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Change is always going to be hard

So the Be Merry page has been quiet for a bit because there are big changes happening in my life. After 18+ years working for one of silicon valley’s biggest tech firms, earlier last week I gave notice to my manager; then earlier this week I formally gave notice, then sent an email to announce that I was leaving on July 6th. I'm leaving to pursue my dream as a small business owner/entrepreneur.

As I said in my farewell email, In the time I worked for the company, I also did all of my adulting there: I met my husband, got married, bought a house, and had two kids….. I also worked in 4 different orgs, in 6 different roles, and watched the company go from about 2,000 employees to…. A lot more. The company had, in some ways, become an extension of my family. In 2010 my then manager officiated my wedding; she was also the first person I told when we got the house of our dreams. When I became pregnant the first time, I told the company first (I joined the waitlist for our childcare center) before telling my husband.

So yeah, this is a big, painful breakup. To say that I agonized over the decision to leave would be an understatement. I had spent months talking to friends, support groups, my husband, my therapist, and people who left the company about the decision to leave. Then, once the decision was made, figure out the right timing for my departure.

There’s no “right time” to leave a job, just like there’s not a “right time” to have a baby. You’re never “ready.” You do it, then figure it out.

My email went out on Tuesday, and the responses overwhelmed me. Many folks recounted how they met me; or how our interaction has impacted them; others recalled the highlights over my 18 year career; many more wished me well, including people that I’ve never met (or met in passing).

I’m deeply, profoundly touched by the sentiments shared in these emails. I’m planning to print out the emails and put them into a jar -- they will sustain me for the inevitable bad day to come.

I’m also deeply, profoundly sad. As human beings we tend to focus on the losses before we can see/feel the gains. When I became a mom it was immediately apparent to me what I had lost - my sense of freedom, SLEEP, my active social life…. It was months before I would see my baby’s first smile (the kind that makes you melt); and years before I would hear my toddler say, “I love you, mama.” And now, I count becoming a mom as one of the best things that’s happened to me, and it led me to starting Be Merry!

So just like motherhood, becoming a small business owner (Be Merry is my new baby) is a leap of faith. I can’t see what’s ahead, and most days I feel like I’m staring into the abyss.

If you imagine big changes, they’re kind of like trapeze at the circus. At the start you JUMP, not knowing if you’re going to be caught, there’s a brief moment of not knowing, but then you get caught and land on the other side. Between now and July I’m in that moment of unknowing, and I’m learning to make peace and live with the unknown. As a planner and organizer perhaps this is the hardest phase of all. What sustains me is the belief that I will land on the other side.

After the 4th of July holidays we’ll travel a bit, then, I’ll start to figure out my “new normal.” I’ll find a new routine, learn new ways of working, make new connections, work on projects I never dreamt of, and hopefully, hopefully, make some working moms’ lives easier.

Change is hard. Deciding on the change is hard. Executing on the change is hard. Coming out of the change…. I guess I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, thanks for being a reader and a follower and part of the Be Merry tribe. I’m grateful for y’all. I’m imagining myself flying through the air, fearful yet determined, waiting to be caught.

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