A week after my 24th birthday, I broke up with my boyfriend of six months and started telling people that I was going to start dating women. I was sad, scared and completely overwhelmed, to say the least. While the story of my coming out will be left for another blog post, what I want to talk about now is that, at the time, I couldn’t possibly imagine how my life could turn out alright. I didn’t have many gay friends and I didn’t have any gay role models or mentors, so it’s not like I had someone to look up to. But I knew that dating women was something that I had to explore, regardless of how difficult I felt like it might be.
Fast forward to today, where I’m two weeks shy of my 30th birthday and sixth out-iversary. I’m now at a place where I accept and celebrate myself in entirety, I have helped create a close knit community of awesome gay women in NYC, and I am engaged to an amazing, out of this world, woman who I’ll be marrying in April 2013.
If someone looks at my life today, it might be challenging for them to imagine that there was a point where I wasn’t completely comfortable with myself. Let me tell you, however, there were YEARS. There were more times than I care to remember that I felt lost, alone and completely unsure of how things would ever work out for me. But they did. Not in a day. Or even a year. But things got easier as time went on, and I kept moving forward, taking one step at a time, and grabbing any amount of faith that I could to help propel me forward and convince me that, somehow, things would be okay.
The reason I tell you this story is that the SAME applies to your career or business. Things don’t happen overnight, and yet so many of us expect them to, and we look at people who have seemed to achieve “overnight success” and wonder why we aren’t yet like them. First of all, their overnight success wasn’t an overnight success in all likelihood, rather it just appears that way. Secondly, stop being so hard on yourself! I’m the first one to admit that as much as I drown myself in self-help books, positivity and gratitude, it’s easy to focus on what has yet to be accomplished and give myself a hard time. But it just depletes us of energy that we could put towards making things happen for us in our lives!
While I came up with the idea for my own business, Quarter Life Clarity, over a year ago, I only decided to go full force a few months ago. And I’ll be totally honest and let you know that I already feel impatient and wonder why I haven’t “made it” yet (whatever “making it” even means). And yet, that’s ridiculous! But I do it sometimes. And you probably do it, too. We all do.
So here’s the moral of the story for all of us: there’s no such thing as an overnight success. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t succeed, or that you won’t succeed much sooner than you think. The space between where you are now and where you want to be is a BLESSING. It’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself, to explore and discover new things, to take an exciting journey. So dear TDL friend, I invite you to take a deep breath, celebrate exactly where you are today, and celebrate wherever you may end up tomorrow. And before you know it, you’ll be that person that everyone suddenly thinks is an overnight success. And when you are, you can tell them that while it certainly wasn’t overnight, getting there was one of the best adventures you ever went on.
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Jordana Jaffe, founder of Quarter Life Clarity, works with women in their 20′s and 30′s who are unhappy at their jobs, feel unaligned with their businesses, or are at a crossroads in their careers. She helps you clarify your career goals, create a plan to achieve them, and makes sure, through support, accountability and motivation, that you see your goals through to reality in 6-12 months. Check out her facebook and twitter page!