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photo by Jason Huang

So I’ve been putting off sharing some recent changes with you guys because I’ve been going back and forth on how to share it… but I’m just going to pour out my feelings and we can just take it from there, deal?

I’ve had a few comments and questions from y’all recently about my day job and if I’m still working in my social media position in addition to managing this blog.  Let’s talk about it. I’ve always loved writing, so much so that I minored in Journalism in college.  Since I started CBL five years ago, I’ve worked full-time in three different states – at a magazine, the marketing department of a bank and now a global cosmetics company.  I’ve loved each step in my career – and am still friends with coworkers from each piece of the journey.

The past year was the first time I really felt stretched thin (I shared a post about this here). I felt scatterbrained, sleep deprived and stressed.  I had so much on my plate, but loved both my day job and the blog and didn’t want to let anything go!  Both Christian and my family encouraged me to leave my day job and focus on this blog, but I wasn’t ready.  I loved my job. I love my coworkers, going to work everyday to a mega cool office with mega cool people, bringing my dog to work, traveling, pouring my energy and focus into a brand and working as a team for a unified goal. I thrive in that kind of environment!

There’s a phrase I love, “you can do everything but not everything well.” That’s where I was. I was forgetting things left and right, making simple mistakes constantly because I was moving too quickly. One time I even drifted off into the middle of an intersection on the way to work because I was simply in a daze (Mom, if you’re reading this, look away!!).  Not to mention I was spending over an hour in the car everyday, getting to and from work in traffic.

I prayed about it. I talked about it endlessly with Christian, but I just didn’t know what to do. I didn’t feel my time at my day job was done, and I wasn’t ready to let anything go.

In June I got a phone call that changed everything.

My eyes fill with tears just typing that sentence.  One of my closest friends called me to tell me that my friend from college (and the last roommate I had before I married Christian) had passed away in Mississippi.  Mary Ellen was gone. And I lived across the country. I was devastated. I felt helpless, confused – I couldn’t fully believe it until I read her obituary, and then the tears were a free fall.  The loss of her life and everything that could have been suddenly changed my perspective like a light switch.

Life is short, you never know what tomorrow brings, and you have to take control of your own happiness now.  I was completely absorbed by working two jobs that I wasn’t the partner I wanted to be to Christian.  I wasn’t a good friend, a good listener, sister or daughter.  I was putting so much pressure on myself and didn’t want to let anyone down, but I had to change gears and get out of this race with myself.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t cry like a baby to my amazing bossy when I told her how I was feeling.  I’ve worked so hard to give everything 100%, but ultimately I decided to move in a new direction, and left my day job in the beginning of September.

I still bring Bailey by the office every few weeks (she really misses all the attention… and treats!), and still text regularly with my coworkers – meeting up for dinner and catching up on everything I’ve missed. But I’ve never felt more centered (and Christian is loving all the hot meals, #Southern).

Hopefully this means you guys will be seeing more fresh, creative and unique content on this blog.  But if you follow me on Snapchat (CBLied), you’ll see that things have changed a bit.

So that’s everything.  That’s where my heart is and where life is.  Of course I’d rather work both jobs and have Mary Ellen here. I miss her. But she taught me so many things in her life – like how to properly organize my closet, the best cleaning supplies, never to drink more than two Long Island iced teas, that it’s not too late to pick up a ballet hobby just to wear toe shoes, how to really decorate for Christmas, what it looked like to be a proud American, the beauty of a Sonic Diet Coke, in fact, it was with Mary Ellen that I snatched Lula LaShonda from the Mexican restaurant parking lot… I could go on forever! She will always be a part of me in the heart-filling memories I have of her life.

My days are a little different now, but I’m no longer drifting into intersections and am getting more than five hours of sleep, so I feel grateful for the change in pace.  I always want to be honest and transparent with you guys, and this isn’t something I’ve been holding back from you, but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to share.  Heart (and tears) spilled!

