On the occasion of realizing it’s time for a career change

Dear younger self:

I know you have no interest in what I have to say, but I’ll give it a shot anyway.

You know how it feels when you wear clothes that just aren’t you?  Maybe th5d2928c757dc5532846042821da5e92bey’re bunchy where they shouldn’t be or squeeze something they shouldn’t.  Maybe the texture sits wrong on your skin.  Maybe they belong on a much older body, or a much younger, or a much cooler or much more composed body.  You feel squirmy, you look over your shoulder, you pluck at the fabric.  You long to get home and change, to get out of the public eye.

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Let me tell you, it’s not just clothes.  Pay attention.  Professions, towns, relationships can all be wrong.  They can be gorgeous, well-built, classy, expensive.  They might be mainstream and popular, in great demand.  Profitable, convenient.  But they could be just as wrong for you as the lovely outfit your grandmother owned that shows no wear and will last forever and it’s a good color for you and why don’t you take it?  They could be as wrong as the get-up your artsy, emo friend with the heavy eyeliner stops traffic in.

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And here’s the thing.  If you spend too long in the wrong fit, it does things to you.  It gets into your bloodstream.  Slows the passage of your blood, or thins it.  Chafes your skin or makes it clammy.  You start facing the world as demanded by the outfit.  Maybe you hang your head a little, or slump your shoulders, or start shuffling.  You’re dressed like a preppy and you start thinking the country club sounds like a thing.  You’re dressed like a punk and you start wanting to smash things.  These insidious changes can be very hard to reverse!

 

So be very wary.   Each time you enter into something, pay scrupulous attention to how it feels there.  Who else is there and do you like them?  Do you feel like yourself?  If yes, go for it.  If in doubt, hold off.  Don’t ever, ever, ever let yourself fossilize where you don’t belong.

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