When I actually sit down and think about it, I am absolutely stunned that it has been 6 years since starting this little blog here. Seriously I wish you could see my face going through old Instagram posts and old blog posts, *palmface*. It’s kind of cringy but cute to see how far we’ve come in 6 years. Six. Years. 6 years of dedicating almost literally all of my time to one city and its local community. 6 years of so many trials and errors, successes and failures, moments of weakness and moments of growth.
This year has been one of those years that I feel like I blinked and a whole year passed, it feels like just yesterday that I wrote my “Cheers to 5 Years Together” in honor of Love & Loathing LA’s 5th anniversary/birthday – what have you. I re-read it and to my somewhat surprise, it was pretty much exactly how I still feel today. I could have copied and pasted and been done with it, which I have to say is comforting and yet a bit disappointing at the same time. The story behind the blog goes unchanged, I will always be grateful for how I started and who helped me get to where I am today – AKA you – but I can’t help but worry at times, especially in moments of reflection, that I should be farther along. In life, in work, in general.
So far 2019 has been the year of working from the inside out. At the beginning of the year, I took quite a big step back from Love & Loathing LA because I was feeling extremely burnt out, bordering on depressed. (You can read a whole blog post I did explaining my absence and struggles here, should you so choose). But in taking that step back, allowing myself to process without shame, expressing my feelings and in turn receiving so much support, that gave me the momentum and desire to shift. To shift perspective, shift directive and work on focusing on meaningful goals. But as time has gone on this year, and as proud of the work that I have accomplished as I am, I worry whether I have done enough. Have I pushed myself far enough, have I made you proud, have I lived up to expectations, have I done my job. The thing about working for yourself – and being a seriously overly analytical person – it’s easy to jump down the rabbit hole of “101 reasons why you’re not good enough”.
As with anything in life, it’s so easy to be hard on ourselves and focus on the goals we didn’t hit versus the ones that we did. A few months ago my friend Ashley suggested writing down monthly or even weekly “wins” as a friendly reminder that we are accomplishing shit, we are going places and hard work pays off. For me, it’s been a lot of little things that built the whole, and even though I’d love to have some major breakthrough and some massive expansion take place, the reality is, that’s just not my story – at least not right now. (See, still working on that whole “manifest destiny” thing.)
The reality is however that in choosing to better myself I have chosen to better my business, and no matter how long it takes to hit the big wins, the possibilities are never off the table so long as I’m not giving up. In choosing to surround myself with a wonderful community of people who inspire me, I am pushing myself to reach a little further, to be a good friend and a trustworthy guide within this space. In choosing to be stubborn about the aspects of my business that are important to me, I have complete faith and ownership in what I do. And in choosing to work for every single person who reads my work, comments on my posts, watches my stories, supports Love & Loathing LA overall, I am finding new connections and levels of gratitude I never thought were possible. Working towards betterment will always be a slow and steady process, so to choose to focus on the successes, no matter how small, can only fuel further growth – in alllll the ways imaginable.
I feel like this past year was really more about connection and less about “business”, and when I look at through that lens I am incredibly proud. Going through that rough patch at the beginning of the year reminded me why I do what I do, and who I do it for. I think about it every time I type a blog post, every time I put out an Instagram post, and even though I’m not gracing the cover of Glamour or InStyle – yet – I am right where I need to be, with exactly whom I need to surround myself with.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for trusting me, for your kindness, and for your immense support (yes even just reading and “liking” is supporting!!!). We’ve become great friends over the past few years and I only hope we continue to become better friends. This platform, my job, and YOU mean the world to me.
This is something I said in last years letter but I believe it still rings true, “I think the most important thing I’ve learned in these past five (now six) years – years that have their high highs and their low lows – is that success is arbitrary. But what’s undeniable is the measure of success is summed up by a person’s ability to persevere, to tough it out, and to never give up on what’s important to them. Success and failure are on the exact same road. Success is just further down that road. I have a lot of work left to do here with Love & Loathing LA and I hope you’ll stick with me to see it all through.”
6 is my lucky number, whaddayasay, shall we have another amazing year?!
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