Almost no one talks about how quitting can sometimes be the best and bravest choice. People will come up with a hundred cliches to tell you to keep going, even if it’s not in your best interest. Somehow we have it ingrained in us that it’s virtuous to walk through fire for the great glory of having “made it.”
Though it’s scary to acknowledge your old dream no longer feels like a fit, sometimes you need to do just that to move on to something that gets you jumping out of bed in the morning.
For me, that means leaving a dream I’ve been keeping alive for 10 years: I’m letting go of a being a full-time a makeup artist and saying goodbye to New York City.
Ten years ago, I told a therapist about my completely absurd life goal: to live and work as make up artist in Milan.
I felt embarrassed to say it aloud, even in a private office, because to me it was such a pipe dream. At the time, I was living in Portland, had a stable job as a 27-year old CFO at a famous music company (no joke!), and spoke about ten words of Italian.
Regardless, I made the decision to risk what felt like everything and follow the dream I’d had since I was 13 — to be a top makeup artist traveling the world.
For over a year, I worked three part-time jobs to save money, including “glamorous” gigs doing mini-makeovers at Walmart. I sold my car and half of what I owned, studied Italian in my free time, and booked a plane ticket to Milan early in spring 2007.