THE REAL REASON WE ARE HERE: Quitting My Job and Taking a Chance

After months of encouraging conversations with bloggers, nutritionists, cooks, and absolutely FRIENDS, I finally made the step I’ve wanted to take for a long time. It’s a big ol’ scary step. It’s the kind that holds you accountable for everything. It’s also, ultimately, the most rewarding.

"Fresh Start" by artist Margaret Huber

I notified my employers that I will not longer work full-time there. I’m turning Save the Kales! into a legal business (with accountants and LLC papers and all kinds of crazy things that are still very new to me!).

This past Saturday, I was having brunch with Alison and Ryan – an amazing buffet of tofu scramble, grapefruit and orange  mimosas, roasted root vegetables, coffee – and they held an intervention of sorts. They were on a mission to kick the last little bit of self-doubt out of me to convince me that I really could do this.

And in my heart I know I can. But here’s the safety net (positive thoughts! positive thoughts!), just in case I need one: If things don’t go exactly as planned, I will still get to wake up every day and do exactly what I love. Paying bills is important, running a successful business is the goal, but being able to LOVE what I do EVERY DAY is better than all of that.

‎”There are things you do because they feel right and they make no sense and they may make no money and it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other and to eat each other’s cooking and say it was good.”  Brian Andreas

I am not blind the to fact that aside from all the hard work I’ve put in, there is an element of luck. Though, Roman philosopher Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. Maybe he’s right.

Multiple times a day, I reflect on the pure gratefulness I have to be surrounded by supportive people (people who having lovingly said “I might actually be mad at you if you don’t do this”), gratefulness for a community that has been so receptive to what I’m doing and thus to me. I am in a place in my life where I can take a chance like this and rest assured that even if it’s a little rocky to start (Alison would interrupt me here and say “IT WON’T BE!”) I will still be able to take care of my responsibilities andbe okay. None of this is lost on me for a single second.

Save the Kales! began as a blog project. It cost no money (and began at a time when I was in a bad financial situation). While I have degrees, they are not in cooking. I barely knew anyone in this community and was literally making a plan to move across the country, but when I decided to stay I went out and met the people here, opening me up to a world of entrepreneurs, artists, and friends.

My point is this: I had spent my whole life previously waiting for “permission” when I graduate, when someone hires me, when I have more money, when I get healthier, when when when when when… And it turns out, the thing I love, the thing becoming my career didn’t need ANY of it.

YOU DON’T NEED ANYONES PERMISSION. Begin a project. Be okay with the fact that some people will be critical of you. That you may not make any money. That it’s going to take up a lot of your free time, especially if you have another job to pay your bills.  All the time you spend feeling bad about where you are, comparing yourself to “successful” people and making lists of reasons why you can’t have it – just stopGo and DO IT instead.

This is all still so new to me, I get nervous, I worry, I start to think of the things that can go wrong or if someone criticizes it or —– and then I have to stop, and breathe, and take solace in knowing that I’m making the right decision. What got me here was when I finally stopped worrying and blaming, and replaced it with believing in myself enough.

Enough. Finally.


32 thoughts on “THE REAL REASON WE ARE HERE: Quitting My Job and Taking a Chance

  1. It’s been exciting to read your blogs and witness this evolution of yours. I’ve watched episodes of Oprah when she features people who transform their lives, and although they explain how the person began living their dream, I still wonder, “How did they REALLY do that?”

    Great intellectual minds wouldn’t have continually focused on doing what makes you happy if it wasn’t true. I know this quote is famous and common, but it’s so right on: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” You’re defining what’s essential to your life: working at what you love every day. And you’re doing it responsibly, with support from the people most important to you and with a ton of forethought and consideration. AND it’s a subject area that will only grow in importance and interest now and in the future… eating healthy, in a sustainable way, without dependence on the disturbing meat industry.

    You’re gonna do great. 🙂

    • Jodi, THANK YOU, and you are so right. One of things that is really propelling me is the fact that this topic is frankly very “trendy” right now (not always vegan stuff but food consciousness and such), so it’s a good time to get into that!

      I have spent so much time emailing people, talking to people, wondering “How did he/she get to that point?” and everyone always said the same thing, but it never made sense to me or something. They all said “You just have to start, you just have to do it and eventually you can make a living.”

      Thank you so much for the unwavering support 🙂

    • George, you have already laid such an absolutely amazing foundation for wherever you want to take LV with Love (if that’s what you’re thinking about). If you find you’re in a place where you are able to do it and at the least, get by, just go for it. We have to work jobs anyway, may as well be something we love, right? Figure out what you’d need to pay your bills every month and determine if it’s feasible to make that. Also, you can get business loans that will cover you in that department, so all you have to worry about is doing a good job and growing your business!

