A Bittersweet Goodbye

In 2013, I’ve paced, deliberated and reflected, thinking of OutLoud’s future. Although there have been many highs this year with the magazine, ultimately, I made the heart-wrenching decision to cease production. In doing so, I let go of something important in my life, and opened myself up for the unknown.

It seems, however, the universe has a plan.

OutLoud has been the driving force of my life for almost 5 years. I’ve gained so much knowledge from its existence. It’s served as a platform for me to go out of my comfort zone, meet change makers, tell women’s stories, and partake in some of Columbus’ most valuable community events. It’s introduced me to women in this city who feel or have felt the same way I do, and in turn, I’ve been able to give that back to Columbus.

As if it was designed, an opportunity arose days after I made my decision from someone who I met through my work with OutLoud. This opportunity will help solidify my career as a writer, editor, and overall women’s advocate, while strengthening the reach I have to share the message of empowerment for women and girls.

Taking this leap is a sacrifice. As I write this, tears fill my eyes; I feel it in my heart, in my gut. I feel as if I am blindfolded, sprinting toward a cliff. I have no idea what will happen. This may, in fact, be one of the most crucial sacrifices I’ve ever made. Additionally, I realize this sacrifice isn’t just mine to bear. It is on the many shoulders of individuals who look to OutLoud for guidance, support, and as an outlet to share their stories, their passions and their expertise. Ceasing operation with OutLoud means there will be a void for all of the extraordinary women who need a place to share their stories. This void is something I plan to revisit. Although I won’t be updating, OutLoud’s Facebook page and OutLoud’s blog will still exist. Its content is always relevant and should be accessible as a resource.

One critical factor allows my mind to rest: this opportunity contributes to the greater good of  helping women and girls. It gives me the means to be louder, and I’m going to run with it.

So finally, thank you, thank you, thank you to every person who believed in this vision. From my best friends who met with me in my Grandmother’s basement in late 2009 to help plan the mission and direction, to writers who shared their stories and helped others (and who did so without pay), to everyone who donated to the Kickstarter (including my fiancé, who I met because of his donation), to my mother who said “yes. let’s do it” the very second the dream spilled from my lips, to the champions in this city who connected me when I didn’t know what I needed and heard me even when I didn’t know what I was trying to articulate, to the designers, photographers, interns and artists who saw the vision and need, to every person interviewed or organization featured in OutLoud, to the audience and supporters from all over Ohio who read, shared, and participated in OutLoud’s dialogue. Thank you all for believing.

Yes, I’m saying goodbye to OutLoud. But this passion is coming with me. It will be part of everything I touch and will make it that much more powerful; I know what is at stake.

I wish you all peace, love, happiness and courage. Goodbye & thank you!

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