When do you change directions?

Ariel D. on knowing the right time to change

Do you ever want to quit? But you don’t know how or when to quit? It can be SO overwhelming to consider ALL THE THINGS in your 30’s and 40’s. Every decision can seem so crippling and cause a strong woman to stop dead in her tracks. With everything going on, it is easy to get distracted and miss the signs that it is time for a change.

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Ariel is a hardworking woman who has recently made the shift from full time corporate life to quit a good salary and benefits because it just wasn’t right. Now you can find her as a full time artist with Dhalia Edwards, a full service makeup studio full of talented artists.  We got to sit down and get to the bottom of why she made that decision and the markers she used to push through the fear. If this sounds like you, please keep reading. This woman is a stunning powerhouse of a strong woman…

Me: So Ariel, what made you decide to leave your corporate job?

All of my friends were so surprised that I quit my job! I was spread so thin back then. I am not a crier but it got me very emotional.

As directors of sales I was on call 24/7. I love being there for people and it is the role I wanted, and I always wanted to be a good mentor and boss. I got so busy, that it came to a point where my husband looked at me and said “can I have my wife back”. This was the first time we were apart for so long because we first started dating during the pandemic. We were home every second of the day together so when I got back to it, I wasn’t home at all. 

Me: And you liked being together! 

Yes! He literally is my favorite person. I feel corny saying that but it is the truth. I don’t need him to make me feel better, but I feel complete with him and he just does it. When I catch him looking at me, I truly feel the most beautiful . So at the time, the kids needed me, he needed me, I was a director in my corporate job so they needed me, and as a makeup artist I was needed every weekend (especially during wedding season). I also offered to work Sundays so my managers could take off, because I didn’t want them to experience burnout. But I was on all the time, 24/7. 

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Me: Which lead you to burnout! 

Exactly. 

In October and Nov I felt like I really just wasn’t happy and didn’t love life which just isn’t me. 

I love life! After my first PTO with this company I woke up and just realized I needed to write my resignation. I was actually offered a promotion, but doing so would mean they needed me even more. I wanted to be fair and knew I couldn’t give them more, so I turned it down.

After I said no to the promotion, it seemed like I was the red-headed step child. But I was giving them everything- 18 hrs a day every day. It seemed like they were ignoring me and being hostile and they started pushing back on me. I was pretty open about being unhappy at that point, so when I handed in my resignation I don’t think anyone was surprised. They asked me to stay and offered me a raise. It still didn’t feel right, so I declined that also. 

A few nights before I resigned my husband asked me “did you have fun in 2020 spending time with me and the kids, or did you have fun making all that money”? When he said that it was a lightbulb. I didn’t have fun making that money or spending it. I knew I missed my family and decided I was done. 

Since then, blessings have been happening left and right out of no where. I have no idea where all this is going, I am taking things one day at a time. It is time I accept the things that happen and let go of the things I can’t. I can’t believe I walked away from a career I worked so so hard for, but I have my husband supporting me because he can see me happy.  He loves seeing me happy instead of the comfort of the extra income. Everyone loses sight of it, but now it is apparent. 

What is funny is all these other jobs are now coming for me right now, which is crazy. I just took this leap of faith and corporate America is asking if I want all of these opportunities. But I just left that! So we are navigating that each day at a time. I am just putting one foot in front of the other, and keep doing what I think is right and it will all fall into place. 

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How did you know it was time to change?

Me: Yes, I just heard this quote that you don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step.” What advice would you give someone that is trying to decide what does this look like, balance isn’t a real thing, its more of a pendulum that shifts. So what markers lead you to “this is what we need right now”?

My husband and I would talk a lot about it, and we knew that we had a lot of considerations and moving parts to think about. After we considered all the things, it came down to me telling myself it would be okay and I can do this. A good support system is huge, either a mentor, a best friend but not necessarily family or husband. 

Me: Someone that could objectively look at your life…

Yes! Trust your gut. If it isn’t sitting well in your gut believe that. There is probably not just you thinking that, whatever you believe in is pushing you into something else. You won’t have an “ah-ha” moment. My friend clued me in when I was waiting for it and she said “you feeling that is the sign you are waiting for”. It works the same in relationships. 

When you do have these difficult decisions make, you have to think back to your actions. Did you give it your all? If you didn’t, you could have missed it and missed the blessings in front of you. But when you know you gave it your all, but it still doesn’t align with your beliefs, feel right, goes against your morals or still makes you upset, follow your gut. At least you can say I gave my all, I did the right thing and feel confident that it was them that missed out. 

That is my advice, give something your all.

If it still doesn’t work out, at least you can rest easy and know you tried. Once you take that leap of faith, it is a fresh start, and new opportunities will open up. 

There is a saying “wherever you go, there you are” to go by saying if you are always turning up at the crime or accident, it is you. You have to change your attitude. If you want friends, be friendly. You have to shift your perspective to give every opportunity your all. 

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Me: What is your favorite book? 

Monday morning leadership. They talk about the “main thing” and go into if you are a driver or a passenger. I am the driver for sure. The passenger lets the driver do whatever they want. Everyone has a “main thing” and if you aren’t on the same page the “main thing” won’t happen. I would tell everyone in my branch “the main thing today is customer service. To make sure everyone leaves completely satisfied”. My assistant manager could have a different main thing. So if we weren’t aligned, the focus would be off. 

Even here, your main thing is to empower women and make them feel good and love themselves, but if you had never said that, it could just seem like a simple photoshoot.

Any last thoughts to share?

My last thing would be to say- If you are scared, do it. 

Me: Don’t cry! 

If you are scared do it. Fear isn’t real. It is a real emotion, but don’t let it be your excuse to not do something. Fear is a breakthrough for me. When I’m scared, I think of but what if I was meant for more and I don’t do it. It could be the best thing that could ever happen to me. If I don’t do it, I’ll never know. 

Me: Hopefully this may have sparked you to know where you stand. To trust your gut, because at the end of the day only you know the right time for a change. It amazes me how many amazing strong women I have come across, especially in this line of work. I love getting to know each and every woman’s story and help encourage them to chase their dreams. If you want to follow Ariel, go check her out at Dhalia’s studio!

I invite you into my studio. Yes it is scary, but I promise to take the best photograph you’ve ever seen of yourself. And if you are up for it, I would love to write a blog about your story. You never know who you will empower just by reading about you. Come in to be the feature story of your own life. 

Until next time

Diane 

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confident woman portrait

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