Change Brings Opportunity

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.   -Anatole France
My last post alluded to some vague changes I was making in my life.  Now that everything has come to fruition, I feel a follow up is appropriate!  I accepted a new position with my company and am moving to Charlotte, NC at the beginning of July.
The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster.  This job was something I decided to pursue on a whim to some degree – the timing was right, I had momentum with some key stakeholders, and I decided to seize the opportunity when it presented itself without a significant amount of consideration.  I overanalyze things to death and I’ve learned that I often capitulate to “paralysis by analysis.”  I had a moment of courage and committed to seeing it through.  Prior to flying to Charlotte for the interview, I had periods of calm and clarity followed by periods of acute and intense anxiety about my decision to apply.  And I mean the kind of anxiety that made me feel physically sick.  I questioned whether I was doing the right thing or not.  I considered backing out.  I considered self-sabotage to avoid getting an offer.  However, through all of these ups and downs, I remained committed to my moment of courage, to seeing things through, to doing the best I could with the presentation/interview, and to ultimately put faith in the universe that if it was meant to be, it would be.
The theme of this year for me has been embracing new experiences, confronting my fears, and being willing to get uncomfortable for the sake of personal growth.  For much of my life, I was very discomfort-averse.  If something made me uneasy or stressed, I simply avoided it.  One example (admittedly somewhat embarrassing) is me avoiding the airport.  Until two years ago, I had never flown on a plane by myself before.  And until 3  months ago, I had never even driven myself to the airport.  Navigating the airport stressed me out so much, I would always coerce a friend/family member to pick me up and drop me off, or I would use Super Shuttle for my work trips.  When I had to fly to Denver for a business trip in February, I realized that if I kept avoiding the airport, I would never get over my anxiety about it, so I forced myself to do it.  I have since done it three more times, and now it is no big deal.
When you fear something, the only way to overcome it is to face it.  If something makes you uncomfortable, avoiding it will only reinforce your uneasiness.  Public speaking, traveling on my own, and having to “network” in a business setting have historically been things that make me really uncomfortable.  Those three things are all fundamental pieces of my new job as a consultant.  And you know what?  That’s what I find appealing.  There is a confidence and sense of accomplishment that comes from confronting your fears and triumphing over them, and I am addicted to that feeling.  I am driven to turn my weaknesses into strengths.
I don’t formally transition to my new role until July 9th, but a last-minute opportunity came up before I had even formally accepted the job to participate in a finalist meeting (i.e. the real deal!).  I was told on Friday I would be flying to Houston on Tuesday for a meeting on Wednesday.  “Old Kayla” would have panicked about being thrown into something so unfamiliar so soon and without much notice.  Instead, I was excited.  Presenting at finalist meetings is a core responsibility of my new job, and here I was being handed an opportunity on a silver platter to dive right into my new job.  I embraced it and I got excited about it.  And it went great!  I am so much more confident now that I already have one finalist meeting under my belt and I haven’t even officially transitioned into my consultant job yet.
That being said, this is bittersweet.  I am leaving behind an amazing group of people – family, friends, co-workers.  I have already gotten misty-eyed over it several times in the past few days.  I know a new, exciting life is waiting for me in Charlotte, but that doesn’t make leaving my old life behind any easier.  The AZ chapter of my life is drawing to a close, but the NC chapter of my life is just beginning.  Maybe it’s cheesy to say, but I  feel deep down that moving to Charlotte marks the real start of my adult life. 
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be”  -Lao Tzu
My first skydive – December 2008.  Another scary/exciting experience that I’m so glad I did!

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