I’ve been thinking a lot lately about letting go and moving on. Not an easy task, to say the least. And moving on from what, you might ask? An ex-boyfriend? A fallen friend? A screw up at work? Negative, nope, not that either.
No, I’m talking about letting go and moving on from the big, bold career plan I had hung on to so dearly for so long – as if it were the only thing keeping me from drowning in the big open sea of life.
And while I have made significant strides – no more career tunnel vision! – I still find myself bouncing back and forth striving for the life I had planned on (or some slight variation there of) and the life I’m still afraid to admit may actually be the right fit.
So what’s a girl to do? Well for starters, I’ve spent a big chunk of free time over the last two years reading inspirational stories about others who have ventured down an unexpected path, only to be pleasantly surprised with the satisfying outcome at the end. Uplifting – and sometimes harshly honest – quotes also help. Why yes, I do scribble them down on ironically bright Post-it notes and tape them to my fridge to be front and center every day of my life.
Wait, not everyone does that?
And I guess it’s to be expected at this time of year that I’m reminiscing about the high-fashion career I was starting even before I graduated college. New York Fashion Week just started, and I always feel a twinge of longing (FOMO, if you will) for that world I was starting to become a part of.
But I have to stop and ask, is that really the life I want for the next 40 years? Do I really want to stay up ‘til 4am every night for four weeks straight twice a year (and not in a fun, let’s wake up with some regrets kind of way – no, in an obligatory, do your job and be better than everyone else kind of way)? Do I really want to be required to schmooze my way through work parties and happy hours only to gain one more business card from someone who may or may not be able to “help” me in the near future?
I’ve always known I wanted to create a career that was impressive to onlookers and covetable to new up-and-comers. A career like the one I was starting – working as a fashion publicist at the premiere PR firm in the sartorial world.
But in recent years, I find myself over and over again standing at the crossroads of that life I think I want and the life that will actually be sustainable, and – dare I say it – perhaps even more desirable in the long run. I have to admit that I still get a high off of telling people what I do and seeing that look of revere in their eyes. Shallow and a bit needy to feel better about myself because of that? Perhaps.
And then I think about relaxed weekends filled with brunches, dinners and other things that signify truly living life (life, not work – let me reiterate). Tempting, to say the least.
And there in lies the internal struggle that rears its ugly head every year at the start of fashion month.
I guess I’ll have to continue internalizing thought leaders’ wise words and reading true-life tales from game changers around the globe. Here’s to continuing on the path of the unknown and hopefully seeing the light at the end of the tunnel – whatever ending that light may shed upon.
photo 1 from wit + delight, all others my own.