Each morning this week, I’ve spent my commute listening to the speeches and recap of the previous day’s Democratic National Convention. And I’ve cried. The big, ugly cry, every morning. The kind where you need to fix your makeup in your car before you go inside. I really didn’t expect to feel this way. I thought that seeing Hillary get so far in 2008 and succeed through the primaries this year, that the convention and the official nominating would just sort of be another step in the process. But it’s not. It’s a big freaking deal. And I get it now.
I’m three weeks in at my new gig, and it’s been a crash course in being new. Again. There is discomfort in the feeling of being adrift and un-moored in a place where you barely know where the bathroom is, much less how to DO YOUR WORK. The discomfort is good for you; I think it’s what opens up your mind to taking in all the new details of the cultural norms of a workplace and positions you for the learning and growth that should come with a new job.
I once worked for a CEO who could make me sweat simply by asking me a question. One day, as I was reapplying deodorant after a particularly tough meeting, it occurred to me that he wasn’t doing this to be a jerk. He was doing it because it was his job to make sure we had thought of every possible angle before committing the resources of the company to a particular course of action. And so was born my obsession with becoming a great question-asker.
When we feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of us, stuck in a job we don’t quite love, or feel out-of-sync with our partners, it’s easy to feel as though we’re somehow deficient, that we alone are being kept out of the “having it all” club. It’s important to remember that everyone is living within the constraints of their choices.
This week I am wrapping up a huge, all-consuming project that I started more than a year ago, but has totally and completely consumed my life for the last 3 months. And as I reflect on this significant professional accomplishment, I’m struck by the fact that I’ve essentially been living the life I know many entrepreneur and start-up professionals live every day. My truth is that I can’t wait for it to be over.