I Quit Vogue… Now What?

David LaChapellePhoto by David LaChapelle.

“I quit Vogue
Lock, stock and one smoking decision. Big for me, but apparently huge for mankind. Everyone around me is like — WHO QUITS VOGUE? Hahaha, but yeah, me me me. No reasons except that, I have tried my hand, and it totally is NOT my type of thing. I’ve learnt a lot out of it, so much about myself, about the industry.
But it was a huge-ass decision. I was told — “NO ONE LEAVES VOGUE” especially when the editor, CFO and the Editor-in-Chief want you to stay. It was crazy — telling people “it’s not my thing” ’cause apparently — that’s not acceptable. Really, why would anyone, ANYONE leave Vogue? But well, I am done and I am free. Looking for newer ventures and quite confident until today.
Today am feeling fat, sad and all things miserable. It’s a phase I tell you, I’ll be back. But Gala, if I may ask? Do you ever ever feel that you had so much potential but gave it away to be your own thing? What if you can be the editor of glamour or style director for a hot-shot website? Do you ever feel the “lost potential” feeling? Just wanna know. I have moments — am not entirely out there — super-confident but am also sure in my heart of my decisions. Would love to know your views.”

As we get older, & purportedly wiser,

we start to realise that the things which once worked for us no longer fit. Like a favourite sweater that has shrunk in the wash, the people, places or activities which once brought us comfort now just bring us anguish — & sometimes an unsightly rash!

It happens all the time. Some of you will remember the morning you looked across at your lover sleeping fitfully on the other side of the bed & thought, I don’t want to do this anymore. Or the evening that you leave work feeling not energised, but like you’re wasting your time. Or when you look back on your weekend & realise, with a start, that you just don’t want to see those people, go to those places, engage in that tired old chit-chat anymore.

Some people are so terrified of change that they will desperately cling to old regimes — even when said regimes are clearly Not Working Anymore — just because they can’t bear facing whatever else may come. Think of couples in unhappy marriages who are too afraid to leave, & people who keep jobs they hate because, ‘Well,’ they rationalise, ‘at least it is a familiar kind of hatred.’ Our world is full of these people. We’re all guilty of dragging things out; staying too long, hoping they’ll improve.

Andy Warhol

Preach it, Andy!

You had a dream job. You loved it for a while. Then, one day, you realised it wasn’t quite right for you. It didn’t fit. Like the sweater I mentioned before, it suddenly seemed scratchy. You knew you had to get rid of it, or at least give it to a good home.

Often, what we think we want, ISN’T what we want. “The dream” seldom looks the same on the inside as it does on the outside. Remember Charlotte in Sex & The City blurting out, “My marriage is a fake Fendi!”?

People walk away from “the dream” all the time — & they always go onto better things, because it takes a certain kind of courage & gumption to admit that something isn’t working.

There’s no shame in leaving Vogue. Someone (in fact, several thousand someones) would commit murder just to get their foot in the door at a place like that. Maybe it will be THE dream job for one of them. Maybe they will find it life-enhancing in a way you didn’t. You have done a good thing. You have made space for someone else to live their dream — while also opening yourself up for opportunities & possibilities that make you happy.

There will be people who will tell you you’re crazy for quitting your job. They’ll say you’ve flipped your wig, lost your marbles, gone bonkers & all those other wonderful synonyms for going nuts. Some of them will even be angry at you. It doesn’t matter.

Your job, your career, your work, is not who you are. It may dictate how you spend a lot of your time, but it does not define you. You would be equally marvellous whether you were working at Vogue, or in a pet store, or as a counsellor. What matters is the love & energy you pour into what you do.

There is so much more to life than how you earn your living. Love, adventures, passions… Leaving Vogue might be the start of the greatest escapades of your life! Maybe in a few years time, you will separate your life out — “pre-Vogue” & “post-Vogue” — because the two portions will be so wildly different.

Disregard the naysayers, the doubters, the people who say, “No one leaves Vogue!” You did, & you are to be commended. In doing that, you made a daring declaration about your own future. You are ready to evolve & blossom.

Always remember: No one can see the beautiful possibilities of your own life as well as you can. No one will dream as big, fantasise as boldly, wish, hope or fight as hard as you will. No one knows what you secretly yearn for — & only you have the power to bring it to fruition.