People will tell you…jump out of your comfort zone, do something uncomfortable, and see the world as if changing your job, moving out of state, or starting over is something that happens overnight. We all adapt to change at different paces…and I happen to be at the slower end of that spectrum and this is my journey.
Just last year I was finishing up grad school, in a long term relationship, coaching rowing, and just loving life. The majority of my friends stayed within the area and I was looking forward to joining the “real world” with them once I graduated. I dreamt of working for a federal agency, living in the District, and joining my friends for brunch every Sunday as we discussed our adult lives. Little did I know that this was all coming to a halt.
Before and after class, I furiously searched for jobs on USAJobs filtering them down to Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. I had no intent of leaving the DC area. Job offers came from private companies and political campaigns, but I wanted that federal government job. One morning I checked my email and it said “REFERRED” with a job offer with the Department of the Army. The job search was over and I was ready to graduate the following May. My friends and family were so excited for me. I felt like all my hard work in college and grad school paid off. Then I asked my significant other, “Would you consider moving to Richmond with me someday?” That conversation ended with a “no” and it ended our rocky relationship. Later that summer, I was moving to Richmond and starting over. I spent many nights crying, contemplating my life decisions, and hoping to make it back to DC.
Little did I know that all these changes would be the biggest blessing in disguise. Now I’m single and living alone in my own apartment in a town I have never heard of, a couple hundred miles away from home, and not only working for the government but for a prestigious school. Many people would see this as backtracking because it seems like I’m starting over, but it isn’t. I used to look back and think about how my life would have been if I stayed in the same place. I don’t look back. I just keep looking forward. I told people to stop feeling sorry for me for moving around, living out of suitcases for business trips, and eating in restaurants alone in random cities. My job took me out of my comfort zone, helped me meet some amazing people, and taught me about being self-sufficient.
I’m happy and excited about everyday now. I hope I can inspire others to do the same.
Don’t be afraid of what the future holds.