Thanks so much for reading and listening – XO –

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90 thoughts on “Quitting My Day Job

  1. Congratulations to you – I often feel like having a full time job, a blog and a business I’m trying to grow is all too much and maybe one day I’ll be in the same boat as you – at least I hope I am!!! Can’t wait for what’s to come from you! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

    1. Thank you Bianca!! You will be. It takes time, but you’ll feel that feeling in your gut when you’re ready. Hugs!

  2. Thank you for sharing, Kathleen! I’m in a bit of a similar boat–being spread too thin and still wanting to do everything new that comes through the door. It’s always nice to hear that I’m not alone in this and to hear other people’s perspectives on the situation. I’m so glad to hear that the change has been such a positive move in the right direction for you. I can’t wait to see where it takes you. Thanks again for sharing!

    Kristin
    http://www.cupcakesandthecosmos.com

  3. Hi Kathleen! I’ve been following your blog for about a year now, and I feel like I can relate to you on so many levels, especially this one. I really admire you and look up to you as a big sister. Lately, I’ve been feeling the same way, and I feel like i’m not ready to give up on either of my jobs, (Manager of excavating company & horseback riding instructor). I feel so torn and I feel like I cant fully give any of my family and loved ones the time from me that they deserve. Although I feel that I will personally succeed, and maybe this is just a small sacrifice to take for my long term success in both areas, I need to find a way to settle down and use my time more efficiently. I really admire you for sharing your experience, and its nice to know that i’m not the only crazy lady out there just trying to hustle. I love that you have so many different aspects to your life, and you, and it really inspires me to set similar goals and bring back into focus what really matters. Thank you again for sharing this with us, and I look forward to your many posts each and everyday!

    1. Wow – thank YOU Megan for inspiring ME with your words! I totally understand where you’re coming from. If it’s any help – I basically spread myself thin and hustled hustled hustled until I was in a place that I was comfortable slowing down for. For me, it’s made this step back that much sweeter, BUT I think taking care of yourself and your health is first and foremost the most important. Always! Don’t undervalue that!

  4. I’ve been a reader for a long time, and I remember the days before you were married and living in Mississippi. Congrats on your new journey, and so sorry to hear about your friend. I lost a good friend/roommate in college and even though it’s been 8 years she’s still a big part of my life- Mary Ellen will live on with you too.

    1. Oh my gosh – then gf, you deserve a hug!! I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your college friend. Life just goes by so fast, doesn’t it? I love to hear that she is still with you – there have already been so many moments that have brought me to memories with Mae, and decorating the Christmas tree I know will be one! XO –

  5. I loved everything about this post! I laughed and cried and I am so glad you shared. Thank you for brightening my day!

  6. Kathleen, I know you don’t know me but I am a fellow MS girl, living in Starkville while my Husband finished up his PhD at MSU. Love following along with you. I too recently left my full time job that I loved to stay home and do freelance design on the side…such a hard decision but the Lord truly rewards and honors obedience to the things He places on our hearts. I am so sure that you will thrive yet again in this new environment and only benefit from walking in obedience! Good luck! 🙂

    1. Love this. Thank you so much for taking the time to share and cheers to you and your journey! And good for you for being such a good partner to a student – it’s not always the easiest but makes us more understanding partners, doesn’t it? XO –

  7. Thank you so much for sharing such an emotional and powerful blog post. I’m so sad to hear of the loss of your friend, but as you stated, she will forever be in your mind and heart as the memories continue to live on. You are so right that every moment is special and spreading yourself too thin can damage important areas of your life if you can not put enough effort into the relationships you cherish. I too can completely relate as my life has felt that too. Take care and continue to enjoy every moment and follow your heart and dreams! You have worked so hard on your blog and women all across the world (including myself) love all the great and creative work you do. You have a great sense of style and charisma and I would be lying if I didn’t say that you help inspire me and my look every week (ok maybe everyday lol). Keep doing what you love and being yourself and your life will never be without love and passion. ?

    1. Thank you so much Christine – your comment was one that made me clutch my heart! You have no idea what your support and encouragement means to me. Hugs to you XOXO

  8. I had a feeling you had quit your day job but never asked why. I miss Mary Ellen too. I don’t think we will ever move on from the shock of it all, but just know she is ballerina dancing in Heaven waiting to show us her next dance moves. Love you, KittyKat. Always will. Thanks for always sharing your life with us.

