not what ships are for

observant nomad | not what ships are for

image from social properbuy this print

Beginning earlier this year, the direction of my career at the agency has begun to shift. I haven’t written about it here because I wasn’t sure how to accurately express the confusing emotions I was experiencing. But now feels like it’s the time. While there are many situations and experiences I could list, it wouldn’t really matter. All that you need to know is that it has caused me many sleepless nights, ugly cries, terrible moods, and plenty of worried thoughts.

But, It’s not for the reasons you might think. My bosses tell me I’m a huge asset on the team, I’m producing quality work on time, helping navigate challenges along the way, and can quickly move to ACD if I stick at it. In theory I should be happy and excited to be where I find myself.

But I’m not.

I’ve realized that where my life is at right now, is a far cry from where I need it to be. For most of this year I’ve found myself not quite sure I’m moving forward, creatively or professionally. There have been many situations that arose where I’ve had a difficult time trusting and respecting the decisions being made around me, and tolling away for someone else’s dream has really driven my pain home.

Don’t get me wrong, having a job is a huge blessing. Some days still I wake up and pinch myself, saying “You get paid to create things, to have an opinion, and add value to a team.” Plus, I get to pay my bills on time. Pretty sweet deal. The security of agencies (no matter how much of a facade it is) can be a huge draw.

But I’m almost 27 years old and have never worked outside of advertising, if you don’t count freelancing. And if blogging has exposed me to anything, it’s that there are a million ways to be successful and truly happy with our journeys and careers. Fulfillment don’t always come out of a 9-5 for everyone. Sometimes it resides in the last place you’d expect.

Designer Vaca exposed me to that truth. Surrounded by so many accomplished and amazing women, I knew I wanted what they had. I wanted the ups and downs, the unknown, the struggles. I wanted them because they would be my own. After so many years of little control over my work and my life, I knew I was willing to take on the bad if it meant I could exchange it for some good. In Palm Springs, I found my own little tribe, and knew I could join, if only I believed in myself to do it.

My revelation took over a year to incubate. But now I call these last many months of confusion and struggle my catalyst. After attempting to hold onto my sanity and happiness for so long I hit a wall and the revelation came. I knew what I had to do. Because sometimes, you have to throw yourself to risk and take a chance.

While I can’t say just yet what my next steps are, I do know that these last months of personal struggle, have only opened my eyes to the path my life needs to take. I know that’s vague, and as soon as I can say more I will. Don’t worry, you’ll get to follow along the way too. But for now I think this quote from William G.T. Shedd sums it up…

A ship at harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.

What do you think?

Leave A Comment

Powerful + inspiring + real words. What an amazing post. Making things happen in a bold + creative way takes courage + passion… and you have it all.
Believe and amazing things will happen.
Cheers to believing in the power of your dreams. Cheers to you!


Thanks Gina! Can’t wait to push my future towards more bold and courageous places ;)

Feeling excited for you and sending you lots + lots of positive vibes of courage and light! Keep following your soul!


Yes, I need all the positive vibes! Thank you Liz :)

I’m no stranger to the struggle of having a creative job and somehow not feeling fulfilled. There’s definitely still a struggle outside of a job, but at least it’s YOUR struggle! Best of luck moving forward! Can’t wait to see where the journey takes you :)


You nailed it. Ultimately it’s 100% yours, which is the most liberating part. Thanks Alyssa!

Live is full of surprises and usually the good ones come for those who take more risks. You are such a talented woman that I am sure you will succeed in whatever you choose.


Aw thanks Pati! You’re too sweet :) And I agree, if you’re brave enough to take the risk it’ll pay off – you should know chef!

I’m in the same boat but I just started my career at 29 and wondered if I’ll ever get better at my craft or believe that I’m at least good at what I’m doing. Keep it up. I would like to freelance one day soon and have control of my career, schedule and life.