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lifestyle

The Next Chapter

I’m gonna be honest with you. It’s been hard to post anything over the last few months. I’ve been stuck somewhere between lacking motivation and feeling wildly inappropriate about posting advice on how to style over the knee boots while this country is in its current state. We have so much to catch up on but I’ve felt like any fashion, beauty, or lifestyle post would trivialize the natural disasters, mass shootings, and gross civil injustices that are all too frequent.

At the end of the day, my job is to bring you career focused style and advice with a heavy dose of my personality. That’s my job here. But I’d be lying if I told you that I was comfortable linking to mascara for commission and staying silent about what’s going on which is a huge reason why I’ve been absent. I’ve sat down to write this post once a week over the last 4 months and every single time the body of work I produce is dripping with my views on the current political climate. The overwhelming advice I have received has been to stay away from politics on this blog; God forbid I alienate anyone with my liberal views. But what’s happening right now isn’t just about politics. Civil rights are up for grabs and the difference between right and wrong has somehow become blurred.

I constantly feel like I’m not doing enough. I also constantly feel like I don’t know what to do. I was feeling particularly low a few weeks ago when a reader DMed me to see why I’d fallen off the grid. After a few days of discussion with her, I finally felt prepared to share where I’ve been the last few months. The day the post was scheduled to go live, the shooting in Vegas occurred. I immediately rescheduled the post and since then, I’ve had a hard time deciding when the right time to publish would be. Does getting back into a regularly blogging schedule mean that everything is fine? Far from it. But it’s time you and I talk.

 

 

For a really long time, I was really unhappy.

It wasn’t all because of one aspect of life. That would have been too easy. Just fix that piece and everything else will fall into place. Nope, it was everything. It was work. It was my relationship. It was my surroundings. It was some friendships. It was just so unhappy, in general, that making any kind of decision was the only option I felt I had. I was floundering in my own indecisiveness.

Earlier this year, I ended the relationship I’d been in. I knew that it wasn’t right for me but it was comfortable which was basically an analogy for every aspect of my life at that point. I was complicit in complacency and one day I decided that I’d had enough. The first step was to end things. So, I did. And after that, each decision I made became a little more clear and a little easier.

 

 

For years, I’ve stressed about living my entire life in DC. It’s where I grew up, it’s where I came back to after school, and I worried it would be the only place I’d ever exist if I stayed any longer. I wanted to be happy in DC. Who doesn’t want to eat Le Diplomat burgers, attend Caps games, and shop in Georgetown every weekend? But I felt like I wasn’t living my life.

 

Five months ago, I quit my job and left DC. And it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

 

I needed a new adventure. That doesn’t always mean changing your surroundings but for me it did. All of them. DC will always be my home but I have been craving a newness for years. No matter how big and bustling, it’s still the same backyard I grew up in and I’ve been itching for something different for a long time.

 

 

So, where have I been? I left Diplomatic Security and took a marketing job in Northern Door County. I’ve reached a point where quality of life is my priority and I’d been neglecting that for years.

People say to live where you vacation. So I did. Not that I give two flying squirrels about what people say but the sentiment is true. Why am I busting my ass in a place I’m not happy in? To make money. Alright, well. Maybe try making money in a place where you’re actually happy or where think you could be happy. If it doesn’t work out? Move. You are not a tree.

But you’re District Sparkle. While I’ve been contemplating a rebrand, I’m not ready to let go just yet. A few weeks ago, someone offered to buy my brand – essentially buying me out for what I’d created from scratch and then continue with how they saw fit. After I took a fast and hard pass on that one, I realized I’m not ready to give up the name. Or the brand. District Sparkle readers are fiercely independent professional women who accept nothing less than what they deserve. They also don’t wear sheer tops or open toed shoes at the office and know the best smoky eye is worn after hours. No matter what I’m doing or where I’m living, that doesn’t change. For now, Sparkle stays.

 

 

No, it wasn’t because of the election. But I’d be lying if I said that the political climate didn’t ultimately play a role in this decision. Living in the epicenter of this bullshit took an enormous toll on me. If you live in the DC area, maybe you know the feeling. Maybe you don’t. But it was something I wanted to physically distance myself from. Since I’d been toying with the decision of moving for a few years I thought now was as good a time as ever.

I needed a change. Changing your scenery changes just that – your scenery. Moving isn’t an escape from your problems and it doesn’t fix what truly needs fixing. But because I was brutally honest with myself for 6 months before I made the move, I was able to settle all of those things in my head and relocate knowing that I was doing so for all of the right reasons. For the first time in a really long time I feel like I’m exactly where I should be and most importantly, I’m happy.

No, I did not leave my job to blog full time. But if I did, that would be no one’s business but mine. And my accountant. I advocate doing whatever your little heart desires that 1. makes you happy and 2. will lead you down the path to retire at 60. Godspeed.

Yes, the content will change. Kind of. We’ll still talk office appropriate attire, workplace politics, and beauty secrets but I’m trying my damnedest to work more lifestyle into this blog. You guys are always asking for more and it’s my favorite topic to write about. Fridays are still reserved for Career Corner posts where we’ll be discussing How to Create the Perfect Resume, Curating Desktop Essentials, How to Combat Eye Strain, and (drum roll, please) How to Start a Blog among other things in the next few weeks.

You will settle for what you think you deserve. Whether that’s settling in a relationship, settling for a salary, or settling for a certain level of happiness. DREAM BIG. Fuck that self doubt inside of you that holds you back from your full potential.

 

 

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