It's coming up on one year since I made my leap from my academic faculty position to the corporate world. It hasn't turned out like I had hoped so far.
When I took a job as a contractor, it was with the belief that it wouldn't take me long to find something more permanent in the company, or somewhere even better. I was sure I'd land an important position with a big salary and prove myself right for leaving a position that I once loved, but was starting to change in unacceptable ways. That didn't happen. I've had some great job interviews with other employers that seemed like great places to work, but nothing has panned out so far.
In the last few weeks I had been really second-guessing myself for leaving my faculty position behind without more commitment that I would get a salaried position. This is, after all, what we're all told never to do. I was also focusing on the things I missed about my old career and all the things I'm not liking as much about my new job. I was feeling like a failure and a loser.
Racing this weekend helped me to reset a little. Somehow I gained some new perspective on the situation. Maybe the best thing I can do right now is to stay available until the right thing comes along. I have a paycheck, but I am not tied down to my position. I've learned a lot of new things and have met some great people.
Racing also helped me to remember that there is more to life than just work. I have worth no matter what I do for a living. I really am grateful that I can participate in triathlon. It lets me show that I am determined and focused and gets me out into the beautiful world. I love almost everything about my life, and eventually I'll get that last piece of the puzzle in place. I have a lot to offer, and someone will realize that.
Let us imagine that life is a river. Most people are clinging to the bank, afraid to let go and risk being carried along by the current of the river. At a certain point, each of us must be willing to simply let go, and trust the river to carry us along safely. At this point, we learn to “go with the flow” — and it feels wonderful.
Once we have become accustomed to being in the flow of the river, we can begin to look ahead and guide our course onward, deciding where the course looks best, steering the way around boulders and snags, and choosing which of the many channels and branches of the river we prefer to follow, all the while still “going with the flow.”
This metaphor shows us how we can accept our lives here and now, flowing with what is, and at the same time guiding ourselves consciously toward our goals by taking responsibility for creating our own lives.
I'm going to let go for a while and see where that takes me, watching along the way for a better path.