I’m tired of the hustle.
I’m past the age of a quarter-life crisis, and I am certainly too young for this to be of the mid-life variety. This, I sense, is just a change in circumstances, a pure desire for more time to live and less stress.
From the start, beginning back to 2003, this magazine — whether it was online, then print and online, then hiatus, and then back to test the financial landscape — has defined my identity. For years, I welcomed this. I lived East West, and we met with great success for a small niche publication hailing from Arizona. We were recognized nationally, I won awards for my risks and I thrived on it all. But with this latest test run, our emergence from hiatus to gauge the economy, I feel differently.
My heart isn’t in it like it used to be. In good times and in bad, this is a hard industry. It requires 150%, and in the case of East West, even more of me. We are extremely small and this time around even leaner. How much can one person or even two do? At what cost – financially, mentally and emotionally? These are the questions I’ve been asking myself of late. Questions without definite answers.
Can East West survive? Yes. Do I want the pressure of ad sales and of meeting the bottom line anymore? I’m not sure. I started the magazine because I wanted to tell stories. I wanted to speak of and to my culture. East West was not created out of a desire to become a sales chick.
I’ve spent the last three weeks stewing about this, ignoring the emails and the queries from writers, readers and industry. Simply stuck, hoping an answer would just appear. I’ve focused in on a vision of simplicity, and I’ve allowed myself to entertain offers.
But the reality is, this is not a simple decision. I need to talk it through. Nothing happens in isolation, and this is the form of communication that best suits me. So for the next week or so, until Jan. 31 when a decision will be made, I will talk here, and I hope you will help by sharing your thoughts and suggestions. I will open up about the journey and my feelings today. I will flush out the options I’ve been batting around — switch to non-profit, become a quarterly digest, just say goodbye altogether — and if the choice is the latter, what will I do next? There are offers. But what is right. When a brand defines you, how do you walk away?
I hope to have an answer in 9 days.