March 20th, 2018


I’ve always been ambitious, with a desire to show to other people (and myself) that I can do more. This desire became my life: I was always doing more and more.

I started to feel like I didn't want to continually add to my life. I was tired. I took a break from always working on my career: I quit my events job in my home city, and took a summer job in a restaurant in Germany. Why? For the sake of change. For isolation. For discovering. To experience life outside my box.

That was in 2013. I’d spent years prior working hard on my career and portfolio. Since that change, I’ve learned to accept new opportunities and challenges without thinking too much about my resumé. Instead, I’m driven by trying new things, getting outside my comfort zone, and learning more.

After years of moving around Europe, which included a long, amazing stint in London, I moved to where I am now: Amsterdam. I had nothing here. I built my life up from zero. I made new connections and new friends. I learned a new language. I learned a new way of living. I got a job, which I quit in August 2017. I wasn’t unhappy there, but it was time for me to start on my dream: building my own events business.

How did I find the courage to drop everything and go out on my own? I learned to be unafraid of quitting. I’m not sorry for quitting. It’s made me stronger, tougher, more determined, more open, more aware, and more educated. I live by this mantra:

Quit hard and quit often. Eventually you will get to the place you never want to leave.

But quitting wasn’t always easy. Every time I quit, I felt like I should be sorry for leaving, for moving on and taking risks. I always felt I needed to explain and justify my actions to the people around me. I often doubted the decisions I made, I felt sorry that I was taking so many risks. But I’m not sorry: I’m not sorry that I ignored the voices of my family. I’m not sorry that I didn’t have a plan. I’m not sorry that I chose to listen to my intuition and go with the flow.

Of course, I have an ultimate career dream: building the events company I’m now working on. This dream is now becoming a reality, slowly, step by step, day by day. But I wouldn’t be able to do this if it wasn’t for my journey of quitting. I'm not sorry for all the decisions I’ve made: they’ve ultimate bought me joy. This journey has formed me. This is who I am.

Ionela Mihalcea