The One Decision That Changed My Life
This is the first article that I’ve wrote this year (shamefully) and if you read this and its entirety then you’ll find out why closer to the end. Also, leave comments below and tell me what you guys have been up to!
Let’s jump right into it!
Being fearless is something that I learned at an early age along with taking risks, being unapologetic, and going for it even when the odds are stacked up against you. I advocate for everyone to take a chance on themselves, it’s like a game for me….you never know what you’ll get out of it.
For me, I moved away from home as an undergrad intern (for almost a year)and then turned around and did it again right after I graduated from college. To be honest, when I was doing it, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal but now looking back at it I completely understand how monumental these moves have been in my life.
I remember before I graduated in 2015 before I graduated from college I was asked the following question by a internship supervisor whom I admired a great deal. He asked, “ So where do you go from here, what’s next for you?”.
My answer was, “In this world I can do whatever I want, and I can choose to be whomever I want to be. I can wake up tomorrow and decide I want to do everything different, and I can do that. That’s the hardest part to me. I know that no matter what I do, I can not fail. I’ve never been afraid of failing, especially if I have done my best. So in a world where you know you can’t fail, who do you choose to be and what do you choose to do?”. That question is a question I still ask myself, often.
After that internship, I took a job in Kansas City, MO early 2016 as a consulting analyst, it was my first big girl job working in technology. Although I didn’t mind the job, I truly hated the city. My mom would come visit me for weeks at a time but a couple of weeks wasn’t enough to makeup for the next few years I may have to face living in this horrid city. At that point, I knew I had some decisions to make because I’ve never been one to settle.
Speaking of settling, one of my favorite quotes goes as follows:
“When you settle, you actually end up settling for less than what you settled for in the first place” -Myleik Teele
With that being said, I actively started applying for new jobs in Minneapolis, MN which is where my boyfriend was living at the time and trust me when I say I faced a lot of scrutiny for it from family and friends (did I say a lot? If I didn’t let me say it again, PEOPLE WERE ON MY HEAD). People judged me for that decision and even the ones who tried their hardest not to judge me, did too. It’s very frowned upon to move to be with a man (he wasn’t just any man of course) but I didn’t look at it like that. I looked at it like, I’m giving myself a chance.
I can’t say that the opinions of others didn’t eat away at me or the thought of things going wrong didn’t keep me up at night. But again, I was taught to be fearless and I set myself up so that if things DID go wrong, I could pick up the pieces.
I’ve made a lifestyle out of following my heart and so that’s what I did. I found a job that paid for relocation (3M) and soon after that I moved AGAIN for love (yes, for a man) but it led me to a city which I now call my home full of opportunities that I would not have had if I had not followed my heart and took a risk. It was by far the scariest decision I’ve ever made but I would do it again in a heart beat.
I say this to say that I have gained so much more from taking risks than what I have lost. I moved and my career completely TOOK OFF, all because I took a risk, I made ONE decision that will impact my life forever and I will thank myself for this….forever. Have I took some losses? ABSOLUTELY. I went through a quarter life crisis (glad that’s over with) but in the end, I’ve gained so much more.
I’ve been able to speak at the Google Developer’s Fest TWICE and Ernst & Young.
I recently spoke at Stinson, one of the biggest law firms in Minnesota among some of the brightest and best attorneys at law on Diversity and Inclusion In Technology.
I’m currently on a team creating + advising a program which I think will fill so many gaps for women of color in technology (can’t get into the logistics now but it’s going to be LITTTT)
I won an award as a Pioneer Woman In Tech awarded by Code 42 and The Women's Association of Technology in Tech in 2017 for the work I do not just inside my workplace but in my community.
I’m at a job that I truly enjoy as an engineer at Target HQ among some of the best engineers I’ve ever met (because who doesn’t love Target?) and that’s only after leaving my job at 3M which I loved just as much.
I’ve gained some of the greatest friends that a girl could ask for.
Outside of my professional accomplishments, I’ve gained even more than that. I gained my confidence, my independence, and my livelihood all embedded in the fact that I took a chance on myself. You start to trust yourself differently when you take risks, you realize you are more capable then you once thought.
I write to you today to encourage you to continuously take chances in your life. Don’t let the odds count you out, don’t let the the naysayers get in your head, don’t let the fear of what others can’t do in their own life stop you from making waves in your own.
Another thing that I learned from this decision is that people will project their fears on you, they will do everything in their power to make you feel like you’re inadequate just because they never believed in themselves enough to do something brave or they did it and it didn’t work out BUT they’re not you and that is your power.
I’ll leave you with this quote from one of the greats,
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” -Nelson Mandela
Have a great week everyone! -B