They say that the hardest decisions are also the most necessary and the most rewarding. Nothing good was every easy. Blah blah blah. I feel like a walking cliché these days, but it’s all so very true.
Three months ago, Nick Trujillo died. And as I look back, I feel like that is the catalyst for what put me on this path of change. One day shortly after Nick’s death, I was driving into work and I’m pretty sure I had a mini nervous breakdown. I was so panicked that I couldn’t stop crying. That was my final straw, my signal that it was time to do something. And that moment set me on a path to make some real changes in my life. And I have to say I think a big part of making that choice stems from what I learned from Nick’s outlook on life. The basis was – if you aren’t happy – why are you doing it?? I know, it sounds so ridiculously simple. But in practice it’s quite the opposite. Stagnancy is easy. Making a conscious choice to change an unhappy situation isn’t.
I’ve had to make the hard decisions. Cry the angry tears. First, there was the no brainer – I was in a master’s program that simply wasn’t the program for me. It’s not so much that it was hard. In fact, the easier decision would’ve been to just put my head down and push through. Because that’s what I do. That’s who I am. But I realized that I was just there because I was getting tuition assistance. I was beating my head against a brick wall for absolutely no reason. It was quite frankly – stupid.
Then of course, I was in a job that was just crushing my spirit. Every weekend I dreaded when Sunday would come to an end. I’m sure in writing that sounds really dramatic, but that’s where I was at. I could go on and on about all of the reasons I felt that way, but that is better left for discussing over happy hours.
Over Christmas, I made the choice that I was done. That I had to find something else. I had no idea how long it would take, but I threw myself into the search with force. Many hours on craigslist, resumes, 3 interviews and 6 weeks later, I will be starting a new job just after President’s day. When I found out, it felt like such a win. After all of the daily disparities we are faced with – it finally felt like a win for the underdog!
But in the process of the change, I’ve struggled, and am sure I will continue to struggle with leaving.
I know, I KNOW – why struggle leaving a place where you were unhappy all the time? But I guess it’s because leaving comfort is hard and starting something new is terrifying. Even if that something new is an advancement and for the better. Maybe it’s because all of the other many jobs I’ve held over the years all came to their logical conclusions. Life changes happened, moves, graduations. But this is the first time it has really been a true choice.
And I am struck by the feeling that the major thing I will take with me is some really wonderful relationships made during this part of my life and career. People that it will be hard to imagine not seeing everyday, but whose relationships will certainly remain, if not become stronger. I’ve said it before, but that’s what it’s all about. People.
While I may not know what the future, or this new career, will bring – I am excited to be taking the leap to try something new and to be making my own happiness. By making a choice and a change.