Five years ago, around this time (my birthday weekend), I made the decision to step down from the arts organization I co-founded. At the time it might have seemed like a rash decision—made shortly after an email exchange/meeting when I realized that I was basically fighting with my own team. But behind closed doors, I was already building up to the decision, and that moment made it clearer that I needed to let go. And so I did. As much as I wanted the organization to move towards my vision, it already had a life of its own and I didn’t want to be in its way.
For better or for worse, I will always carry the memories, the challenges, and the lessons I learned from that experience. During this period in my life I like to think I had mettle. That I was brave and bold and fair when facing tough situations and decisions. Even though I had plenty of doubts which often kept me up at night, I still continued to believe in myself, my instincts, and my leadership. I feel like I lost that somewhere along the way.
So now here I am, the weekend before my birthday, at a similar moment after a turbulent month at work. Do I stay or do I go?
I already know the answer. I’ve been saying for a few years now that I need to move on and find employment elsewhere because I was stunting my own growth. But that was just my brain talking; my heart was in it still, if I want to be honest with myself. But not now. Not anymore. I’ve lost faith. Even my body knows it.
I want to be that Jenny who five years ago was brave and bold and believed in herself and made a decision even if it hurt to let go.