jobs with benefits. Duh. By uprooting my life in New York for a new job in DC, I sacrificed all of my hard work and planning. (I also let go of a banging apartment in Brooklyn. If you have lived in New York, you know what finding a gem of an apartment is like.) Mostly though, I short-changed myself. I reneged on the commitment to do better and be happy.
Three months into my new job I knew I made a grave mistake. The more I tried to make the DC job work, the worse things became. The role was stifling, my boss was unsupportive and I was becoming the unhappy person I let die a long time ago. Not to mention, I really missed New York. Instead of proving anything to anyone, I proved to myself that I was better than what I was up against. I resigned eight months in.
They say with great risk comes great reward, so here I am...again. I am headed back to the plan I should have never abandoned a year ago: freelance writing, consulting, and philanthropy. This is what makes me happy and I cannot run from it. The career lessons I’ve learned thus far have given me the confidence to be an entrepreneur and believe I will succeed. This last chapter was just what I needed to show me that failure is relative.
We all walk different paths and we are the only ones that can define our success. As my career mentor Jodi Brockington said on a recent panel, “you aren’t accountable to any one but yourself.” I fully understand that now. Everything before this was just a rehearsal. Now is my time.
Ebonie Johnson Cooper is a freelance writer and young philanthropist. Her energy can be read weekly on Friends of Ebonie. She enjoys long walks to nowhere in particular and she is a Cancer. Home is Brooklyn, NY. Follow her on @EbsTheWay.