"Keep on going."
Updated: Apr 29
That words rang in my head days in and days out.
Yes, maybe I should just suck it up.
Maybe I should stop being a quitter.
Maybe it’s time to save myself from the typical hiring question,
“ Why did you leave your previous job?”
Maybe this is just a mid-life crisis and it shall pass.
My analytical mind started to list down the 1001 reasons why “sucking it up is a good idea”. After all, a job hopper was the last thing I want to be.
This is “the job”. This is my retirement plan. Best place ever. If I still couldn’t like it, that’s it. Something is seriously wrong with me. My inner critic was giving me that deadly look “Don’t you dare quit!".
But, I quit.
I never see myself as a risk taker but for some reasons, I ended up making decisions that put a frown on people’s faces, especially my mom. She sighed which equally meant “There she goes again..."
I did try. In fact, I was trying so hard to like my job. It felt like spending time in a fitting room, twisting myself to fit in this sexy skinny pair of jeans only to realize that no matter how great it is, it isn't meant for me.
Not too long after quitting, I attempted to go back. It didn’t happen the way I expected and a few months down the road, I realized that was how life try to tell me,
“Keep on going, Tiffany."
When I quit my job, people asked me, “Why?".
I gave them different kinds of reasons. That I was burnout. That I seek work-life balance. Pursue my life calling.
But the truth is, I was in pain. It squeezed my heart and paralyzed my mind.
There were days I was staring at my work calendar and tears were rolling on my cheeks. There were days that I burst into tears in a middle of a conversation with my managers.
I thought I lost my mind.
I didn’t know that’s the feeling of living in misalignment.
I didn’t know that’s how life would shake you up and say “You are meant to walk on a different path”.
People told me that I am so courageous to make such a big move. The reality is half of the time I didn’t know what I was doing.
This leads to my 1st lesson -
Don’t wait for the perfect moment of “ I am feeling clear and confident” to take action.
It’s the other way. Actions produce Clarity. It comes when you tumble. It comes when you feel most afraid but you do it anyway. Do it afraid.
Lesson number 2,
When your mind overproduces reasons, consult your heart.
None of my decisions looked or sounded logical but it felt so right for me. When I put aside the fear of judgment and how I expect my life should look, my heart guides me to exactly where I need to be and whom I need to meet. I am no longer cutting myself to fit in a sexy pair of jeans. I found mine that fits beautifully. I design my own career, thanks to my heart.
Lesson number 3, and this is my favorite!
What sets you apart is not just your skills, but also your passion.
A few days back, I had a call with Van, my partner-in-crime back in Apple days. Van is a wonderful person with top-notch commitment and a strong work ethic that I admire so much. She inhales and exhales work, literally. I used to ask her,
“Why are you working so hard?
However, when we last talked, I no longer asked the same question. Her eyes sparkled talking about her plans. "If work is your passion then don’t say sorry about it, I am happy for you!”, I said.
Entrepreneurship is fun and it is also hard work. In fact, it is one of the biggest challenges I could ask for, besides motherhood. My emotions were on a roller coaster. There were days I felt as if I conquered the world but there were days I felt frozen and doubted my decisions. A lot.
But still, I kept going. Remember my lesson number 1? Be afraid, but do it anyway.
I now become my dear friend, Van who inhales and exhales works (oops!).
When you lose your passion, you lose your sparks. When you find your passion, you find creativity.
Ideas were bouncing in my head. It came when I was walking in a park or holding a Warrior 2 yoga position.
That’s when I know ah! That’s me. That’s what I like. That’s my passion.
The world is your oyster. Don’t settle. Go find your sparks. The journey might be long but I hope you will find yours one day and can’t help but utter,
“Ah, that’s me!”