1. It’s important to take time for yourself
In June of 2018 I was putting a lot of effort into cultivating my friendships. I was the hype man for all my friends, saying YES to everything, going on dates, living my best NYC life. Much to my chagrin though, my best NYC lifestyle wasn’t sustainable. In therapy I started to explore why I was experiencing such intense emotional burnout all the time. As it turns out I really just needed alone time. This was a new concept to me. As a natural extrovert, I thrive in groups and get so much nourishment from quality time with my friends. But I realized that I wasn’t getting that nourishment anymore, likely because I was over-exerting myself and the time wasn’t “quality” anymore. So I started building me-time into my schedule, prioritizing my health and fitness, JOURNALING. And the benefits have never felt so tangible. I’m thankful for this routine I’ve established and moreover, thankful for the support of my close friends as I peeled back a bit. This leads me to number 2.
2. Friendships Shift, and that’s OK
It took me a while to believe that ^. Being a good friend is part of my identity, but in June of 2018 it might have been TOO much of my identity. I was unknowingly sacrificing my mental health and valuable free time in the name of not seeming “flaky”, and while I don’t regret a thing, it became clear that I wasn’t giving myself the care I needed. As the time that I built for myself became more normal, I was able to gain some valuable perspective on my social life. I’ve learned that my friends still love and support me, regardless of how many parties I can make it to. And while it’s true that pulling back from the social scene resulted in somewhat of a shift in certain dynamics, it was necessary for me. Necessary for my mental health, and necessary for making room for a really amazing relationship. Without having taken this time for myself, there’s no way I would have been able to sustain the loving relationship sprung up so naturally earlier this year.
3. I’m smart and capable
Transitioning from the friend stuff, my career has taken a major turn. In August of 2018 I accepted a job at Google and said goodbye to the coworkers who had become my family. Let me tell you – my first 6 months at Google whooped my ass. I would come home from work so frustrated I’d be shaking. I never thought I’d learn my role, learn the tech, the politics. I thought I didn’t belong, that they’d made a mistake. But I showed up, every day, and did the work. I read extensively about the product I represent. I admitted when I didn’t know. Through that, I’ve gained confidence. I’ve become a valuable member of my team, and I have set myself up to continue growing and learning. In fact, as I finish up this post, I am writing from a conference that would have seemed like a pipe-dream to attend at the start of my role. But here I am, learning a lot and feeling really energized about the endless possibilities I have being a woman in tech.
4. Trust the process
I heard this in a spin class a long time ago and it really struck me, even if it was just a cheesy motiving one-liner. I’ve spent a lot of time – A LOT – stressing about the future, feeling insecure about my lack of vision. Specifically lack of career vision. I wish I could tell you what I want my career to turn into, or where I want to be in 10 years. But I don’t know, and based on how much has changed in a year, I can’t even imagine where I’ll be in 10. And truth be told, in writing this reflection piece, I had a bit of an “aha” moment: things are really really good right now for a girl who’s only goal coming out of college was to get a job. Any job. My work ethic has never wavered, even when faced with challenging situations or worse, boredom. So taking this little “aha” as a reminder to keep doing the work, staying hungry, and trust the process.
5. Good things happen, love is real, we will be ok.
I carry this last one around on my keychain
. I think it’s the most amazing, most grounding mantra in the world. And best of all, it couldn’t be truer. I’ve experienced good things. I’ve found love. And I’m realizing that I’m ok, even with all of my flaws and imperfections and insecurities.