Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new journey for me. Just over two weeks ago, I sent in my official resignation letter and broke the news to my team… (Actually, I called a short meeting and burst into tears. I needed not say anything – one look at me, and they just knew.) Today, I burst into tears again when it dawned on me that in less than 12 hours, I would be biking in to work, but not to the same space and faces I’ve grown to know and love over the past almost year and a half. As my partner held me and whispered words of encouragement to me, I pondered one of his questions: What are you scared of?
Him: Why are you crying?
Me: Because I’m scared.
Him: What are you scared of?
Me: Change… the unknown..
Him: You forget, there’s also good in the unknown. We tend to only think about the bad.
Over the past few months, I’ve met an array of incredible women and have had the honor of sharing their journeys on this blog. Though they all come from different backgrounds, I’ve never failed to find similarities in our stories. Like me, they are ambitious – they have goals and dreams, and the drive to achieve them. Like me, they are fragile and unsure of themselves sometimes – the term “imposter syndrome” was one they knew all too well. Like me, they sometimes forget to take care of themselves or put themselves first and need a reminder to do so. Like me, and like all of us, they are on this long, winding road to self-discovery – some further along than others.
Every interview starts with both myself and the interviewee somewhat nervous because of the unknown.
Them: What if I’m not interesting enough? What if I say something wrong?
Me: What if I don’t ask the right questions? What if I don’t deliver?
Every interview ends with both myself and the interviewee laughing and wondering what the hell we were so nervous about.
Every interview is therapeutic for me (and for them, I hope! 🙂 ) and I leave each session feeling invigorated – on a high! I leave with ideas and inspiration running through my mind, and wise quotes from these women pushing me to dream bigger, to stretch myself farther, to explore new possibilities… Each interview pushed me closer and closer to that moment of realization where I knew it was time for a new challenge. But I was scared – petrified – as I looked into the unknown and saw nothing concrete for me to hold on to.
When it feels scary to jump, that’s exactly when you jump. Otherwise you end up staying the same place your whole life.
And so I jumped. After getting a number of thumbs ups from the people closest to me, after deep self-reflection, and after considering all other possible options – I jumped. And for a moment, it felt so good; I’d made a decision I would have never made a year ago. I was following my dreams, finally, instead of passively watching them from afar. And then as the days got closer, the fear crept in. My mind was full of questions, but even those were incomplete. I was waaay outside my comfort zone, and I knew it.
If you knew what you were getting yourself into, what would be the point of it?
I have the words “vivre” and “explore” tattooed on my inner wrist. I chose these words because I knew that whatever the case, however old I got, I would always want to live and explore. These words have never rang so true.
As I look back on the interviews I’ve done so far, I can’t help but smile. Yes, these women have gone through struggles but they have also bravely overcome them. So I smile, and I remind myself to “be brave, take risks” and to “know why the rules exist, know what’s behind them, and then go ahead and break them”. With all these women and their wonderful wisdom beside me, I continue my journey.
It’s been an emotional roller coaster, to say the least. But, as my partner wisely told me – there is good in the unknown. And this is my chance to seek that good, even if I might stumble and fall on my face a couple of times! 🙂