At Wednesday’s event on career change, one member asked the speakers:
How long did it take you to find what you were looking for?
Her general gist: ‘I work at an intense job, I barely have any spare time for reflection and experimentation, and maybe I’ll have to just save up so that I can take some time away from the job… but how long should I plan to take off? Six months? Six weeks?’
Of course, there wasn’t a one-size-fits-all answer… (is there ever, when it comes to the important questions?!)
As I checked out Danielle’s site, what struck me was her post on navigating uncertainty:
I’ve been stuck, and nuts, and saved enough times to know that clarity always succeeds confusion. Spring is certain. It’s not the uncertainty that’s frightening, it’s not knowing how long the uncertainty will last.
She quotes Nietzsche: “You must have chaos in your heart to give birth to stars.”
I just loved her point about running towards confusion and anxiety, instead of obeying the natural instinct to avoid it. I totally remember that feeling, when I dropped out of law school, of feeling liberated, but foggy, as to what the ‘right’ next step was.
Two years later, and I’m infinitely happier at Esc – happier than I ever would have been working at a law firm… but I couldn’t have predicted this situation, back then. So now, whenever I experience any kind of confusion or anxiety, I just have to remind myself that the discomfort is the price we pay for that eventual sense of clarity.
There’s no definitive time frame for how long confusion will last. But as I told myself when I decided to ‘escape’ law school – you don’t have to have it all figured out overnight. “You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” (E. L. Doctorow)