have such a great time surrounded by such great people. And even the negotiations this week that tore up my stomach and made me doubt myself at times, I was able to negotiate and come to a compromise without me feeling like I got the short end of the stick or that I’m selling out.

It may be over a month, but I’m just getting started. I need to be more gentle with myself, give myself time. It’s hard when your mind is swirling with ideas, your inbox is overflowing, and you know the fate of your family’s future rests in your hands (and your blog). But I’m learning, I’m growing, and though I likely will have many more cries in the shower, I still think I’m doing the right thing.

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. I’m glad your husband inspired you but Beyonce sure as hell does not cry in the shower. or has not since she was cheated on years ago.

    Your husband needs to read a magazine.

  2. I have read your blog for many years and rarely comment, but I just have to now. I am really happy for you that you can quit your job and blog full time, so cool to see you follow your heart. I read your blog because you always balanced work at an office with family time, so fun to see outfits that go from the office to family time, but now its jump suits, overalls sequin dresses leopard suit none of that can be worn to the office, its just not what it was…cool work clothes that work well for family time also.

    1. I think that’s a bit unfair. It’s the holiday season so there’s a lot more holiday and wacky clothing. Sequin dresses and the such were shot when I still had my job, and it has only been a bit over a month. Hang in there, after the holidays I’ll get back to more “normal” fashion!

  3. Hang in kid…you are so ahead of the curve. After 35+ years of both of us being self employed I understand the daily, heck hourly, doubts that can creep up and sink in if we let them. You can’t stop what causes these feelings but you can control how you deal with them. Sometimes the best way is to cry, scream, kick…whatever gets you thru to the right side where you’ll be most of the time.-Laurel

  4. Hang in there. You’re going to kill it – and working for yourself always has ups and downs, ebbs and flows. You do learn to roll with the punches but it never gets totally easy. However, the upsides far outweigh the difficult moments. Sounds like you’ve just had way too much happen all at once. Once the ‘overwhelm’ passes you’ll be great! Wishing you & yours the best holidays.

  5. Hello Alison,
    I follow your blog for quite some time (years!) in sunny Portugal. I think this is the first time I write to you, because I want to wish you all the happiness and good fortune in this new chapter of your life. For me this is also the year that I’ve become self-employed and I couldn’t be more happy with my decision!
    I also wanted to tell you how beautifully happy you look in all the photos you’ve shared since you quit your job. You look much more relaxed and like if there is a sparkle inside that shines through you (am I making any sense?!). So, I wish you all the best and since this is that time of year I wish you a Merry merry Christmas!

  6. I don’t even know you (other than being a long-time reader), but I am just so tickled for you. I’ve been self-employed for 20+ years now and I still have to pinch myself at how fortunate I am to be able to live like this.

    And also so glad to hear the great outcome of the breast lump scare! What wonderful news. You are truly blessed and were MADE for this path you’re on. All my best and I am enjoying watching your journey. Thank you for sharing with us all. 🙂

  7. I used to be a regular reader of your blog, but fell off the wagon when my daughter was born five months ago. However, I still get your daily email and I saw your posts titled, “Life After Quitting.” I just wanted to congratulate you for doing something incredibly brave. I still come back now and then when baby is sleeping. Thanks for being here when I do.

  8. Thanks for this post, Allie!

    I love how you keep it real. I’m 2.5 years into running my own small business, and the stress of being your own IT person, accountant, legal team, and face of the brand is real. No more sick leave! My back went ‘out’ a few weeks ago, and getting it to heal has been a struggle.

    🙂 kate

  9. Being a full time blogger = living the dream but it’s also a really weird, really hard, and really isolating thing to do. I’m about 2 years in and while so much of it is easier now that I have my routines down, I still have days when I cry in the shower because WHY I AM I DOING THIS AND WHY DOESN’T ANYONE UNDERSTAND WHAT IT’S LIKE?!?!

    In other words: I’m so sorry you’re at a hard part, but please know that it’s normal and it’s worth it and you’ll be okay. And if you ever want to try to get a DC-area blogger support group together, I’m in.

  10. Glad to hear the good news about your biopsy! Don’t let the pain discourage you from your personal training sessions. It will probably take 2-3 weeks before it gets better, but very soon, your muscles will grow and learn how to react to stressors, and the deep ache becomes a welcome sensation knowing that you worked hard.

  11. It’s not quitting, it’s a job change. And every change carries it’s own stressors. Accept that and you’re halfway there! Also, i thought crying was why they invented showers.

