The other day I found myself frozen in panic; what the fuck just happened!? And when I say ‘just happened’ I’m referring to the past 6 years… The moment I trademarked Rawxies, to the moment I stepped down, and to the moment I pursued another path… What. The fuck. Just happened.
Yup, just like that…
A sobering moment where my life flashed before me. Slow and blissful, yet, fast and painful.
27; naive, passionate, and driven. I had a bachelor’s degree in fine art, no formal business training, and zero experience in food manufacturing. I was fearless to the fullest extent.
I packed a U-Haul and I moved 2,000 miles away from my friends and family. I rented a corner of a tea kitchen and I just went for it. In the first year, I rolled and cut by hand over 100,000 cookies, I knocked on over 100 doors and I averaged 4 hours of sleep each night.
What an 8-5 employee works in 3.5 years, I worked in 1.
Repeat; 6 years.
I lived so fast, so focused, and so determined that I eventually went numb. I trained my brain to stop feeling, because the rollercoaster of emotions was just too much. I shut it off.
I went from innovator and creator to HR and Finance. A soul-crushing haze.
Eventually I began to crumble. I built a brand, but I did it at the cost of, well, everything; relationships, family, hobbies, health.
I stopped feeling in the pursuit of success.
Investors, employees, product manufacturing; the hole was so fucking deep and I was so alone. I got sick of explaining to people the reality of entrepreneurism, so I just I just isolated myself further.
Everyone thought I was so alive. When all I wanted every night, was to go to bed and never wake up. I wish I were kidding.
I was done playing pretend.
6 months later, I’ve begun to feel again. Not only experiencing joy in the present moment, from getting dressed to cooking dinner, but also in acknowledging those once-in-a-lifetime moments that I never actually lived. National awards, major blog features, and large publication call outs.
Out of body experiences. Present; 1-6 years later.
I didn’t give up.
Had I done that, I would have continued to selflessly pursue a position I was too burnt out to fulfill. I stepped down because I loved my employees, I had a responsibility to my investors, and I needed to honor my own well-being.
In a black and white world, I found peace in a murky shade of grey.