    1. Love this. And you know she’s dancing up there, but probably falling less, huh? 🙂 xoxo Miss you Cassie!

  9. First, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your dear friend – that leaves such a hole in one’s heart, there is no doubt about that. But, she clearly lives on through you in some sense – so keep cultivating that aspect of her and she will forever be present somehow, ya know?

    As for your new journey in life – a huge heartfelt CONGRATS! It’s just simply awesome! To be stretched so thin where the quality of your lives takes a major hit – well, it’s just not worth it long term for so many endless and important reasons. Now, you can focus on only one “vocation” (the blog) – and have the other parts of your life fall more into place and more into a balance. That’s huge…that’s a huge hurrah for YOU (well, let’s not forget Christian and the furkids too!).

    About 6 years ago, I too decided to quit my day job for several reasons – and it was a tough decision…it feels very weird to not have a “real job”…you wonder if you’re doing the right thing. Well, it was the right thing for us. Not only did it allow me to take care of our daily lives in a way that worked for us (like you, no skin kids, just fur)…but it also allowed me to re-focus on my artistic skills and painting (abstract painter) – and I CANNOT tell you how much that means to me and for me and for US as a couple.

    I have a strong feeling you will not regret this move one single solitary bit!

    And like my Dad once told me: “you can always move backward in life, so always take those chances to move forward”. Yup.

    1. Adore you. LOVE these words and that quote from your Dad! I had no idea you were a talented artist! Do you have a website? I’d love to see!

      Thank you again for the sweetness and support. You’re always THE BEST! Hugs –

  10. It takes so many guts to be able to spill everything like this – thanks so much for sharing! I just recently started following after a friend recommended your snapchat, and I absolutely LOVE your blog. You have such an authentic way of connecting with your readers. I can’t imagine what it was like to lose a close friend, and I’ll absolutely be sending up prayers for you! XO

    1. Oh my gosh thank you so much, Annie! I always want to be relatable and try to always talk to readers as I would my friends, so that means so much to me. Thanks so much for the sweetness! XO –

  11. What a beautiful, necessary post. That quote is so true, and I think that we get so wrapped up in pleasing everyone that we, in fact, please no one. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    -Kate, the former Brown Ale Girl and continued avid reader of your blog!

    1. Love Brown Ale Girl! Have you taken a beat from blogging? I know it’s so time consuming, but I love your niche!

  12. I am so so sorry for the loss of your dear friend, I can’t imagine. I’m sure she is smiling down you.
    I’ve been wondering as well, but felt it wasn’t my place to ask. Thank you so much for always being so open and sharing your life with us. Congratulations on your newest adventure! It seems like it is allowing you to be the best version of yourself in all areas of your life. Love following you on snapchat, you always make me laugh! xo

    1. Thank you so much Theresa! And a big thank you for allowing me to share in my own time. Honestly – that means a lot. Hugs! XO –

  13. I don’t know you personally, but the things I see here and on your SnapChat (seriously cracks me up on a daily basis, don’t ever change) are so inspiring and lighthearted that I feel like I do know you. You are a very inspiring person and I love the way you convey your personality through your blog. This was a very heartfelt post and a good reminder of not stretching yourself too thin and keeping your loved ones close. Thank you for sharing and reminding us of the important things.
    –I’m very sorry for your loss, you’re in my prayers.

    1. Courtney – your kind thoughts have me like (insert praise hands emoji)!! I always try to keep it real and honest, so I really appreciate your words. THANK YOU for reading and following along and for your support.

  14. I am so sorry for your recent loss. Good friends, aren’t just friends, they’re family. My heart goes out to you, during this difficult time. A death of a loved one is tragic but it can also be a time of personal reflection. It can makes us re-evaluate our priorities and give us that extra push to make a positive change in our lives. Kudos to you for listening to that inner voice and taking the leap to slow downand enjoy your life just a little more. We all only get one trip on the merry-go-round of life and it’s just too short a ride not to enjoy it to the fullest!
    As a slightly older woman than you, (52! Ha!), I have made changes all throughout my life. My poor husband has been supported of me the entire way, bless his heart, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Other job opportunities will come along but your peace of mind isn’t a thing to trifle with. Best wishes to your new journey. I’ll be praying for you Kathleen <3

    1. I love this. Thank you so much for taking the time to share. YOUR attitude is my #goal! Love your spirit and that you have chased happiness in your life, as we all should! XO

  15. I don’t know you personally, but love reading your blog. I’m so sorry for your loss. The quote you shared couldn’t be more true and, in today’s society, that reminder seems to so often get lost. Thanks for sharing your heart — beautiful post! Best of luck on focusing on your blog–through SnapChat and the site, you seem to really stay true to yourself and that’s very admirable!

