I had an unusual meeting last week. One of our clients has assigned a new point person to our relationship, so we met to lay the foundation for the future. We also met to reconnect on the past, as Kevin was our point person about 6 or 7 years ago when we first forged the partnership. Years pass quickly at times, so I was happy to be working with him again and looking forward to catching up.
Our meeting started out on business, but as we got further into it, we found ourselves talking about the ups and downs of life. Now, this is not the first time that I’ve had a conversation like this while on the road. This felt different though. As we talked about the vagaries of life, some of the lightness made way for a more direct connection. And the question arose… Are you happy in your own skin?
When your career is new, that question is easier to answer. You feel that you know who you are and where you are going. Here, in the mid-section of life, it gets a little harder to find that answer. It doesn’t matter how happy you are with who you are or how you’re rising in your job or responsibilities. You’re in the middle – somewhere between here and there – and cresting a hill. The end of your career is a little closer than your beginning. You may be looking back at the dreams or desires you had way back when, and wondering what you did with them. Did you take a detour? Did you achieve those young dreams and are now looking for a new one? Maybe you’re feeling restless, bored or stifled and don’t know what to make of it.
It’s tempting to lean towards frustration if you’re drifting a little, to feel uncomfortable in your own skin as you’re searching for the next step in the evolution of you. But don’t question who you are just because you may be questioning where you’re going or your circumstances. Now more than ever, you should accept yourself. Heck, celebrate it! It’s okay to be frustrated, uncomfortable or searching. In fact, it’s great. It means you’re not settling for something. Instead, you’re expanding, learning, growing and becoming something more. Being uncomfortable is a good thing. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The nerves, the hunger, the yearning…. It drives you forward.
Yes, Kevin. I’m nervous, excited, frustrated, searching and perfectly happy in my own skin, in my own discomfort.
In fact, I love it.
I’m on a journey. How about you?