I owe a lot to a friend right now. Suffice it to say, she lit the fire under my ass that has gotten me to where I am today. Sunday, October 30th.
Over dinner one night, in a dimly lit room at a table for two, I started to take a bite to eat and then was hit with a question that only a best friend can ask without getting a look in return of ‘Really? Right before I’m about to take a big bite of food?’ There it was. The inevitable yet daunting bomb. ‘Lydia…what do you want to do in your life?’
I looked up from the plate of food and full glass of wine and saw that she was serious. She really wanted to know exactly what I want to do with my life and how I’m going to achieve my goals. The only problem was…that question is nearly an impossible one to answer. Straight talk? It’d be really awesome to be a full-time blogger. I really love running this blog. But in reality, I don’t think that’s going to happen. Looking back on the night, it’s hard to recall exactly what my answer was, because I had probably already had too many glasses of wine. But I’m willing to bet that I said something like “I want to be part of something awe-inspiring. I want it to revolve around technology and digital media, and I want to be part of the decision-making process that people eventually look back on and say ‘Damn. I wish I could have been part of that.'” Though it took me a couple minutes to formulate my answer, she was a true friend and gave me my time to think of what I wanted to say. And when I started talking, she was listening. Not just hearing the words, but believing in the words. When I finished speaking, she kept her focus on me and said ‘Well, how are you going to do that?’
Those words, in retrospect, sound quite disheartening. ‘I…uh…um…I guess by…’ Yeah. I don’t know. But you know a best friend has crossed your path when they’re willing to sit there and brainstorm how to help you reach those dreams. So we sat, and we talked, and I left dinner feeling like I was superwoman. She gave me the confidence in myself that made me believe that I’m young, I’m capable, I’m motivated, and I need to work to make this happen.
Today, a month or two later, I’ve found myself standing at the gate of a whole new world. After that dinner, I started out on a journey to find a new job that would lead me to the future that I’ve imagined for myself. I realized, when talking about what I wanted to do, that Raleigh-Durham wasn’t the right place for me. Though I absolutely love Durham with all of my heart, it isn’t a place where I can see my career flourishing. I realized that I need to be in San Francisco. So, I had to take some time away from the blog, as I would go to work all day and then come home and continue my search for jobs. I applied to many, and miraculously heard back from a few that I was very interested in. I took a weekend trip out to San Francisco for final interviews, and came home with a new job, a new apartment, and a new sense of excitement for my career.
It took a lot of courage for me to quit my current job. The friends I have made there are some who I believe will forever be a part of my life, but I found myself needing a directional change and a fresh start. And, like I mentioned, Raleigh isn’t quite the hotbed that San Francisco is. But I did it. I put in my two weeks’ notice and came to terms with the fact that the life I have been living here for the past six years would be changing drastically in just a few weeks. There were times when I doubted whether I was making the right decision. I felt as though I didn’t have anybody to turn to, at times. Typically, I would have asked my dad for advice and if I was jumping the gun. It broke my heart that he wasn’t there to answer my questions. But as funny as this may sound, I would wake up with a sense of encouragement, which led me to believe that my dad was letting me know while I slept that I was doing the right thing.
So the scoop! I have accepted an offer at Wildfire Interactive, where I will be working as a Social Media Account Manager. I cannot wait to start work, and that’s really saying something for somebody who HATES early mornings. Especially because I’m fully aware that I’ll have an hour long commute to Silicon Valley in the mornings. But the energy, the dynamic culture, the knowledge that radiated off of the walls when I stepped into their offices…that right there is what I was telling my friend that I wanted to be a part of that night at dinner. And sure enough, I made it.
On top of all of this excitement, I couldn’t be more pleased to say that I’ll be living within walking distance of two of my sisters. AND, one of them is having a baby in just a few weeks. For those of you who are avid readers of my Straight Talk Sundays, you’ll know that this is a great thing for my family. New life. My dad would be so happy. So there it is. I’m doing it. And I couldn’t be more excited. Oh, and I’ll be sure to wear some flowers in my hair.