  16. My best friend I were face timing and drinking wine last night when you came into our conversation. We were wondering if you had decided to leave your day job (and we both hoped that was the case!) so you could focus more on your blog. So happy to see this post today. We adore you and your blog. Thank you for sharing with us, Kathleen!

    1. Stephanie – can I reach out through this computer screen and give you a hug? Loved this comment. And I’m coming over to drink wine. 100%.

  17. Congratulations on taking this huge step in your life! I’ve been reading your blog for years it’s still one of my all-time favorites–I recommend it to everyone. Thanks for always keeping it real. xx

    1. I am SO appreciative to anyone who’s been reading this blog for years – thank you thank you Wright! XO –

  18. Always keeping it real – that’s what I love about your blog! You’re so lucky to have found success in your blog – not a lot of people can say that. Yours is one of my favorites to read, so I’m selfishly glad that you didn’t give it up! (Although I will miss the snaps of Bailey running full speed through UDHQ!) keep it up! You’re an inspiration and your followers love you!

    Stephanie
    http://www.theblondestyleblog.com

    1. HA! Thank you Stephanie! You have no idea how much I appreciate that – and I really want to try that soup recipe! Trust – Bailey absolutely misses the office. 100%.

  19. Thank you for sharing this with us. Sometimes I feel like I’m stretched thin, too. I’m currently trying to handle 6 classes per semester, a part-time job and a full-time blogging job. It really is so tough and I’ve caught myself in the same situation as you and actually have had about three meltdowns just this week! You have no idea how much this inspires me and helps me. You are an amazing blogger and writer and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes you!

    Xo!
    Lauren
    http://www.thefashionistasdiary.com

    1. I’ve been there, sister! You’ve got a lot on your plate, and you just have to hustle and look to the light at the end of the tunnel. When I have that swamped/meltdown feeling (and trust me, I do), I set short-term goals for myself. It always helps me keep movin’!

  20. Such a great post and, as a blogger with a job and a husband in med school, it so relatable. Blogging can take much more time than it sometimes looks like, but it’s so great that you are able to do what you love, reduce some stress in your life and enjoy those you love! Thank you for being so authentic and letting us take this journey with you! You are so inspiring and I can’t wait to see what is in store! 🙂

    1. 100%. It took five years to get to this moment, but it’s been such a fun ride! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and pass the cookies!? Yes please!

  21. Hello,
    I wanted to reach out for many reasons today. Your blog post really touched me. I’ll start by our similarity of being from Mississippi. I’m a born and raised Mississippian that went to Mississippi State. I have felt all of the same ways you have felt with having too much on our plates. I owned a boutique in Mississippi for four years, was involved within the community with charity work, started a blog and online clothing store, have a boyfriend that lived six hours away, and family in different parts of MS. I couldn’t manage it all. I knew I needed a change in my life and recently decided to move to Los Angeles. Only 2 more weeks till I move yay! I’m excited and scared all at the same time. With all of this out there I wanted to also let you know I knew Mary Ellen. We went to the same high school. Although I do not know her on the level you did I remember when finding out it sent me
    Into tears. She was always known as a sweet , super intelligent and classy lady at our school . I still remember her walking the halls. I vividly remember seeing her tailgating in the Grove on different occasions. It hit home to me when I heard the news that in life we are meant to be happy. I knew I had to make changes with my life. I’m very sorry for your loss. Maybe after I get moved we could meet and share experiences and stories. Possibly even do blog work together. Mississippians need Mississippians in this crazy thing we call life. 🙂 Thanks for the read today.

    1. Hi Macie! Congrats on your recent big decisions! And I know you’ll love CA – it’s a dreamy place! 🙂 MS love XO –

  22. Congrats girl!! I can completely relate. I left my day job in film/tv a year ago and I was a mess about it. I had lots of tears about it. But it was the best decision for me in this season of life. I’m a better wife, mother and person. Blessing on your journey. xoxo.

