This past week I was messaging a friend of mine. She recently made the move with me and she originally transferred. Upon getting here she quickly realized that she wasn’t where she needed to be and she quit.
When she quit, I was so insanely proud of her. Proud of her because I cannot imagine what that felt like to walk away from something that she’d spent 12 years doing. Something she was good at. I was proud of her because she was doing what was best for herself and her family. Mostly, I was proud and so, so envious of her for admitting that out loud and actually doing something about it.
Here we are a little over a month removed and she’s still feeling like she’s in limbo. I completely understand why. She’s staying at home. She’s teaching her daughter preschool. She’s doing things she didn’t think she would be doing, but it is because she is biding time for her next move. She just doesn’t know what it is yet.
The conversations we had this week were inspiring and such a good reminder. We are not too old. If you’re sitting in your chair wishing that you were living a different life, it is a good reminder to think about why you’re not living it. Why? What is in your way? There are 3,000 ways to say “no, this is not going to work” and probably only 3 ways to actually make it work. Why are we not willing to try to find the solutions to make things work?
She told me some things I didn’t know about her. She went to school and got a business degree because it seemed like the right thing at the time. She had a rough upbringing and she didn’t really have a lot of options. That resonated with me. I continuously do the things that I think are “right” because I am too scared of what happens when I move a little bit left with no safety net. I went to college, like I’d always wanted, mind you. I found a good job. I stuck with said good job. I happen to be good at said good job. But her comments gave me pause. Options. I didn’t have those then, but I do now. It made me think back to all those reasons you lay out for yourself about why you can’t do something and it forced me to focus on the fact that right now at this current stage in my life, I do actually have options. It feels like the first time.
For the first time, I have the opportunity to really make some moves if I want to do that. Nothing has really held me back in the true sense. I’ve made everything I’ve ever wanted to happen essentially happen so far when you consider the top three things I was looking to accomplish (be employed, make decent money, have a family). From a smaller standpoint, there are things I haven’t done yet, but I have options finally and I can do those things.
So why am I not doing them? Well, now I am. Having the option to do something doesn’t even remotely mean it is going to be easy. It just means you have a choice, and you can make the choice. The choice you make is going to be telling and it’ll show you a lot about yourself.
She’s in her 30s and she’s making a major career shift. It is not too late for her. She is doing it. I am proud of her. I relish in her opportunity. I am grateful she knows enough about herself. I am proud of her vulnerability in this moment where she’s admitting that she doesn’t know where she’s going, but she’s getting there. It’s beautiful, really. And she’s right. She is absolutely right about what she’s doing and where she is right now even if she doesn’t feel like it.
We need to be like her. I need to be like her. Everyone does.