In To a Man Much Like Myself, (scheduled for release on October 25, 2018), I wrote the following excerpt to myself:
As you enter a new chapter of your life—which already sounds too dramatic for our taste—you will find that now is the end of many relationships, activities, and settings. Much of this, however, does not have to end. You could just as easily maintain the exact same relationships, do the same things, and hang out in the same places as you did before. You know you won’t do those things anymore because beginning a “new chapter” is a clean break. A single point in time in which you can mark down as being the end of an old this and the beginning of a new that. Make a choice to break with the past cleanly and swiftly, and reap the rewards of change and development that have long awaited you.
When I wrote that in May, I was talking about high school. I had just left and realized that I’d be better off breaking most of my ties rather than linking my identity to my years in the education system. (I maintain that this is a good choice.)
However, now I’m at a different break in my life. Though it was a short run, I enjoyed working at a great company for the past four months. They brought me on as an intern in June and taught me a lot. Like any job, I had my complaints, and though I wasn’t always good at voicing them, I was welcomed to the team and allowed to fail and grow. Now I face a dilemma when I look at my own advice about how to make a clean break.
I can’t say that I wanted this gig to end. I loved those I worked with and tried to do what I do best, namely design and write things. (My best, unfortunately, seems unremarkable at this stage in my life. I have a strong feeling that will change.) It would be odd to leave all of that behind and let the relationships we built dwindle.
However, there is something great about my first gig coming to a close—the fact I get to look for a new one. I’ll be searching high and low for new contracts and work to do and keep me alive financially, and there is plenty to be learned from that experience. Tomorrow (or today), I won’t be in that office like I have been, and though that might seem scary, it’s also exciting.
Here’s to a clean break.