Here I am. 25 years old, sitting alone at my friends parents’ house for Labor Day weekend, having a breakdown because I virtually have no money, no career, and no direction.
So this is me. Figuring it out.
I heard some advice that anyone who doesn’t know where to start, or what to do with their life should start a blog. I had Tea with Taylor already started, (one failure), and decided that since I still had ownership of the domain for another two and a half years, I might as well use it right?
I’m going to write at a minimum, two posts a week. Hopefully more. The purpose of this is simply to track what I’m doing and going through. I have no intention of anyone ever reading this (and hopefully they don’t), it is purely to see what I gravitate towards. What do I end up writing about the most? What do I enjoy writing about? What excites me? What makes me feel alive? These are the questions I’m asking myself in the middle of this quarter life crisis, and hoping to answer.
The reason I feel I have failed thus far is this:
I went to college for theatre (womp). I enjoyed it; the acting, the friends, the late night costume parties because theatre people are a bunch of weirdos. And I genuinely thought I had something good going. I had a plan to graduate and move to Chicago and pursue what I’ve wanted to do since sixth grade: act.
Lo and behold I get to Chicago, and I hated it. But I did happen to snag a lovely (unpaid) internship at PR, which I enjoyed from November 2016-March 2017. After spending all of the $10,000 I had saved the prior year, I finally found a job bartending at Caffe Oliva. I made incredible friends and had a wonderful summer, but never really acted…like, at all. I went on a few auditions but let’s be honest, I wasn’t trying. Many people told me that my “type” (young, attractive, female) needed to be in LA, especially for pursuing film.
So I called Adam Griffin. We made a plan.
In October 2017, I drove home from Chicago. I spent the holidays at home with my family and at the end of November, packed up my car with my sisters, and drove across the country to LA.
LA is interesting to say the least. No humidity (love), materialistic people (don’t love), and plenty of fresh and organic, non-GMO, hemp, soy based food (still deciding whether I love). The weather is gorgeous, the traffic is abhorrent, and the acting is hard. Damn hard.
But again let’s be real, I never gave it a chance. I had headshots back from October 2015, and never planned on spending the money to get new ones. I didn’t have the energy or desire to find a manager, an agent, or to even go out and network. I didn’t want it. Whether it was the fact that I missed my family and home in NC so much it kept me up at night, or the fact that I knew I would be up against so many other girls identical to me, I don’t know. Maybe a combination of both. But I do know I wasn’t happy.
I’ve always wanted to be famous (Lord only knows why). And I knew acting would be a good way to get there (assuming you’re the less than one percent that make it). But it turns out, I didn’t love it as much as I thought I did. I didn’t want to go through all the drama and networking and fake people and auditions and memorizing and having my self worth determined by 8 people in a tiny room that have known me for all of 3 minutes. And I especially didn’t want to get new headshots. Damn things are expensive as hell.
So I attempted to start a blog. I would call it “Tea with Taylor” because honestly my middle name is much easier and much more usable as an alliteration (no Kangaroos with Kirsten??). And it flopped. Big time.
I bought the domain, I learned (the basics of) WordPress, I wrote three (terrible) blog posts, and sent it off into the world. I created a Facebook page, a Pinterest, a Twitter, and an Instagram. I told my family and boyfriend. I built the site (and had stupid fun doing it) and launched it on March 1, 2017. And then…
I did nothing.
I didn’t write any more posts, I didn’t take any more picture to put up, I didn’t have any more motivation to write anything else. All I had planned for (and honestly had the desire for) was to get it built and launched.
So I left it sitting from March 1 up until this moment, 1:46pm on September 2, 2017.
Okay so maybe blogging wasn’t my thing. Maybe I really only wanted to do it because I had heard of so many women making 6 figures off of their blogs. Maybe I didn’t really have a vision or plan for it, I just wanted something else creative to do. Who knows.
But I do know that it wasn’t for me. So I gave it up.
Then I started a travel Instagram (if you can even call it that) called Salt and She. I was inspired by the two women I came across on Facebook, Cassie and Shay, that had started The Bucketlist Bombshells as a way to help millenial women start and run their own online businesses so they could travel the world.
My Instagram started as a way to document my travels around LA initially, then to expand to all the incredible places I would travel to once I started my online business doing…something. And it flopped.
Actually, that’s a lie. It went really well. I managed to gain over 1,000 followers in just 2-3 weeks with pictures I took of myself in a family friend’s backyard pool. I met a lot of cool girls and followed some incredible travel journeys. But after realizing 1) how much work and planning it actually takes to run a consistent and successful instagram, 2) not having the money to travel on a starving “artist”‘s budget, and 3) just in general losing the desire to continue to keep up a honestly fake account, I stopped trying. I stopped taking pictures, I didn’t post anymore, I stopped commenting on other posts. It wasn’t my thing.
So then I tried (kind of) to start my online business like Cassie and Shay. I won the Tech Course through an instagram challange, and from there decided that I would start my own VA business. Which quickly turned into a branding and web design business once I learned more.
And again, (with Squarespace this time) bought the domain, built the site (had way too much fun again) and wrote all the needed content for my pages on the site (about, services, etc).
And now it’s just sitting there.
And I don’t really have a desire to do any more with it. I would (kind of, maybe, sort of) like to continue with it. I would like to learn everything there is to know about building successful Squarespace sites, how to cold email clients, building a client workflow, and finish the information and documents needed to actually run the business. But meh. The desire isn’t burning within me, if you know what I mean.
All the while these things have been going on, I made the decision that I no longer wanted to pursue acting as a career. I decided I would go back home to NC with my family for the holidays, and figure out what my next move was.
So here I am. September 2, two months before I go home, and I’m having a second wave of this quarter life crisis.
I feel like a failure, in all honesty.
My “business” failed before it even started.
And I don’t know what to do.
By leaving LA and the acting world, I feel like I’m leaving something that’s been a part of my life since I can remember. All the way back to making my own movies with my best friends that lived down the street. Acting has always been something I’ve loved and can honestly say I’m pretty talented at. I just don’t want to pursue it as a career and do all the work to make it a career.
And now I’m stuck. All of my friends are my same age and either engaged or already married, having kids or about to, have stable corporate 9-5 jobs, have their own insurance and cars and houses, and have life figured out.
And here I am. 25, with less than$1,000 to my name. Floundering. Questioning. Searching. Lost. Unable to make the next step for fear it will take me deeper into the pit I’ve already dug for myself.
So I’m writing.
Hopefully this will bring me some kind of peace or wisdom in the years to come. Hopefully I’ll look back and read this and laugh at how everything worked out exactly the way it was supposed to.