The auditor in me (efficiency and effectiveness) always has me looking back, comparing what is to what was to what should be. I am soon approaching one year in NYC and looking for results. What have I accomplished in a year? Has the transition been profitable? Are there measurable results? Well, that depends on what you qualify as success. Like any program evaluation, you analyze the goals, objectives, mission and mandate of the program. Sometimes you can measure results using the wrong tools. I did not move to NY to simply have a job. I moved to NY to transition into a new career and go after some old ambitions I deferred. If I measure my success in terms of job versus no job, then I have dismally failed. I am doing legal work to sustain me while I transition and network, but I am not in my desired field yet. I have to be very careful because I am my worst critic. I set the bar high for myself and I loathe making avoidable mistakes.
I recently spoke to a friend in Chicago bemoaning my perceived lack of progress. She kindly reminded me that I had accomplished more in the nine months I’ve been in NY then in the past five years in Chicago. The networks and connections that I have made in NY have been immensely helpful and resourceful. I am a firm believer that the best gift someone can give is the benefit of their time and wisdom. That gift is valuable because it means that person is investing in you. People like to invest in someone or something they believe has value and will give them a return on their investment. If I simply landed a job when I arrived, I would be doing the 9-5 thing, content but probably still wondering how do I go about achieving my “dreams deferred.” The NY move wasn’t simply, I need a job. It was about self fulfillment and now or never realizations.
I mulled over my friend’s comments. She was right. I came from Chicago to NY without connections or knowledge of the social inner workings of NYC society. And believe me NYC is a different world. There is no other city like it in the US. However, what they say is true, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Slowly but surely I’ve met people who’ve given me the benefit of their wisdom and have taken a vested interest in making sure that I succeed in my wild ambitions. I have haphazardly ran into people that turn out to be a wellspring of knowledge and contacts.
Someone said that it’s the journey/process not the destination. Each day I tend to believe that. This journey is getting me ready so when I arrive at the destination, I will appreciate the growing pains that it took to get there. In the meantime, I’ve joined the board of a nonprofit arts company utilizing my audit and development skills. I continue to volunteer working with first generation college students – my passion. The only thing I truly long for is an apartment of my own (ah that is a blog unto itself). So in measuring myself in the past nine months, I would give me a B. Not bad, but since I’m used to As, gives me more to strive for.
I am more than grateful for those of you who honor me be reading my musings.