What now feels like 80 bajillion years ago, I went to Houston. (For those not prone to hyperbole, that would be October.) I had my little food, shopping, friends, events photos all collected nice and neatly on my phone, but two iOs updates and too many weeks later, I’ve given up.
So I’ve reduced it to just a small handful. I feel like the most noteworthy things I should mention about my travels to Houston this October are still worth looking back at, not only because they are events supporting cancer survivors, but because they segue so nicely into a huge change in my life…
On Friday, November 15 (exactly 5 years and one month from when I started at the little advertising agency that could) I resigned my position and accepted a new job at the American Cancer Society. (Although I was smart enough to not do things in that order.)
I have so many mixed emotions and thoughts about leaving my first “real” job out of college, it’s hard to know where to begin. But the practical things I can set straight in my head are this:
- Traveling 40-50% of your work life is hard, and so is being a remote employee. It’s hard to have your heart in two places, always feel like you’re missing something when you’re in that other city, and feel slowly yet increasingly disconnected from your coworkers when working from home 400 miles away.
- Five years is a long time to sit still. I used to not think of myself as a particularly ambitious person because I am not a loud, overt leader or aggressive in my demeanor. But I do want people to recognize my skills and talents, I want to feel creatively and intellectually challenged, and be pushed out of my comfort zone to become stronger. Although my current/almost former job gave me so much freedom to grow – and Lord KNOWS I was challenged and pushed outside of my comfort zone for the betterment of my introverted atrophied social skills – sometimes just getting comfortable working somewhere, with a specific culture and way of doing things can limit your world view.
- It’s the American Cancer Society. After spending four of my five years at the agency representing MD Anderson in the Greater Houston community, I’ve seen and heard some amazing, gut-wrenching, awe-inspiring things. I’ve heard so many personal stories of people going through cancer, and I’ve seen how the programs ACS provides benefit the lives of MD Anderson’s patients and others. When you get the opportunity to be a part of something that truly MEANS something, that enriches and even saves people’s lives, how can you say no?
So, the pictures below really mean something. They represent the last time I dawned my pink MD Anderson shirt for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (at least in an official capacity). From now on, I’ll be sporting purple, and I couldn’t be more nervous, excited, blessed, and a million other things I still can’t seem to compile all together.