Just realized I'm writing you for the second week in a row with a plate of sushi in front of me, glass of Sauvignon Blanc by my side. I wish I could articulate the excessive regalness I feel when ordering sushi in German. You don't just say seaweed salad, you get to say zee-tang zahl-aht. What a brilliant way to order your superfoods.
I'm feeling my momentum pick up with September on the horizon (and by horizon I mean tomorrow). Basically means 2017 is here. Oh, to return to the days when the end of August meant the first day of school--and when winter break felt like it was a billion miles away.
Anyway. Onwards. My personal reaction to this back-to-school burst of energy is to start zooming out a little, to try and see three steps ahead of myself. Attempt to make a long-term plan or five.
I'm not ready to dive into any specifics today, mostly because I don't have any confirmed details to share yet.
And while I feel like I'm kind of hiding things from you, I'm also trying to shake myself out of the habit of asking for one hundred thousand other people's opinions on my life/career choices.
Am I the only one who still does this?
I will sit up on my #entrylevelboss soapbox for weeks and tell you how to hack your own skillset and go confidently in the employment direction of your dreams--and I honestly believe every single word of it.
But then it comes time to make my own decisions, and all I want is opinions from like, literally every person I know.
A lot of us let our careers and our lives just... happen to us. I can see how it happens right out of college. You're used to deadlines, you're used to a professor calling the shots, you're used to trying to make the grade.
You get offered your first job. Your boss tells you they always wished they would have done a rotation in [blank] department, and that's what they recommend you do if you think you're interested in it. You go do it. Your next boss tells you they think you're just perfect for her role, since she's about to get promoted. You figure it's a move in the right direction. Your mom says you should get an MBA, and then your dad says you should really consider taking the management position over at that company. So you do that, too.
And so on.
And so on.
The easiest route through life is to follow good advice. The problem is, when thebig opportunities come knocking--the magic ones, the ones that you've been waiting for, the ones that you invented yourself--you're probably going to be the only person you know who's ever been in your shoes.
Especially in--sorry, have to--today's day and age.
This last week or so, my instinct has been to go get coffee with everyone I know. Even though I know--I know--that I'm the only one who can make my own decisions.
I get asked out for a lot of coffees, and I don't go to a lot of them anymore. Not when I can tell that they're trying to do what I myself am doing right now, which is to just crowdsource enough opinions to feel like they beat the system and won't have to ever make a decision by themselves.
I think I might just start messaging them all back and saying, "You can only have so many coffees. Feel free to email me again when you have a specific question I can answer for you."
The next kind soul to buy you a coffee doesn't have any answers to give you. There are no tea leaves to read, there is no playbook to buy.
At some point, you have to stop drinking coffee and just make the call.
I'm off to see my friend play some jazz with Tom Waits' bass player, I'll talk you guys next week.
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