  23. Kathleen, I am so deeply sorry to hear about Mary Ellen. The idea of losing a friend or loved one makes me terrified to grow up, because time will bring things like this. But you are right, we need to live in the now and it is so inspiring that you took that bold step to do just that. Major congratulations. Your friend I’m sure helped shape the person you are today, and I bet she is so proud of you! Good luck with everything. I look forward to seeing how you grow your site!

  24. So sorry to hear about your loss. I hope things are going better for you now. You are my favorite fashion blogger & reading your blog/instagrams always brightens my day! Also, thanks for keeping your snaps so on point!

  25. Thanks for sharing your story. This has been a year of sweeping changes for me as well. I know exactly what you are going through. I’m so sorry for your loss. It seems your friend continues to inspire you which is a beautiful thing. I wish you continued success and that you receive all that your heart desires. BTW your Snapchat today is adorbs. Could you be any prettier? If I didn’t like you I’d hate you. Lol

    1. Oh my gosh please! I feel like my snap is full of my crazy/lazy pets! Thank you so much for the sweetness. Big hugs to you for all the life changes going on in your circle. XO

  26. I’m so proud of you!! Tho I miss you at every event!! 🙁 I’m so sorry for your loss!! Life is def. short so I’m happy you’re taking care of yourself and I’m excited to see more of your awesome posts. Love you!! ??

  27. You are very inspiring. Thank you for sharing this with us. Your post really struck a chord in me and sometimes we just have to do what makes us happy and not waste a minute to follow that path. Good luck with your new adventures and I’m sending positive vibes and e-hugs your way!

    Liz
    http://www.lizavenue.com

  28. OMG Kat, Mary Ellen?!? I am SOOO sorry!!! I know how much she meant to you and will be praying for you! Congrats on your decision though. I know you’ll be successful no matter what, and with the great support system you have I’m confident this is a positive change for you. Love from MS!

    1. I know – it’s so crazy it’s hard to believe. So happy for YOU and life’s adventures. Elaine is beyond precious!

  29. I have been following your blog for a while now and I absolutely love it. I follow you on snapchat and had been wondering this exact same thing for a little bit. Thank you for posting and being so honest with your followers. You need to do what makes you happy and if that is only working on the blog then that is what you should do. Life can change so quickly and I know that from personal experience that a death, expecially of someone close to you can really open your eyes and make you realize what you really want in life. You need to live every day to the fullest and do what makes you happy no matter what anyone else says. Best of luck to you in life and I wish you all of the success with this blog and I am very sorry for your loss.

    1. Thank you so much for your kindness and openness to share, Sam. I think I’m always aware of the potential criticism which makes me hesitant to share, but this outpouring of support has meant so much to me! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your love. XO

  30. This post brought tears to my eyes. I graduated from high school with Mary Ellen. What I remember most about her was how genuinely interested she was in everyone else’s happiness – she was always so fun to be around and such a genuinely kind person. Good for you for letting go of something to focus on the things that bring true joy to your life. I know Mary Ellen would have wanted nothing more for you. 🙂

    1. I LOVE that that is your most vivid memory of Mae. She was like none other, wasn’t she? Thank you so much for taking the time to share and for your kind words! XO –

  31. Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate on how your decision came about. My Dad passed in May very suddenly. On June 1st, I left my FT job to focus on my writing career and my novel, The Astoria’s Cursed Catwalk. It was a major and scary change. My husband and brothers fully supported me to actually do a job I loved instead of being at a miserable order processing job a day more. (It already took 3 yrs of my life.) With two mortgages and a business to run, my husband is a Godsend. (We got married last September, with my Dad there. What a blessing.)
    My Dad loved that I was writing a novel, and being at it for more than three years it was time to do this FT to get it completed. Had my Dad not passed, I would still be struggling with that job, writing and letting my fashion blog take a back seat. (Couture and Cannoli Cafe is getting a new face soon!) It’s funny how life altering changes can put our lives in perspective. I am so very sorry for your loss and pray that you’ll find peace and happiness with your new choices you’ve made. Your friend would’ve approved and she’ll always be by your side. PS: When my novel gets published I’d love to send you a copy! xo

    1. Wow – you have such a story yourself! My thoughts go out to you on the loss of your father, I know that cannot be easy. I would LOVE to read your book. Cheers to you for taking control of your career and happiness!

