Why I left my career in cosmetics after 11 years…

I sat at the kitchen counter of my cousin’s home this past thanksgiving & admitted a really hard truth—I wasn’t happy with my life. And it was turning me into somebody I didn’t want to be.

I felt trapped in a life I never planned to be in. And it felt like it all just happened to me.

When I was 23, I was working at Ann Taylor LOFT part time & bartending in a small town. I had taken a break from college after my mom passed away & had no clue what I was doing with my life. Two of my best friends had moved to Houston after graduating college, so I decided that would be the next step. I transferred with LOFT in a full time role & crashed on their couch until I was settled. Within a month at my new gig, the assistant manager asked me if I wanted to work in cosmetics. Being the girl who circled every gorgeous look in magazines with a sharpie & made notes of potential edits, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. She hired me in a full time role in the prestige cosmetic department of this up & coming beauty store called Ulta.

Within a few months, I was hooked. I never knew that my love of feeling beautiful could actually mix with my intrigue for business. I felt like things were falling into place for me, finally.

But there was one small glitch—I had met a boy a few weeks before moving to Houston. And we were head over obsessed with one another. I would drive home to visit him on every off day that I could. He was suffering tremendously from PTSD, after spending time Iraq after 9/11. I did everything I could to make him happy. It wasn’t enough. He told me, through tear stained eyes, that if I would just move home, everything would be better.

I came back to Houston, quit without 2 weeks notice, packed my things & headed back home. I started waiting tables & looking for a job religiously. I was planning on enrolling in Baylor in the fall & finally finishing school. We were together, and that’s all that mattered.

Within a month, I found myself sitting across from a girlfriend who uttered words that forever changed my world. “You do know that he got a freshman pregnant, right?”

Everything was shattered.

I applied for a job at a small Clinique counter & quickly threw myself into work. The counter grew so much that I was promoted to move to Dallas to open a larger counter. I was finally free of him. I never had to see him again.

And this was the beginning of it all. This was my escape.

I spent years traveling, getting to experience things I never imagined I would get to experience. And I found myself constantly drained, exhausted & on edge.

I watched a documentary called “Minimalism” at the beginning of this year. I heard the opening line “I felt like I was on a hamster wheel.” And I started crying. I called my dad & told him that I felt like this season was ending. He made comments about not letting one disappointing holiday season freak me out, everything was going to be ok, etc. A week later, we received the call. My position was being eliminated.

God had already been working in me to start pushing me onto something new. So I knew the answer. It was time to spread my wings & find what made me passionate & excited to wake up every morning.

My last week in cosmetics, I had to return something to Macy’s. The very Macy’s where I opened the 2nd brow bar in Texas when I was 25 years old. It was early in the morning & the store had just opened. I walked slowly through the cosmetic department & remember that very distant feeling that it was all magic. And I quickly realized that feeling was no longer inside of me.

I had changed. And that was ok.

I had stayed in a career that fell in my lap for 11 years, out of comfort. And as with anything in life, when we over stay seasons we are no longer meant to be in, I had begun to resent it. I no longer felt that passion & magic that I once had as a young 23 year old.

My company was so gracious to find another position within the company, with another brand. Everything would have stayed the same, just different product & different people. I remember having about a week of wanting to cling to this option. Because I know this industry. I know how to do this job.

Thankfully, everybody close to me encouraged me to spread my wings.

So I took the leap into a career I would have a lot to learn about.

How I know I made the right decision? I came home from a first week of traveling, meeting all new people, and learning a whole new world—the perfect recipe to completely drain me. And I felt energized & at peace for the first time in a long time.

We are meant to grow & change.

How often do we stay in seasons out of comfort because we are too scared to take a chance on what is unknown?

I am so unbelievably thankful to a beautiful 11 year career that landed me here. It has shaped me into who I am today, it has afforded me incredible moments that I never imagined I would get to have, and it has given me all of the experience I needed to grow into the person I am meant to be today. But I am sitting here today, so thankful for change. And a God that gently pushed me to find my passion again, no matter how scary it seemed.

The first step was making the choice to surrender what has been in order to make room for what will be.

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