If you listened to the podcast yesterday, we make a big announcement: at the end of March (after four years), I will be stepping down from my role as co-host. This was scary to announce (you were so supportive – THANK YOU) and it was not an easy decision. It’s extremely bittersweet. I am sad but I also know that it is 100% the right decision for me at this time in my life. I hate disappointing anyone, especially Becca (podcast biz aside she is one of my best friends), and especially our listeners, who have been with us for nearly four years now- yesterday was our 207th episode. It is hard to walk away from something successful, something that people really love, and (most importantly) something you do every week with one of your best friends.
I ultimately think that this will be a very good thing. My heart hasn’t been in it… at least not the way it was in the beginning. I kept hoping my feelings would change but they didn’t. My internal monologue was always that if I just did this one thing better or got more ahead on other projects, I would enjoy podcasting more. But at the end of the day, I realized that I was doing it more out of obligation than a love for it. (A silly thing to do, when your heart isn’t in something and you’re just going through the motions, you’re not producing good work and you’re going to be a detriment to everyone!).
It’s hard to explain but I felt spread thin in a way that those in a more traditional job might not relate to.
Not in the “working so hard” sense of the word but in the creatively burnt out kind. Influencing / blogging / podcasting isn’t hard work but it is (or it can be, if you take it seriously) a lot of work and very time consuming. You do not need to be a brainiac but you do need to be committed, and you need to be creative, organized, and scrappy. The demand to create fresh new content that is about ME and is also interesting (and unique from what is on my other platforms) can be really draining. So many platforms, each of them requiring more content.
I’ve never found the blog to be taxing or depleting in the way that Instagram and podcasting can be (again, this is how I feel, everyone is different here… for example, I know Becca much prefers podcasting as her platform). I felt out of ideas and frankly very tired of talking about myself. I went into the winter break just wanting to hibernate and not speak to anyone (which is exactly what I did for a lot of it). The funny thing is that once I talked to Becca about my feelings a huge weight was lifted and I felt creatively energized again. It was like a light switch: the fog was lifted and I could think again!
This is obvious, but podcasting is a lot of talking, and that has been my biggest problem.
(I totally realize how completely moronic this sounds. Why start a podcast if you don’t love to talk? I don’t know. When we started, I wasn’t thinking about that – it felt like a fun project with a friend and then it grew and grew and I felt like I had to keep going!) You have to be clever and quick and if you are interviewing someone, you need to be able to turn questions around very quickly. This isn’t me. I have improved at it but truthfully it’s not something I really care about improving at.
In most conversations in my personal life I tend to be the more quiet one.
I prefer it this way. I like listening, I love cozy one on one friend hangs, I like being the person friends come to for advice. And I have a great life, and wonderfully rich relationships. But I will never be the clever, laugh out loud-funny friend. I can pretend to be that person for a little bit but a lot of times it feels like acting and that is when it gets exhausting. There were a lot of episodes where I just felt totally drained after recording… like I had spent the past hour performing. I don’t want to do that anymore.
I think about what it takes to be a successful podcaster and so many of the things that it takes to have a big podcast, to make enough money to be able to live off it (we weren’t even close), and… I’m not really interested in doing those things? Personality stuff aside, things like touring (will always be grateful for the experience, wasn’t for me), developing merch (just not a merch person), getting bigger and bigger name interviews, and so on and so forth. It was not sustainable for me and is not what I want to do with my career – and that is okay! What is not okay is holding someone else back.
I really hope that by stepping back, Becca will be able to grow it into something even bigger. She has the talent for it, the extroversion that is amazing for both interviewing and touring… this is her medium. Meanwhile, I will have more time to put toward the projects that fill my cup like my blog, newsletter, and product collaborations.
My friendship with Becca is far and away the most important thing.
Sharing your friendship with the world is simultaneously awesome and awful. I don’t want to get into the awful but podcast related mean-spiritedness is WAY worse than blog/instagram. I’ve had to become really mindful about what I look at (I don’t even read the reviews anymore!). Becca remains one of my closest friends and I will always be her biggest cheerleader but to be honest, I am quite relieved to go back to an offline friendship.
I’m SO excited for the new direction. I know that some of you may be sad but there will always be plenty of me over here, in my newsletter, and on Instagram. I have been blogging for twelve years now and running this site and this community is my true passion. Meanwhile, Becca has a serious gift for podcasting AND she is bringing on a new co-host (Olivia!) who I absolutely adore and think is just going to absolutely kill it. I couldn’t have picked a better person if I tried.
When Becca and I talked about me leaving, we talked about a succession plan and Olivia was both of our top picks… I’m so glad she said yes! If you aren’t following her you must. She has been a guest before and is one of my favorite follows. She’s smart and clever and just the right kind of weird. I can’t wait to see where they take it.
I am so grateful for the past four years and this chapter of my life.
When I think back on it, there were so many exciting moments. We had the opportunity to interview Cindy Crawford and Graham Norton (they both came to my apartment!!!). And we made a ton of new friends. We talked to Elizabeth Gilbert! We went on (two!) national tours, which I will someday brag about to my nephews and niece. And so many other things. I am incredibly grateful for all of it, but I also feel relieved to be able to take “podcaster” off of my resume. Things aren’t black and white; there is a grey area (kind of like moving out of New York). You can be sad about an ending and also know that it is for the best.
So there we go. Deep breaths. Thank you for a great four years… and also: You haven’t gotten rid of me just yet: my last episode will be March 30th.
photo by Laura Saur.