  2. I’m glad you are taking this step. A lot of other people I’ve read about that have taken the leap and quit their job to pursue what they really loved seemed to be successful and have no regrets. They all had a plan and knew what they wanted to do. I think you are on the right page here and any little doubts left will pass over time. The doubts from the past you mentioned I know i’ve thought of myself, as well all probably have.
    Best of luck to you and enjoy the ride! ^ ^

    • Sara THANK YOU! It’s so true – I’m fortunate to have recognized that I’m in a place now where the risks aren’t too high, and if I don’t do this I will continue to daydream about it and wonder “What if?” til the end of time.

      There are of course still doubts and worries, but that happens with EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO HAS EVER DONE THIS. I’ve prepped my mind for how to handle various situations, but continue to think positive and feel good about what I’m doing – positive thinking is so essential!

      I appreciate it so much, thank you 🙂

  3. Jaime,
    You go girl!!! I am so excited for you!!! Life is not a dress rehearsal…so follow your dreams and stay in alignment with who you are….You can never go wrong by following your heart.
    Wishing you happiness and success and may it come to you effortlessly….
    “I believe in you!”

    • I still watch that video when I need a boost – you are an amazing woman, I’m truly so happy you came to the It Gets Better filming and got to share your kindness and beautiful insight with everyone. Means the world to me, Kathleen, and many others I’m sure 🙂

    • Aw Kaylyssa!!!!!

      Okay, the breakdown right now is that it will be a mix of: personal chef services (cooking a bunch of meals for people to keep in their freezer/fridge and have throught the week), cooking classes in my home and/or in a clients home, nutrition consulting about plant-based diets (there are a lot of parents who worry their newly-veg teen is going to waste away and not know what to eat), help with ingredients and grocery shopping (“what is nutritional yeast and why do I need it and where do I get it?”), freelance writing (health magazines, blogs and I’m also finishing up a draft of a children’s book – cross your fingers), group events and speaking (I’m going to a battered women’s shelter next month to hold a talk about body image/relationships to food, and doing a cooking demo), and community events.

      I am working with a designer right now for a logo, business cards, t-shirts, tote bags, blah blah cute things!!!! So I’ll def let you know (and maybe send you a bunch of stuff if you’d want to put it around Charlotte).

      I adore you and I’m totally flattered you want to help 🙂

  4. so happy that you took the plunge! now, if i could do the same…we deserve to do what we love!! im so excited to see what save the kales! becomes and i wish u all the luck in the world but i dont think u will need it 🙂

    • Totally means the world, thank you! I get all weepy and sentimental when I think about all of the fabulous folks that have encouraged and inspired me over the past year – you are certainly included among them. Looking forward to many more projects and collaborations 🙂

  5. Ms. Jaime–I must say: luck had nothing to do with it. I pay attention to what you do (and I know others would agree) because you are–first and foremost–talented and because you are kind. You have the kind of energy that makes people remember how great life is and you will always be successful because you are talented, you are lovable, and you are loving.

    • Wow. Just wow. Rebecca, I want to print this and keep it in my wallet so it’s at the ready whenever self-doubt of any kind creeps in. I’m humbled and can’t find the words to express how absolutely kind you are to express this and how absolutely very much I love that someone with all of that kindness is in my corner. Thank you x’s a million.

  6. Treebark! You are so inspirational to me… its time for me to stop making excuses and starting living up to my own expectations. I too hide behind when when when… grad school job childcare bills. What am I teaching my son? Fear and self loathing. Thank you for helping ppl like me and you see that our faults are dwelling on faults instead of embracing change and highlighting the good in life!

    • Jennie – you have such a fire in your belly when you direct it into positivity and passion, you are unstoppable. Don’t wait around for the perfect situation – the perfect situation is NOW because you have a brain and if you’re able to THINK about doing these things, you can go and do them. I support you always, but know that you don’t need the support of anyone but you. Your son is a lucky little guy 🙂

  7. This WILL be your year Jaime! And the one after that, and the one after that…

    congrats Sweetie for taking the plunge! One way or another, I am positive it will be an amazingly life-changing decision. Excited to see how it all progresses!

  8. Congrats!!! I am so proud of you. Going out there and doing what you love is the best part of life! Enjoy every minute of it! All the best to you always, I KNOW YOU WILL BE WONDERFUL IN YOUR NEW BUSINESS AND EVERY ONE YOU MEET WILL LOVE YOU AND WANT MORE………Love you

    • Thank you so much, how lucky I am to have a family that is always supportive and behind me 100%. When you say these things, I know it is also coming from my Dad and that is priceless to me. I’m going to keep making you proud, I promise 🙂

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  10. I LOVE IT!!! Best of luck and promote, promote, promote on that social media, so those of us down on the Jersey Shore can keep up with you!

    Hugs and Love, Amy

    • Aw Amy, thank you so very much! I loved getting your letter last week, and I can’t wait to learn more about your journey to health and wellness every day. I can’t believe that this whole project lead to connections like this – cooking food, someone eating it, forming a relationship with that person, and continuing to foster one months later. So amazing. Thank you for thinking of me and for being on Team Save the Kales 🙂

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