These last few weeks have been damn tiring. I find networking (or relationship-building or whatever other modern repackaging you want to wrap it up in) terribly exhausting. I have good days where I feel predominantly optimistic, or at least my own version of optimistic which is still tinged with a good dose of pragmatism. I would say I also have an equal if not slightly greater number of days which feel hard, where I feel discouraged, and where it feels like nothing is moving fast enough. On those days, I am my own worst enemy, my pesky little inner critic gets promoted to CEO and she runs a very tight ship of negativity.
One of the biggest challenges I anticipated for myself in leaving my last role was staying positive in that purgatory of the unknown that occurs between leaving one job and starting another. I thought I would struggle with it and, in fact, I have. Like most things in my life, I started with a white hot spark of forward movement. I spammed my network like crazy. I booked meetings like a fiend. I updated my LinkedIn and resume like there was no tomorrow. Then I finished my first round of meetings, few of which yielded anything concrete or promising, and it was like “Okay, now what?” My white hot flame fizzled into a spiral of fading smoke that I like to call demotivated discouragement (because I like alliteration).
I find it difficult to keep the momentum going without seeing results. I don’t need to see immediate results, mind you. That wouldn’t fit with my brash pragmatism. But I do need to feel like things are moving forward, and sometimes things feel brutally stuck. When that happens, I find it much easier to just sit back and wait. Clearly, I understand that this is not helpful.
Ah life transitions, you are filled with such delightful internal conflict and turmoil, at least for sad pandas like me. It is a daily struggle to remind myself to breathe (not literally, of course, but more in the form of activities that keep me sane), to stay patient knowing that few things in the world move as quickly as we’d like them to, and to keep moving forward, ignoring that inner voice that tells me it’s okay to just wait. One day, perhaps soon, this will all become an old habit to me so much so that it seems perfectly natural. Until then, breathe, patience, move forward, repeat.