I have many thoughts running through my head as I sit in my sun-clad apartment and look at the empty suitcase in front of me. There’s only a week left of 2018 and my flight to Poland is leaving in a couple of hours. Outside, the Andalusian bees go about their flower business. Unbeknownst to them the rest of Europe is scrubbing snow off their cars and porches. The set up is perfect to reflect on this year’s happenings.
It’s been an intense year both personally and professionally for me. Quitting the corporate life allowed me to reconnect with my core beliefs about what’s important. My apartment has turned into a part-time office – a status shared with a local co-working space, The Living Room, and, occasionally, with the offices of my European customers. My home has graduated from a rental with a leaking shower and funny smells to a beautiful place up a hill that I share with a partner I’m crazy in love with.
How did I get here? When I graduated high school I had very little idea about what to do with my life. My options appeared aplenty and intimidated me as the branches in Sylvia Plath’s fig tree metaphor (I’d have read and sworn by The Bell Jar by then). Equipped with a great diploma and a romanticized view of where my skills can be utilized (a journalist! a psychologist! a PR lady!), I flew home. In an attempt to “adult-up” I signed up for international business studies. Fast forward 9 years and here I am with 3 diplomas, 1 unfinished studies, 3 internships (including one I quit after the first day and one that turned into a full-time position), 3 jobs, and 3 countries that I would call home. Years ago I dismissed my calling to computer science thinking it inapproachable for a person that didn’t know the first thing about computers. I am a computer scientist now. I even write about information technology. My career and education choices appear as if leading to this moment. It’s all a hindsight bias; I had no clue.
This year is special for my work life. The move to a small company has been refreshing: I have a full control of how I want to work, from where, and even what time I’m having my lunch break. I don’t arrive agitated at the office because of the crazy traffic and little sleep. My work has a direct impact on a project’s success and delivery. I feel relaxed and in control. A part of me still doesn’t believe this is happening.
The points below are a mix of lessons learnt this year and things I consider professional achievements. Some realizations off that list come from a very personal space, often a space of vulnerability: I believe that work and life are inseparably intertwined.
Now that this is done I can start packing my winter clothes. Going back to the family house is like coming back to the past. The Spanish sun will welcome me in the new year. It will be time for resolutions then.Follow @EveTheAnalyst