Sometimes, a good old-fashioned life update is what's needed. As much for me as it is for anyone else, it's hard to expand on life thoughts without knowing what the stuff of our days is in the first place.
Is it just me or has 2016 felt like something new altogether? I've been so in it , gloriously in it, there's a part of me that wants all of life to be this way, but there's this other whispering part of me that knows how important it is to create in the midst of change and the normal. This is where beauty births and it's important to notice it.
Logistically, little has changed these past several months. I'm still working at the same company, with more responsibilities and more contentment. Something shifted for me around my 30th birthday when it came to questions about career, worth, and my path; in March, my best girlfriends and I retreated to Napa Valley for the weekend. These women are from all walks of life and though they don't make up the entirety of my people, they are so formative and so inspiring. I was knee deep in wanting my job and career to look different, knee deep in feeling so discontent and disappointed in myself, that part of what I really wanted out of this celebratory time with these women was some concrete plan of how I was going to move forward toward something I could be proud of.
What I got instead was a poem, by Sylvia Plath to be specific. It talked of fig trees and how each branch represents a different life: an author, a mother, a teacher, etc. If you sit paralyzed not able to choose, the figs fall off the tree and wither beneath you. Or, OR, you choose one. Mostly this concept felt entirely true and entirely dreadful. 30 years old and unable to choose! Or, maybe worse, 30 years old and choosing but not able to be happy with it. But there's another way to look at it, one that has brought such comfort and joy: at any given point, we move toward the fig that's the ripest. That's all anyone does, really. When enough of whatever needs to align finally aligns, we move toward the fruit that's the closest and the ripest and we eat it for all it's worth. And then, we move on to the next fig, something entirely different but suddenly ripe and appearing.
Tech Recruiting is the fig that's the ripest for me right now, because it's where I am. It's not to say that graduate school or writing or therapy or law isn't going to be a fig someday, but that's also not the point. This is the fruit that I have, and I'm going to eat it for its deliciousness, give it all I have and dance in the midst of it. It's mine to enjoy right now, and that is good news.
And now, miraculously, weirdly, glroiously, it's opened me up to something else and something that I didn't see coming: a way to use these skills to help people who could benefit. Since embracing where I am, I get to expand and create and lean into something related but new, a unique but closer fig, if you will. I'm spending a lot of energy thinking about and working on onramping opportunities for lower-income adults in the Bay Area who want to move into careers that can sustain them economically and financially in their homes and in their communities. It's a blooming thing growing near the fruit that I've already picked and am enjoying, like a bud that I can't quite touch, but somehow that doesn't take away from its hope.