Today, Tim and I met with a potential client in a coffee shop. The meeting went well and when it was over, I looked around me and noticed all of the other patrons in the shop who were sitting alone at little tables being so studious. They were buried in their head-phones and laptops and textbooks, all silently going hard after big things in life they really wanted, and for a second I remembered exactly what that was like and I deeply missed being in their shoes.
I had 6 years of that season of relentless pursuit. For most of that time, I worked a full-time job while taking a full-time load of coursework, and it was so hard. It felt like it would never end. Tuition ate up all of my money, but I could somehow always afford a cup of espresso to get me through the next studying session at the coffeehouse, even if it came from scavenged quarters and dimes dug up from under the seat of my car. Those days were glorious. They were full of questions that weren't light and I cried so many tears for the not knowing and being alone, but that work it did on my character was profoundly good and I am proud of those years. They felt long at the time but they're a vapor now, and I had no idea they would end so darn quickly and everything would change.
I wouldn't do them all again, but I'm not a "do it all again" kind of girl. I can't forget the bad stuff like the details of the heartbreaks and the not having enough money for haircuts or new tires with winter snow fast approaching. But still, they were good years.
Now I'm in a different place that feels more like coasting on all the stored up energy I worked up when I thought I was getting nowhere. And it's nice. Truly. I'm not discounting the fact that I get to travel and love my husband and start a family. This was the point of all that work.
I just never thought that wooing clients, sealing a deal, and making money would for a moment seem less fun than working my arse off to get a diploma and try to find myself by thinking existential thoughts fueled by coffee.
Wherever you are, don't wish it away.