Quitting…then following your dreams.

Photography

Sometime around late April I quit. Just threw in the proverbial towel…waved a white flag…tapped out. I was pulled in too many directions and I lost focus, so the easiest thing was the walk away. At that point, I’d been working on EXPOSED Magazine for a few months, but I just lost my mojo and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake myself from the funk, so I simply stopped.

I was hurt about this decision, but I was running fast without a direction and the only person I was kidding was myself. I was depressed about the project (what originally started out as a PDF/e-reader) and I couldn’t shake the guilt of walking away. Around that time I had a conversation with David Jay and I expressed my disappointment…in myself. Then he suggested I make the e-reader into an actual magazine. That’s impossible, I said and ended the conversation there. I’m kinda dramatic like that.

A bit later, my friend Anda emailed me after reading the first draft of my project, and–as a former librarian–offered valuable insight and raw honesty in how I could make the e-reader better. Then my friend Gail coached me along in every chapter. She provided inspiration, content, and transformed my writing style…when I wanted to give up again, she fought me. My childhood friend Brianna stayed up late into the night proof-reading and making low-fat muffins…she said the sugar would help me. Maybe she was right. The more we worked on the project, the more complex things became…here’s a look into our shared Google doc of edits…

Last May I attended a conference and was struck with the realization that dreams will always be dreams until I make them a reality. It was there that I decided to move forward with the magazine (yes, even though I still thought it was impossible) and gave myself a time limit…I had to make this happen before 11.11.11. I immediately contacted my graphic designer, Promise Tangeman, and told her about my crazy/impossible idea. Jasmine, you know I’ve never designed a magazine before, right? We somehow decided we were up for the challenge then created a five-month plan of action.

Promise suggested a photo shoot to act as a cohesive framework for EXPOSED and we decided Trever Hoehne was the perfect commercial photographer to join our team. Trever took our ideas and put his own spin on them and–with styling by Summer Watkins— created an editorial shoot I’ll never forget. (We were lucky to work with gorgeous Jessica Seeley as a model and have Melina Ruiz for makeup and Molly Shriver for hair.) I asked uber fab cinematographer Anton Lorimer to join us and he captured behind-the-scene footage…what he produced blew my mind…

And every step along the way, there was JD. My sweet, long-suffering, and endearing partner. Who picked up dinner on his way home, who picked up my shoes at the end of stairs at night, who picked me up when I fell asleep writing at my computer. On the days when I said the journey was too long, JD reminded me to merely focus on each step along the way.

Today–on 11.11.11–I’m writing this post for anyone who, like me, wanted to quit. If you feel like you’re ready to throw in the towel, I FEEL YOU. I know what it feels like to give something your all and still feel directionless. Don’t quit just yet…take a deep breath…recalibrate…surround yourself with people who believe in you…then create a plan of action. Give it one more try because life is too short not make your dreams a reality.

Stay Fabulous,
j*