Personal Note: Answering All Your Questions


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After 18 months in NYC, I’ve returned to DC for the rest of my life. I moved about a week ago and ever since have been fielding DMs of ‘why?’ and more specific questions. Walking the line between personal privacy and wanting to keep you all in the know, here’s what I’ll say: There were a lot of new things in my life that led to this decision. A new career, new people, new passions. Above all, I spent the first half of 2020 digesting all the lessons of 2019. Losing so many family members over the course of nine months, living so far from my family, feeling guilty, feeling helpless, changing careers, made for an eventful, albeit rather dark, 2019. Digging into all of these teachings I came to the same conclusion over and over: my heart is in DC. I made the decision, for me, to leave my relationship and start a new chapter in a new [old] city. I spent more than five years living in DC before the move to NYC and it will always feel like home. The words sound rather clichéd and disingenuous, but the truth of it is that in the past few months, and especially past week, I really feel that I’ve reconnected with myself. Out of respect and excitement for everything that’s to come I’ve decided to take a step back from the daily IG life (many of you’ve already noticed this). This isn’t goodbye, we’ll speak soon — especially on the blog. With love, Molly

A post shared by molly shephard (@mollyshephard) on


On July 28th, I published the above IG post. At the time I had just moved 250 miles from New York City to Washington, DC, a city I had previously lived in for five years. Ending my engagement, moving cities, starting a new relationship, has all played out in seemingly rapid succession over Instagram and has led to many timeline-related and “Wait… what?” style questions in my DMs and (most recently) asked through Stories.

While I believe and have believed that you truly don’t owe an explanation of your life and choices to anyone, what I do believe is that many of you sincerely care and gaps in what I’ve shared has left you feeling confused. So here’s the full story:

  • I ended my engagement [and relationship] shortly after it began. It was the right move for me and the right move for him.
  • At that time I was already intending to move to DC for a short period of time (August-October) to attend to private doula clients. Ending that relationship made me intensely question why I was living in New York City and if it was making me happy. I ultimately determined that being so far from my family over the previous year had taken a deeper toll than I initially realized and by May was making long-term plans to permanently return to DC. As many of you may remember, I have been talking about moving to DC since Summer 2019.
  • I decided, with my ex-fiancé, that the cats would remain in New York City with him to avoid causing them emotional strife of a move (moving them to NYC was difficult for them).
  • In early July, I learned that my DC apartment had fallen through, two weeks before I was scheduled to move and physically needed to be in the city to support my doula clients. I was offered the opportunity to temporarily move in with someone I had known as a friend for years and been dating for a few weeks.
  • We both quickly found that what was intended to be “just for a week or so” felt a lot more like forever so I stopped looking for another apartment, rented a U-Haul, and before the end of July was officially moved in.

I did what I have been advising you all to do for years: I did what was best for me. Clichéd as it may seem, I followed my heart.

In March I stopped the most popular series on the blog, Dear Molly, purely because I slowly felt myself becoming the thing I loathe most of all: a hypocrite. How could I write each week, telling you all to be brave and honest and bold while I played it safe? At the time I was deeply struggling in my own relationship, with myself and then partner, and while I got pretty good at putting on a happy face I knew I couldn’t do it forever.

Leaving my relationship and New York City, and all the details that came with those choices, have made me feel more like myself than ever. Part of why I didn’t write on here for so long is the same reason that I took a hiatus from Instagram, I want to protect that feeling. I don’t personally feel that I’ve ever had a terribly filtered online persona, but I do think that the mindset I get into when I log on is one that I’ve cultivated to be positive. I want to continue to be the positive place you all love to come, but I don’t want to continue sacrificing the reality of my life along the way.

So what does that mean? Simply this: when I need “me” time, I’m taking it.

One response to “Personal Note: Answering All Your Questions”

  1. This was fabulous Molly. I too just left a relationship where I was looking myself. I’m so glad that you are doing what’s best for you. Keep soaring and putting your happiness first.


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