It’s been almost a year since I left a job with a company I adored. I believed in its mission. Its employees were my family. Its potential was my fuel. And yet, I carry some battle wounds from my time there. As my first job out of business school, I spent many months working hard for solid results. As that time progressed, my priorities shifted. My language changed. I said I loved things I didn’t. And eventually, I lost myself.
Somewhere between trying to convince myself something wasn’t right and sharing that knowledge with others, I burned out. I was tired of fighting to be heard and hearing in return that I was simply “too much.” After starting to dance to the beat of drums I didn’t know, I had a difficult time tuning into the desires of my heart. It was clear I needed a recalibration/retuning in listening. And so I stopped. I got still. I got real. And I got free – free from the expectations of myself, free from the judgment of others, and free from words I heard that became my truth.
My identity – for much of my life – has been wrapped in what I am doing as opposed to who I am being. And so, for me, separating from a career I truly loved and where I was supposedly known was challenging. And, as I learned in this process, the space between ideation and action can be dark. For several months, I sought the affirmation of others to take a leap into a new opportunity. It seemed I consulted any human within a five-foot radius. Looking back, I recognize I was relying on the advice of colleagues who had spoken into my hardest days…and it makes sense. They were the ones I trusted. They were the ones that knew me. And they stood for me, not with me…there is a big difference. But even with the heartfelt encouragement and support of those amazing people, the choice was still my own.
Perhaps the above sounds drastic to you – and it could be. Sure. For where I was (and am) in my life, my job was everything. My goals centered around its potential. Our moves to different cities were based on my dreams. And that’s where I found release – in recognizing what was driving our choices. Me. I was angry when I didn’t get my way. I was frustrated when things got difficult. And I got resentful as I realized my life was not my own. Yet I kept pushing harder. Ultimately, I recognized the pitfalls of trying to “create a life” and instead opened my eyes to the life I’ve already been given. Because it is enough…it’s more than enough.
In whatever season you find yourself, at its core is an element of disbelief: disbelief in the possible, disbelief in your own courage, disbelief in the providence and provision of your Creator. It is an earthly response to a divine indwelling. Each of us is created on purpose, and rising up from the ashes of disbelief and rejection to reach for that purpose is daunting, arduous, and AWESOME.
Live into the awesome part.