Written in 2012 – edited and republished in 2020, with a warm heart for remembering such a remarkable moment in my life.
This moment comes for everybody. It doesn’t matter if you have a similar experience as the one I had or not, it’s actually a matter of perspectives. I wrote this at some point in 2012 when I left my criminal law internship with an amazing lawyer back in Brazil, and although I had other moments like this time to time in my life, this was the very first one – and the one that still means a lot more to me. That was the first time I left my comfort zone and started to look at my professional life differently. I had another moment of this awakening in 2018 but I will talk about this one sometime in the future. For now, let me be nostalgic with 2012.
I still remember how difficult it was for me to leave behind people with whom I get along very well, a place where I learn a lot and manage to unite fun and obligation in perfect balance. But when maturity shows you a need to go on your own way we cannot let the attachment to something transitory keep us behind in our self-development. It’s a tough decision – you either open the door or lock it down.
At such a young age (I was 23 years old by that time) I made a professional choice incompatible with the place that sheltered me as an apprentice. The nest was comfortable, but I still haven’t learned to fly. As always, there were those butterflies in our stomachs making a huge party in it right before the meeting with my boss that would get one of my feet out of the office. The anxiety I felt that day, though, should not be viewed in a negative shape, once it has driven me into the unknown, into not knowing the exact reaction to our uncontrolled action. I always preferred to deal with that because this is something we will never get rid of. On that afternoon, I breathed in some courage and went to the Chief (we all called him Chief back then – and I still do, whenever we talk).
To my surprise, he smiled at me and supported my decision. Chief told me life stories, a division of humorous experiences in a tone of instruction, and a willingness to be there, beside me, even though I am no longer with them (professionally). But, with all certainty, the wise man I call Chief told me an intriguing thought about people my age back then (still going on for young people now): the new is sought in order to collect experiences … but no claws are created to seek the top. This is a fact. It was and it still is.
We are so concerned with tomorrow that we disagree with today. So infinitely anxious about ten-years from now that we forget that the basis of this construction is today. We don’t live the today today, we live the tomorrow, and that’s when we notice the big mistake, the biggest one that points out as minor flaws. And those flaws will end up filling us with needles in the future. The solution to this mess is as simple as looking at the clock: live in time.
Chief taught that today is today. Tomorrow? Nobody knows about this, we still have no clue what kind of problems we will have then. It’s not under our control and it’s not our job to predict the future so perfectly we get to plan ahead our own problems and achievements. Why am I going to stress about this? As I once said, more recently, to someone I was seeing, I am not a psychic. But I do know what are my problems today and that I have to deal with them to be where I want to be tomorrow. Focusing on today I will get to tomorrow.
Make today your goal, think of today as the ultimate goal. I want to bungee-jump. I’m going to do it today. I want to live abroad. I’m going to start preparing today. “But you only embark in 2013!”, says the little lazy voice that, in reality, embarked in 2018. Well, little voice, what I have today is what I didn’t have yesterday. I don’t want to have to lose it so then I can appreciate it.
Yeah, a resignation can change your life. If it’s your decision or your employer’s, take what you have learned for life.. And live it.
Waiting to live when you get to your goal is pointless. The best part you have already lost: the journey to the top. Such a simple and so invisible concept may not cure the mundane diseases that surround us, but it heals the soul of sentimental wars, against others and ourselves.
What have you done today?