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I met with a former colleague the other day to catch up. He is about to embark on a career exploration, much like the one I started about a year ago, and is rightfully excited and optimistic about the opportunities he has before him.

I, on the other hand, lamented to him (read: whined) about how I’m having a difficult time finding opportunities that interest me, getting to the interview stage once I do find something, and that I’m worried that being out of the workforce for this long could be affecting my capacity for work at all. In short, my confidence is being Swiss cheesed with holes and squashed like a…a…like a piece of squash. Under a heavy shoe. My similes might be slipping as well.

My friend shook his head and smiled knowingly. “This happens to everyone!” he said, amused and amazed, “I have spoken to C-suite level executives and they say the same thing, that they are not sure that they know how to do something, after having worked somewhere for so long.” Then he pointed how that’s silly because they did not get to where they are by not knowing how to do something.

I found this very helpful. Knowing that I am not alone in how I feel, though it doesn’t necessarily solve any of my problems, gives me a sense that others have been to this place and have (I’m assuming) gotten through. To me, this means that there is a kind of template floating around out there in the metaphysical world, a template that isn’t necessarily a step-by-step dance routine on how to do things, but more like an indication that this kind of thing has been done before, by loads of people, and I just have to keep trying to figure it out and will get there eventually.

So the next time you’re feeling kind of poopie, remember: others have felt the poop before you. Just keep dancing.

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