  32. I’m sure it was a tough decision, but thank you so much for sharing this all on the blog. You are so right- its so important to make your happiness a priority! I’m cheering you on 🙂

  33. This post really touched my heart. I’m so sorry for your loss! I had a good friend pass away in March and it is crazy how your outlook on things can instantly change when something like that happens. I can’t wait to see where you (and your blog) go from here, good luck!! 🙂

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Ashley. You’re exactly right, your perspective just changes after the loss of someone you love. My thoughts go out to you – XO –

  34. Such a touching post!
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    I’m so sorry for your loss,
    I went through a very similar experience this year.
    My thoughts are with you through this transition in your life.
    xx

  35. Thank you so much for sharing! It was such a touching story, and I feel that I can relate to you on the work aspect. It is such a hard decision to figure out, but you are right – when the timing is right it will happen! Thank you again for sharing your life with us!

  36. Just now reading this, but you go girl friend! Sad to hear about your loss, I know nothing can replace your dear friend, but happy to hear you’ve followed your heart and that she inspired you to do so. You go Glen Coco!

    xx
    Kristin of LivingInColorPrint.com

  37. Hey Kathleen. I thought this post was especially awesome. I’ve been following your blog for a while. It has become a part of my lunch break routine! CBL while I munch on a salad and get a break from the busy work day. In all this time, I have never commented on a post, mainly because I have always seen your blog as my lunch entertainment and not a window into the life of another human being. This post was everything. It was personal and emotional and heartbreaking but at the same time uplifting. It reminded me that life is short. It reminded me that there are more important things in life than work. I’m an engineer, a wife, and a workaholic…. I guess I just never saw that as a problem until now. Healthy marriages are built on sacrifices like the one you made. Thanks for giving me that wakeup call. And thanks for putting it all out there. You’re inspirational and your writing is awesome (seriously, most bloggers are pretty in pictures but their writing is “blah”). I love CBL. Keep doing what you do. XOXO.

    1. Oh my GOSH, Andrea – I can’t begin to thank you enough for your encouragement. Thank you SO much for taking the time to share your feedback. I know you’re a busy woman with many roles, but I think we all tend to undervalue our health and happiness when they should be at the top of the list. Thank you SO much for your kindness. I love to write and am so encouraged by your support!

  38. Losing a dear friend so early in life affects us for the rest of our lives. It has us asking lots of questions and searching for answers; Why did all that potential go to waste? Could I have spent more time with them, really listened? the list could go on. But more importantly than dwelling on the sad we must remember the happy times and realize that person was in our life for a reason and celebrate all the joy she has left.

    thank you for sharing such a big life change. You have no reason to feel judged or misunderstood by moving on with your life. If anything others are jealous. You have worked your tail off to be able to take such a step and you also realize life is too short to worry about the little things. Being present is what matters! Keep being you my dear! And my deepest regrets about your lovely friend

    Rachel

  39. Firstly, I am so sorry for the loss of your friend–my Big Sis in my sorority passed away a few years ago from ovarian cancer and because I was spread thin, I had missed so much time with her. I have just recently found your blog–fellow Mississippi girl that has since moved to Fairhope, AL 7 years after college graduation! I love your blog–the honesty is so genuine! I just started my own and really love all of your advice! Praying I can develop it into something nearly as awesome as yours! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  40. Hello! What a fantastic post to share! I really think in life that everything happens for a reason in life, and today i think i needed to stumble upon your blog (via Bloglovin’) and have your words resonate with me – all the way to Australia! I am working full time and have a blog baby which is only 4 months old and am finding the juggling act tiring already – but i love my blog more than my full time job. I’d love to integrate the two but its a hard road at the start! Thanks again for sharing and look forward to more of your posts 🙂
    Boh-lee – Black & White Insider
    http://www.blackandwhiteinsider.com

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and share your experience. I totally understand where you are right now, and as not fun as it is to hear it, I promise you the time you put in WILL pay off. Nothing happens overnight but your persistence will keep you moving in the right direction!

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