Open Thread: What Ifs?

Wherein we ponder our life plans and say goodbye--and congrats--to Alle!
Publish date:
January 23, 2015
open thread, careers, feelings, new beginnings

Do you remember Sliding Doors? It got way more attention for Gwyneth Paltrow's dramatic (and Brad Pitt-matching) haircut than for its plot. But the story was actually kind of clever: It follows two different versions of the same woman's life, which play out based on what train she catches/misses that day. And both timelines are filled with huge life changes--good and bad, like (SPOILER ALERT) death-bad. All because of a split-second decision.

Even though it was a carefully considered choice, every now and again I let myself wonder what would have happened had I not moved to New York. I don't think I would be dead; I think if anything I'd be living a very easy, very pleasant existence somewhere in the Midwest. Maybe I'd own a sensible car. Maybe I'd wear more yoga pants. Maybe I'd be less career-focused. Maybe I'd have a dog. Maybe I'd have gone to grad school--I got in, but ultimately decided that it wasn't the right move.

I'm not one of those people who think New York is the be-all, end-all, most-awesome city in the known universe. (That would be Tokyo.) In terms of my career dreams, however, New York is the best place to live to do what I do. And I have also fulfilled many personal dreams, more than I even thought possible, while living here.

Which is why when Alle told me she was considering taking a full-time job in beauty that would also be paying for her to move to New York, I was like, "YES, MAMA." Obviously, we will miss her very much (you can find her at Daily Makeover starting next month), but this was her dream and it is coming true, and how can you not root for that?

Here's Alle:

Well everyone, this is it. Almost two years, some 400 articles, and OH SO MANY hair colours later, it’s time for me to say goodbye to xoVain.

xoVain changed my life. If you’d have told me two years ago that my job would involve makeup, learning things, AND cracking hundreds of Mean Girls jokes, I wouldn’t have believed you.

But here I am, living the dream.

But I also know that many of you will be a little sad, and this good news is bittersweet for me, too. xoVain has been such an amazing force for good in my life, and I am going to miss the community we’ve built here so much. But it’ll be the good kind of missing, because so much awesomeness has come out of the time that I was here.

So what I really want to say is THANK YOU. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for being not just readers, but friends. You guys have consistently been the very, very best thing in my life, and my light in dark places when all other lights went out.

Special thanks to Team xo—staff and contributors, past and present. You’ve helped, inspired, motivated, and generally been incredible to me, and getting to work with you has been THE BEST.

I hope you aren’t afraid to take risks. And I hope you know that makeup is fun, that the idea of a single standard of beauty is bullshit, and that you are wonderful exactly the way you are. Also, I really hope you don’t sleep in your makeup anymore. If that is my legacy, I will be very happy.

With all of my love, a couple happy tears, and all of the nudibranchs in the sea, Alle

So take it away, gang. Talk about your career dreams, send Alle best wishes, or tell us your beauty scores in this week's Open Thread.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I have something in my eye.

PS: xoVain Skincare Week is kicking off starting Monday. You are going to want to be there! Plus, we are doing a rad giveaway. (Seriously, it's good.) If you want to get a first crack at entering, you should sign up for our newsletter. Scroll down our homepage and look for this box:

Pop in your e-mail address, and we're off to the races.

Cover photo by Miramax, © 1998 Miramax Films