Transitions don’t always mean breaking away from what we know, but instead evolving towards the next phase. I like to think of this recent period in my life as attraversare. An easy word that rolls off my mother tongue to mean “to cross”. When I found this picture of the Golden Bridge in Vietnam, it resonated for me because I certainly feel I did not make this journey alone.
In a recent interview, a question about my career break came up. Afterall, I have been out of a traditional job for nearly three years. What started as “in between jobs” turned into a world of uncertainty due to the onset of a global pandemic, and a series of events in my personal life. I explained that through this time, I never stopped working and never retired. I adjusted to my circumstances and unpacked and unlearned a bunch of things I accumulated along the way.
I am a curious and continuous learner who enjoys finding creative ways to solve problems. I also enjoy technology, so it was natural for me to embark on a project that would see me put these two things together. During my break, I developed a platform that would help women easily find each other for mentorship. I developed this idea and manifested it, trusting my instincts and taking risks I only ever dreamed I might one day have the courage to do.
Along the way, I found myself in the choices I made. It was a very vulnerable time for me. I seeded an idea, applied for a trademark, incorporated a business, built a website, developed an app, dove into new business networks, and immersed myself in the most important topics impacting women during one of the most significant global events of our time. So much learning. No regrets whatsoever.
When an opportunity came up to consider taking a traditional job, I listened. I allowed myself to be open, and for a split second I allowed the negative thoughts to float above like a rain cloud. I wondered if I was abandoning my passion, if I was selling out. Then it passed, and I remembered something my younger daughter taught me: “Two things can be true at the same time.”
I can continue to help women through mentorship, and I can dive back into a traditional job. The career break gave me time to come back to myself and what I care about. It allowed me to reconnect to what truly matters to me, to discard the noise and hear myself.
Like many, I keep a bunch of random notes on my phone. Some are quotes that resonate with me, or perhaps some profound realization I had during a run. Here is one such quote that stuck whenever I contemplated a change, from an article I came across on LinkedIn: “Focus on the personal reason for quitting rather than the wider narrative about quitters, and keep the decision in perspective. You’re not deciding your role for the rest of your life — you’re just deciding on the next job, or the next decision.”
I agree. I don’t like the sound of quitting — I prefer attraversare. I made it across.
Written by: Maria McGinn
Edited by: Shauna McGinn
Published: April 11, 2022
Originally published at https://mentorsheblog.carrd.co.