Glee’s Ballad was once again a trip down memory lane.
Like Rachel I had a crush on my high school teacher. If she had a Mr. Schue, I had a Mr. Q. For a moment, I wondered how he may be doing these days. Is he in Facebook? Will he remember me if I said hello? Will he add me as a friend? Okay, I didn’t go that far. But fondly remembering my high school teacher isn’t the reason why Glee’s last episode struck a chord yet again.
Like Rachel I had confidence issues growing up. I always felt I didn’t fit in, that I didn’t belong. Despite graduating at the top of my class, I always felt I didn’t have what it takes for people to like me, for people to look up to me. This extreme insecurity kind of forced me in a way to work insanely hard to excel in school with the hope that people will like me. Alas, that didn’t help at all. But what did help was accepting myself for who I was and not trying desperately to be who I was not.
I have come a long way since those dark, confusing high school years but every so often I get lapses in self confidence. More so now after starting over with a new career in design after leaving a career wearing bunny suits. It has just been over a month and I am beginning to realize that starting over is way more difficult than I thought. I am seriously enjoying what I am doing but there are times when I get too frustrated and realize that I have so much to learn and I don’t have a lot of time and I don’t have a lot of resources. Running a small business is hard. I easily lose focus and quickly doubt and second guess myself.
But I know I shouldn’t. It’s okay to make mistakes, that’s how people learn. And things take time to grow, nothing great happens overnight. I know I have to keep reciting these things in my head all the time. Dennis thinks I should relax more and enjoy the journey. Relaxing is key, he says. Everything will eventually fall into its proper place as long as I work hard, have a little patience and a little confidence, too. I think he’s right. I have to gain my self confidence back.
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.