When I was job searching after Peace Corps, I had two strong leads – one in D.C. and one in Seattle. Both communications positions at non-profits and both organizations came highly recommended by people I know that are familiar with them. The major difference, at least for me at the time, was that I was a step further in the hiring process with the D.C. gig and that offer came before I had my final interview with the Seattle job. I mulled over both positions, along with both cities, even though I was uncertain if I would take the D.C. job or even get the Seattle job. There was also opportunities for me to stay in South Dakota longer or take a months-long road trip with a friend. The options overwhelmed me, but one day I woke up with this notion in the pit of my stomach. It wasn’t a loud roar, but one that felt authentic. I hadn’t committed to anything, but with clarity I wrote an email to the hiring manager of the Seattle job and withdrew my application.
On occasion I think about the Seattle life I could have had, but I do not dwell. That isn’t my life.
In that fleeting moment, I trusted my gut and knew that I needed to turn in another direction, even if I wasn’t completely sold on D.C. at the time. There was something just not right about that job in Seattle and I thought that if I removed it from my possibilities I would know what to do. I did and eventually took that job in D.C., only to leave it four months later for another offer in Chicago.
Was D.C. the right decision? Would I have come to Chicago had I gone to Seattle first? Or maybe I should have just stayed in South Dakota? Would I have gotten to my true path quicker? I honestly don’t know the answer to those questions, but I do know that this is where I am supposed to be right now. I trust that and I don’t really need to doubt the path that got me here.
Today a choice was put in front of me. Because I am not ready to discuss the whole situation on the internet, this will be a bit vague (no, I am not moving or taking another job – I am done with that, for now). I could go do one road, a solitary path that includes no certainty of being the right one. Or I could go down another path with lots of paths to veer off of whenever I felt unsure. The road of many options is safer and I could always back out if I disappointed or felt disappointed while the solitary road would is an all in situation without any success guaranteed.
I took the solitary road.
And, soon after, I panicked. What if I had chosen unwisely? Maybe I had missed the signs that this isn’t the road I should be on at all. What if I get hurt? What if the other road is where I am supposed to travel and I am not smart enough to realize it?
But that’s only one side of the equation. There is also the likely possibility that I knew exactly what I was doing and made a decision based on love, not the fear of missing out (which I do all too often).
I was tempted to turn to friends and loved ones to reassure me that I made the right choice, but I did not. I didn’t because that steady, albeit sometimes soft, voice told me this is what I needed to do. I could have asked for signs from the Universe or every person in my phone book, but I knew deep down what I needed to do. That doesn’t mean that this path is my ultimate destiny, but maybe it will lead me there, like D.C. did.
I do not know what will happen from here, but this vulnerability is exhilarating. This is more of a beginning than an ending and I am able to travel down this road knowing I am here because I trusted myself.