Friday, April 25, 2014

Back Down to Reality

As most of you know, I spent all last week working at my internship, completely detached from my normal life, friends, schedule, etc. And my welcome back to reality this week has been a rough one. After learning so much and working so hard for a whole week, I was ready to come back to Athens and take on the world... Or so I thought.

I'm not going to go into all the detail here, but it all started with a speeding ticket, which eventually snowballed my week into quite the mess. After a decent day Wednesday, I had a one-on-one meeting to attend, which turned into more of an inquisition.

That was my eye-opener. I was essentially asked to step down from a leadership position because, despite my ability to do the job-- and very well for that matter, the way I handled myself in this position was an issue. I could go into all the details and reasons why this isn't right and all the ways that this could have been taken care of differently, but I won't. It won't change anything. 

What I'm coming away with from this whole thing is learning experience. 

Yes, it hurts to have something that has been a part of my life for 3 years ripped away from me as I'm making the sprint to the finish line next December. Yes, it sucks to have a group of people you thought were there to help you essentially turn their powers against you. And yes, it hurts to be told the blunt, honest truth about the way people perceive you.

But at the end of the day I have plenty of things to take away from this. I was already distancing myself from that area and looking at taking my career a different direction. This may be the moment that pushes me to put all my efforts towards that new path. The thoughts, advice, and opinions I gained from this essential "firing" are things that will help me become a better professional in the future. 

And maybe, just maybe, it will force me to really think before I speak and act. Because despite the fact that this is one of the qualities I am complimented on the most, it also can be a turn-off to people that don't fully understand me. 

And the one thing, above all, I'm taking away from this is to always be myself. A few tweaks here and there, and a few maturity bursts will help me be a better person, but at the end of the day I need to continue to be myself. Changing to please everybody else isn't going to fix anything. Continuing to be true to myself, just a less intense version of myself, is the key.

To say that this has been a "come to Jesus" kind of week would be an understatement. I've spent more time reflecting on decisions and my future than I have in a really long time and I'm excited for my path. It's been a rough one, but a necessary one.

Sometimes a kick in the butt is what you need. So here I am. Ready for new opportunities and new experiences. 

Have you ever had something like this happen? How did you handle it?

xoxo, jgp

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