To pivot or to persevere? Or more bluntly – to give up or to not to give up? This is a haunting question, a question that has ramifications far after an answer has been chosen and it’s also a question that almost everyone in our community has had to face at one time or another. How do you know when to give up and when to keep trying?

Sammy Jo | Musician & Model – Lead Singer of Honeyvoid

For me personally, giving up is not something I consider an option. I spent much of my adolescence and early 20s feeling hopeless, yet I somehow managed to persevere. There is a difference between giving up and surrendering, and I have learned to shift my perception to the latter. I had all but given up on my goals and aspirations almost a decade ago. At that point in my life I was suffering from a crippling drug addiction and eating disorder, as well as severe depression. When I had finally done enough damage to myself and those around me, I asked for help and never looked back. Starting over is never easy, but if you refuse to give up, and instead surrender and let those around you extend a hand, you will gain back your strength and become an unstoppable force. I don’t believe in giving up. Instead, I take the approach that if something isn’t working out, I should simply adjust my expectations and set new goals for myself- ones that will lead to success in the long term. My whole life I wanted to sing, write music, and be involved in the arts. Read more>>

Nerea Arce | Artist

Coming from a person who has wanted to give up MULTIPLE times, I understand the frustration, the lack of inspiration and what seems the endless search for motivation. I am also coming from somewhat of a place of privilege being that I am white, able-bodied, cisgendered person. With that said, we are all so oversaturated in our lives because of social media or because of all that is happening around us that giving up, whatever that may mean for you, seems like the much easier route. It’s not. And I believe that somehow it catches us up to us in the long run. And It’s taken me a long time to work on this, I’m currently working on it! But everything is work- everything. Your mental health is work, your career or the things you love are work, even the people you love are work, YOU are work. And that’s a beautiful thing. If things just came easy, how would we grow at all? So how do you know whether to give up or keep going? Always keep going. Read more>>

Ashley Bianca Jones | Mental Health Advocate and Event Curator

Wanting to give up sometimes is a natural feeling that we as humans face, especially when times are rough or when things don’t go as planned. Personally, what keeps me going is my “why” and my purpose. For those who don’t know theirs yet, It is okay. KEEP GOING until you find it. Don’t give up. Read more>>

Lisa Haque | Artist

Being an artist can feel like a rollercoaster sometimes. A good day in the studio, learning a new process, even a deeply inspiring conversation can be like a bolt of electricity, lighting up the work. On the flip side, scrapping an artwork into which I’ve invested a lot of time and effort, or almost but not quite connecting with the gallerist or curator that was supposed to come for a studio visit can feel pretty demoralizing. Add to that the constant stream of knowledge of what everyone everywhere else is always doing/winning/achieving on instagram or wherever and you can begin to feel quite stuck. So how to know I’m heading in a good direction, not just spinning in a circle? One of the most practical things I learned in graduate school was how to reframe my thinking to counter my own negative thoughts. Do I feel envious of someone’s ambitious project, or the large grant they received? Perhaps it’s because I hadn’t realized I wanted those particular things for myself. Read more>>