I finally did it.
After over four years of bunny suits, graveyard shifts, short weekends and transpacific travels, I am leaving Silicon Valley. I am finally moving on. Demanding 10-hour-minimum-work-days and the frustrating drop-all-your-weekend-plans-we-don’t-care-about-your-personal-life attitude have taken all the fun out of doing research. I am just so burned out.
For too long I’ve been afraid of leaving my job and giving up my paycheck. Wait a few more years, I kept on telling myself. But the more I waited the more I got frustrated about how much my life revolved around my job. Dennis and I even moved out of the city, for crying out loud, so that we can live closer to my work but soon realized that life didn’t get any better. It was not all about the money. Clearly, I was not happy. Clearly, it was time to move on, take the plunge and pursue my passion.
I cannot tell you enough how much I am excited about this change. I have so many plans and I am bursting with so many ideas. I know it’s not going to be easy. Change is never easy. Starting over is never easy. But all this is not foreign to me since I have been through big changes before in my life. Perhaps, the biggest one so far was when I decided to leave home and start a new life here in California eleven years ago. It was difficult. But looking back I’m so glad that I took the risk and did it. I’m so amazed at how much I have learned and how much I have grown through the years.
Dennis gave me this very thoughtful card, which reads, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” I just cannot wait to see what the rest of my life would be like.
In her memoir, My Life in France, Julia Child writes effervescently about how her love of French food sparked her fiery passion for cooking and teaching. She was 36 when she moved to France with her husband, Paul. She spoke no French, knew absolutely nothing about France and had no clue what she wanted to do with her life. I actually find myself in the same situation. No, I am not moving to France but there are days when I wonder if I really know what I want to do for the rest of my life.
Like Julia, I am in my mid-thirties and I am still discovering myself. But unlike her, I oftentimes get bogged down because I am too afraid. Too afraid of making decisions and standing by them. Too afraid of making mistakes and owning them. Too afraid of facing rejections and accepting them. No amount of rejection fazed Julia. She struggled to fit in at Le Cordon Bleu and she faced rejection right and left while trying to publish her now celebrated Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But Julia persevered. She pursued her passion and led a full life and enjoyed a rewarding career.
It may sound overly romantic but I want to try and pursue my own passion, whatever that passion may be. I guess that’s what I’m trying to figure out. I just need to stop being too afraid and start facing the omelet pan and start learning how to flip my own omelet. Life is too short to be always afraid.