I’m a planner, an organizer, a control freak and a worrier. So when opportunities and change are thrown my direction, they better yell REALLY loud. Otherwise I’m perfectly OK with keeping this road of mine straight and calm.
It’s hard at this stage of life, to know what’s right for your life. You did the college thing, got a first job and are making a good effort at being an adult. But now all of your peers are headed down different paths, and suddenly, for first time, it really feels like its just you, on your own, with SO MANY OPTIONS.
For me, it started out by people asking “You stayed in Kansas after college, do you plan to moved back to Oregon someday? When?” And every time, the only honest answer I could give was “someday.” From high school on through college, I have always had lots of ideas and dreams about what I would do and where I would go, but when the “future” is now the “present” it’s a lot more intimidating. But for the past couple of months I’ve kept returning to the same thought. I love Kansas and Oregon. I love what I have in both places. But neither of them have what I need right now. In Kansas I feel like I’m in a rut and in my mind, if or when I move back to Oregon, that’s it, I probably won’t leave ever again. There’s just so much more I was want to do and experience. I want my career to be bigger. I want my life to be as colorful and cheesy and fulfilling as possible. I’ve never wanted to be the person that looks back and regrets what I didn’t do.
So about five months ago I finally asked myself: Why Not?
If there was ever a time in life to pick up and go, this would be it. Of course, I sat on that question for while and slowly started to bring it up with people who understand me and aren’t opposed to calling me out. And they all would nod and smile, as if they had arrived at this conclusion for me a while ago and were just waiting for me to bring it up. I finally decided that I wouldn’t actively search for something new, but if something came up that was worth looking into, I would.
Fast forward to five weeks ago, when I saw a job opening with the U.S. Wheat Associates in Arlington, Virginia. I looked at the description, liked what I saw and then clicked out of it. Cool, that would be a great job for someone. But by the end of the day, I had reread the description six times, and decided that no, that would be a great job for me. I loved working in the grains industry when I was in college and Washington D.C. has always been a place that I was fascinated by. It’s the only place outside of the Pacific Northwest or the Midwest that I have pictured myself living.
So that’s it. I have accepted a new job as a communications specialist with the U.S. Wheat Associates and will be moving to the DC area in just about two weeks. There are so many details to sort out and decisions to make that I’ve reverted to my old college stress combat mode. I am so scared, but I’m more excited.
I thought that after going through this I’d have some worldly advice about timing, transitions and risks. But this can’t be something that’s held to a list of steps and how-to’s. It’s singular and it’s personal. But I can offer encouragement. Trust your instincts. Let your faith and the good things in your life be bigger than your fears. Lean on your support system. There’s people in mine that go to bat for me regularly and others, that actually surprised me.
Oh, and when in doubt, refer to the Gilmore Girls Pro-Con List Method. Works every time.
I’m excited to share about what coming up for me next. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to Kansas but I know I’m lucky to have a goodbye that’s that hard. Stay tuned. This is going to be fun.