Growth is interesting. It can make you a better person, but goddamn the process can be painful. Then again, there are these beautiful moments of realization that also happen along that road.
Here’s a picture of a Lego sculpture of a drowning man. I keep thinking there are two choices here. He’s either throwing his hands up in defeat before he slips under for good, or he’s reaching upward to find a way to fly. I didn’t take the picture thinking I’d use it for a metaphor. I just thought it was a kickass sculpture. The great thing about being open to interpretation is that you can find extra layers of meaning in everything around you.
Now that my tenure as head of a vibrant community has ended, a lot of people are asking me what’s next. The answer is equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. I don’t know. At least, not in the “here’s the job I have lined up” way. I think everybody understands why that would be a lil scary in these times. Here’s what makes it so exciting.
I worked in a fast-paced, take-no-prisoners startup setting and proved myself. Hardcore. For a year and half, I created a department, nurtured a community, managed a full spectrum of content and led a team of talented people. It was a fly high or fail environment, and it pushed me to accomplish things I’d never imagined I would. For all of that, I was rewarded with trust and major responsibility, amazing gifts to receive from an innovative CEO.
Along the way, I realized that my path had gotten diverted. More and more of my day was spent on management and service. This was a testament to the company’s needs and how much they trusted me. Unfortunately, it was not a testament to what I wanted to add to the world. A wise person told me, “Just because you’re good at something, doesn’t mean you should be doing it.”
So here I am, figuring out the intersection of what I’m good at doing and what I want to do. It’s a chance to dive into everything that interests me, so I can pinpoint what that right next step is. All that energy that I poured into someone else’s dream, is now being spent on me. I’m attending meetups for people who love to write, build communities, and give back to the world. I’m working on several articles to refresh my freelance journalism portfolio. I’m wining and dining it up with friends who remind me that I don’t actually have to work that hard to be loved by the people in my life. And, this one’s super crazy, I’m doing my own laundry. Heaps of it!
It’s a really interesting time. I’m trying hard to stay true to myself as I go along, which is funny since part of the discovery process is defining what it even means to be true to myself. I can’t wait to find out.