The last week has been full of big changes in my life. The biggest one is that I left SHIFT – the public relations agency where I worked the majority of my adult life. I’m taking this time now to think about what I really want to do — REALLY want to do. I’m excited about all the possibilities and grateful to be able to take some time for no one other than me. (Thank you, Enzo.)
As I’m going through this exercise, it’s got me thinking about how I define myself. You see, for the last gazillion years, “I’m a VP at SHIFT,” has been among the first things I’d say when meeting new people. (just read my “About this Blog.”) It’s also how people would introduce me. “This is my sister. She’s a VP in PR.” “This is my friend. She works in PR.” I went to school for PR and spent the last 18 years working my way up the ranks and I was/am proud of everything I accomplished. I loved my company and the people I worked with and for. Don’t get me wrong. There were days when it seemed nothing would come together. “Snake bitten” is what my boss would say. Days when the stresses of the job made it hard to put on a smile. But then there were times, lots of ’em, when we were on fire! Winning business, adding people – the rush was incredible. I pushed my way through challenges and ruts, was constantly learning and kept moving forward. But now that I’m not there anymore, what’s my intro?
I’m not sure if I’ll be a VP at another agency, go in-house, walk dogs or plant flowers. All of those options seem pretty good. But does one “sound” better than the others? If I choose to drop out of the corporate world and do something entirely different, does that mean I have less to boast about? You hear stories all the time about people who leave Corporate America to pursue their passion and in the end find themselves to be better, more fulfilled people. Will that be me?
At this point I’m still up in the air. I plan to spend a bit more time (on the beach in Nantucket, at the park with my dog, tending to my garden) thinking about it. But I know that there’s lots I’m passionate about. Maybe somewhere in there, among all the things that really get my heart pumping will be that kernel of something that makes me a better, more fulfilled person.