    1. LOL I love that. They should advertise showers that way. The water pressure is great for getting the kinks out of your shoulders and muffling sobbing when Mercury is in retrograde!

  12. Many warm hugs to you, Allison! I love your blog so much and it’s been so helpful to me over the years I’ve been reading. I’m making an effort to comment more since I tend to stealth read. I think you’re doing the right thing for yourself and your family and with time you’ll see more benefits and less of the “AAAAHHH, what have I done?” ;-D that goes along with any big change. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

  13. So glad that the lump meant nothing. Your blog just keeps getting better and better, Allie, and I appreciate how real and genuine you are.

  14. It sounds to me like you are putting tremendous pressure on yourself! You’re doing so well, and personal training is no joke, especially in the beginning. Even with a personal trainer telling you what to do, you still have to show up and do the work! I’ve been doing it for years, and I’ve learned to love those sore spots as a way to confirm that I “left it all at the gym” and worked some areas I really wanted to work.
    One day at a time….

  15. Keep your head up Allie! Your blog is awesome, and one of my first stops online every morning (after work emails and FB).

    I just survived two months of hell at home and work – 7 weeks of a severe cold, bronchitis, then a sinus infection combined with the stress of a paralegal who quit and tried to destroy my reputation on her way out. I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it. I’m a big believer in, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!”

  16. I took on a promotion at work this fall and have definitely had many “WTF was I thinking” moments–growth and change can be so uncomfortable and scary, and the fact that we chose it doesn’t always help! The self-doubt, the increased pressure, the guilt from knowing you should be taking better care of yourself–all so very real. Good for you for finding ways to touch base with what you really love and what keeps you grounded, and for staying true to yourself as you strive for balance. Looking forward to tagging along as you navigate a richer and more complex life (so I can stay inspired to navigate mine!).

  17. You know I love ya and I am sorry you are feeling the growing pains❤️. On a side note and as a nod to positivity, I had similar breast issues every year….until menopause….then no more lumps and bumps! Go figure

  18. Darling girl…I wish I could hug you right now! You are an incredible woman and your blog is awesome! I love how down to earth you are and so earnest and open with us…..but you do need to put yourself first. Women in their 40’s are under so much pressure today and must take care of themselves. I said to my daughter one day that I don’t even remember my 40’s as I had a demanding career as well as taking care of my aging parents and my daughter and apologized to her for not being the Mom I should have been….she laughed and said you’ve always been the best Mom! The point is that when you’re old you won’t look back and say I wish I had worked harder!

  19. I enjoy your blog SO MUCH because you are so real and relate-able, and this entry is no different. Thanks so much for sharing! And continue to take good care of yourself!

  20. Girl, I’m sorry it’s been rocky. I guess that is life, isn’t it? Fortunately it’s at different phases and not a constant. I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your writing, and what you’re putting out there to the world. You add value to my life.

  21. We all cry in the shower. Thank you for allowing us into your experience of building a new version of your life. This is big stuff!

  22. Oh Alli! I am sending you a giant hug right now! Felling physically ill while also dealing with mental & emotional stress is the worst. I’m so happy that the breast lump is no longer an issue for you–what a relief! We, as your readers, love you & your blog & are here for the long haul. I enjoy every single post & continue to look forward to finding them in my in-box. Being a work-cryer-stressor type myself, I totally get this post. Hoping that life slows a bit for you & you find time to rest up & feel better on multiple levels. (& I love this new commenting format–thank you!)

  23. Dear Allison–thank you so much for being willing to bare your heart and mind to us, your readers, so honestly. You have given a real picture of exactly what happens when one takes the plunge to live one’s dream. I know just how that feels, from my own experience–that combination of exhilaration, desperation, and exhaustion! (I experienced that years ago as the founding teacher of my school–a different enterprise but still, a huge undertaking! I even recall a night eerily similar to what happened to you on Friday!) When we discern what we really are meant to do in life, and have the bravery to make it happen, life grows simultaneously more rich and much harder. Eventually, the path will smooth out–but of course, as you know from your own experience, life never lacks for surprises! We just learn to handle them better, with practice, over time. Be proud of yourself, and have courage to continue to move forward. You can do it!
    xo, Linda

    1. I think I need this on a coffee mug, “When we discern what we really are meant to do in life, and have the bravery to make it happen, life grows simultaneously more rich and much harder.” Such a great message and so true! Thank you!

  24. awww hugs. You know what they say about women, we are made of water. a little cry can be cathartic. You are extremely brave, and it will be fine/ worth it in the end. You’ll come out stronger.

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