I have been a complete disaster for the last week. Finally, the tides have changed because I boldly took the leap to change my professional direction and chase my dreams. My philosophy is “go big or go home,” so when I created my own door of opportunity and it actually opened, my life flashed before me. No, I wasn’t dying—I was reflecting, projecting, inspired, overwhelmed, thankful, and so truly happy. I really relish that feeling because it doesn’t surface often in life. Then I tried to remember when I felt like I was riding on this rollercoaster last, and that’s when it dawned on me—landing your dream job feels exactly like landing a date with your dream guy.
Even though I’ve been out of the dating pool for a really long time, I must admit, once the butterflies, jitters, and excitement to the point of nausea takes over, it’s pretty hard to forget. You just know it when you feel it.
1. Taking the leap: So you got the guts to get on the playing field and put yourself out there. It’s so exciting and makes you feel so vulnerable, doesn’t it? What if you get a “no”? What if it’s a “yes”? Ok, what do I say first? What if I sound stupid? Should I just go for it or practice what I’m going to say with a friend first? Wait, what the heck am I doing? Who do I think I am? Ugh, just stop over-thinking and just go for it already! Stop questioning yourself and don’t let this opportunity slip away! Ok, I’m doing this. I can do this. What’s the worst thing that can happen, right?
2. Crazy phone checks: OMG, I did it. I think I’m going to be sick. Let me check my phone now. Did he call? Nope. Ok, need to check my e-mail. Nothing yet. Maybe it went to Spam mail. Twitter? Ok stop right now, no cyber-stalking, what’s wrong with you? Chill out! Maybe there’s something wrong with my phone. Yeah, maybe I should power down and reboot? Ok, no, I’ll wait a minute first. No maybe I’ll check e-mail again before I do that.
3. Butterflies galore: Oooh, so excited I could throw up. Constant jittery jumping beans, I feel like I could jump out of my skin with anticipation! The shakey tummy is nonstop. Holy crap, will something please just happen?! But wait, not yet, there’s so much to do! What do I do in the meantime to get my mind off of it?
4. Meeting greeting: What do I wear? What should I say? What if I sound like a rambling idiot? I need to prepare. What if it gets awkward? Do I have anything in my teeth? I hope we hit it off. Do I look ok? Oh geez, I’m a mess. My hands are sweaty and my knee won’t stop shaking. Chill out, woman! Do I have anything in my teeth?
5. Call back: Wow, that was awesome. Do you think it went well? You think I came across ok? I really hope it works out. Let me check my phone and see if I got a message. Do you think I’ll get asked back?
After having four kids, spending the last decade either being pregnant or taking care of a tiny tot, and mostly working as a writer and editor for a trade magazine, taking a leap of faith and changing directions can seem a bit exhilarating, daunting, refreshing, and just right. What’s even better is when that defining moment occurs at the right place and at the right time. Just like in a relationship, sometimes you just know. The best part is grasping the life-changing enormity of it all.
Even though these last few days have felt like I’m going to be sick with overwhelming excitement and happiness about my new direction, I hope this feeling stays so vibrant and fresh. After my fourth child began school, and it was just myself for the first time since I was in my 20’s, I made the conscious decision to figure out who I truly am and what I want—and then to relentlessly and passionately chase my dreams.
I made a firm decision that during this time, I would wholeheartedly carry out my vision, do it in digestible doses, learn from it, grow with it… and most importantly, love it every step of the way. I feel most blessed to have landed my dream guy and enjoy my full family. Thankfully, I can now also relish in landing my dream direction that I have always wanted.
If you’re truly passionate about your vision, then work for it and live it. That’s how dreams become your reality.
The only way to reach the top of that professional mountain is with one small step at a time. Don’t look up and get overwhelmed— just focus on the simple path and each simple step that guides you there.
This is it—time to shine.