Filling out job applications is usually only tedious to me. You know how companies ask for a copy of your resume and then make you fill out a form where you repeat the same information because it’s not linked to fill out the form based on your resume? Yeah. That makes me crazy, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Needless to say, I would have never thought that my latest inspiration would come from a job application, but the company posed a question on their application that strayed away from the basic “Where do you see yourself in the future?” stuff.
What’s your favorite movie quote?
Wait, I’m sorry…what?
My mind went completely blank after I’d read it, like it shut off because it was so overwhelmed with answers. I had to take a minute, ask my bestie, and refocus. Where do I even start?
Okay, what are some of my favorite movies? That’d have to be Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the entire Harry Potter Series. Alright, well to say I’m obsessed with Harry Potter is an understatement, since I named my dog after my favorite character (Luna Lovegood) and ask new friends which Hogwarts House they’re in within 10 minutes of meeting them. I have an archive of top quotes from the series, so I referenced that and built a list of my top 5. Naturally most of them were said by the perpetually-wise Albus Dumbledore, and I decided that today, this one was my favorite:
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness. Nothing more.
– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince
Today, this quote speaks to me because of where I am in my life right now, and because up until two years ago, I was beyond terrified of the unknown. I didn’t see change as exciting and invigorating. I was the girl who watches the same movies over and over again because I like knowing how things will turn out. While I still take comfort in knowing that Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak at the end of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I don’t see knowing my future as a necessity. It’s been quite the journey but conquering my fear of the dark has helped me to function as the strong, ambitious woman that I am.
Throughout my senior year of college, I’d experienced a lot of bizarre changes and by graduation, I decided to stop fighting them and to start embracing them. A few months later, I chose to dive into the unknown and moved from Chicago to Austin. It seems like a big step, and I suppose it is…but Dumbledore adds “Nothing more,” which simplifies the what we don’t know…it brings it back to reality and takes away the complicated part of the concept that makes it so scary.
I moved down to Austin and in with my best friend. I only brought what I could pack in my Scion Xa, I had a barista job at Starbucks, and I’d left my family and dog at home. It was stressful and scary and I had no idea what would happen…but I knew that no matter what, I’d be okay. I knew that my family supported me (even from 1,000 miles away), I had my best friend to talk to, my faith would keep me strong, and that I was smart! I was determined to find what I call a “big girl job.”
It wasn’t easy but it was the best decision I’ve ever made and I’ve only grown in my ability to embrace the unknown since. Fearing the unknown can make you crazy, since life is full of changes! There’s really nothing to do but deal with them. This is my favorite quote today because in the last month, I’ve experienced a ton of change, but I’m not shutting down and hiding like I would have a few years ago. Sure, I still called my mommy and cried when I had to…I’m not totally heartless. But what makes me feel better is to grab my planner, make some to-do lists, find new things to learn, and create a new plan.
I’m at a point now where I hate when job applications or interviewers ask me where I see my career going 5 and 10 years down the road. It’s not like I’m floundering, trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, it’s just that I’m not focused on an end result. I mean, what happens when you finally get there? That’s it, you don’t have to work anymore?
Conquering my fear of the unknown has helped me to re-adjust my goals to where they are more short-term. That doesn’t make me any less ambitious, though. In fact, I think it has helped me to push myself to be even more of a boss than I was before, especially because I don’t want to miss out on a future opportunity because I was so focused on a long-term goal. Instead, I spend my days focusing on daily, weekly, and monthly goals and I focus on learning. I mean, if you’re focusing on a road block that’s 2,000 miles away, you’re going to miss the pothole that’s right in front of you.
I’m young and ambitious and while I don’t know where I’ll be in 10 years (or even next year!), I know I’m going somewhere. With my career, and with my life. I’m meeting my short-term goals and I know that I’m going to succeed. More importantly, not knowing where I’m going doesn’t scare me anymore. It’s up to me to work hard and to let God guide me down the right path.