This pic from 10 years ago popped up in Facebook today. Loads of memories and heavy feels came back. I think in some ways how I felt then is similar to what lots of folks are probably feeling now: frustrated, down, tired.
Summer 2010 was frustrating for me. I felt stuck. Stuck in my career, stuck in a town I wanted to leave, stuck in my overall situation, and despite all my efforts to move forward, the universe just kept flicking me back.
I had a good job, but I dreamed of working at an international company, and those opportunities seemed to be in bigger cities. The housing market crashed and I couldn’t afford to sell my condo to move. Desperate, I rented my condo and stayed with a friend while I looked for jobs in other cities. I was OBSESSED with creating change in my life.
Running was my stress release, my outlet. I was getting faster and going farther, until I literally couldn’t. At the end of what was an otherwise incredible 8 mile run, my foot gave out. I crawled the quarter mile home. Stress fracture.
I took my dog Bisou to the park near where I was staying and just sat there for a bit feeling sorry for myself.
Thinking back though, it was also during that time that I got real clarity on what I wanted for the next steps in my life. I spent those months hyper focused on visualizing where I wanted to be in 6 and 12 months, and I resolved to inch myself forward on that path. I reluctantly accepted help from others, and I realized what an incredible support system I have in lifelong friends.
I opened up with my boss about my career goals and desire to move. It felt like potential job suicide at the time, but because I was clear in my goals, and honest with my boss on what I wanted to achieve, he was able to be a more helpful and effective mentor.
Six months later I was on a Southwest flight headed to San Francisco. I had 2 suitcases of stuff, a 2 day hotel voucher, no savings, and was arguably in financial distress – but I was inching forward along my path.
Lots of awesome happened in the 10 years since I sat by that creek with my busted foot. Challenges and heartbreak happened too. During tough times I am particularly grateful for what that summer taught me:
Stay stubbornly focused on goals, and recognize and appreciate the positives along the way. They’re always there.
This is the 2010s reflection I posted at the turn of the decade. Admittedly, 2020 is not what I expected. Pandemics, amirite?
Still I am super inspired by the resiliency of local shops pivoting their business models, and by friends and family members who have up and made BIG life changes recently.
I am reminded and encouraged to keep dreaming, setting goals, and striving to step forward no matter what the universe throws my way.
Thank you, next.