Month of Me. Networking.

I felt a freedom today I haven’t felt in a long time. Got up early, got ready for a few sessions I had signed up for in the city. I did it at my own pace. No rushing, no stress, no anxiousness. I sat at Starbucks in between and had a mini frappuccino and did some writing. It’s a dynamic I’m not used to. I have learned to do everything in a rush. I eat quickly, get ready in the morning quickly, rush to my destination... I almost have to retrain myself to just breathe. Walk at a pace where I can look in windows.

When I walk through the streets of NYC, I wonder why I don’t take advantage of the fact that I live here more. I never just wander around, or go shopping or to Museums. As I walked through the streets today, on a beautiful sunny day, I felt like I should do it more. It felt nice to have a change of scenery. I also enjoyed the sessions I went to… getting a sneak peek behind the scenes at companies I hear about all the time, but have never been to. The more I explore, the more sure I am that leaving my last job was the right thing to do. I don’t have this nervous feeling like I have to take the first off that comes my way. I know there are great opportunities out there. I just need to be firm on my feet and decisive about what I want to do and where I want to be. Uncertainty is not my forte. I think thats partially what makes what I’m going through difficult for me.

The last session of the day was led by someone I worked with a few years ago. When I walked in, I took a seat rather than run up to the front to greet him. He was busy with someone pitching him something or other, when he noticed me and excused himself to come over to greet me. He asked me what I’ve been up to. I told him the short version of course and mentioned I saw his company is hiring. He told me he’d connect me with the person to talk to. A referral from the CMO would hold a lot more weight than a random resume making it’s way through the website and Human Resources. All in all, the sessions left me feeling energized and seeing my old colleague gave me a boost.

After my sessions were done, I met a friend for dinner. I hadn’t seen her since right after my ex and I split. I remember sitting across from her and sobbing into my linguine. She knew us as a couple, and has also been through a divorce herself, so she understood what I was going through. And still does. She’s always been a good friend, and listened as I explained where I am now and what I’m trying to do. She reiterated what I’ve heard from many others… that I am amazing. I thanked her and told her I wasn’t very good at taking compliments. She said that it wasn’t a compliment. That it was a fact.

I’m happy I shared some of what I’m going through with her. I told her that from an early age, I never wanted to depend on others for help. I could write a book about all the reasons why. But the short of it is that I always promised myself I’d be self-sufficeint and never depend on someone else to take care of me. So here I am, someone who has an amazing support system of people who love me. And I won’t ask for help.

I’m letting my friends and family help me — in some cases for the very first time. It makes me feel somewhat vulnerable. I might even feel a bit embarrassed. Why is it so bad that people help me? Am I breaking my oath from my teenage self? Or does it make me feel vulnerable? In some ways, it’s kind of embarrassing for me. I feel like I’m letting them down. Because I’m not the strong one right now. And I’m going to have to be ok with that. For now…