One other realization that this Lenten season brought me—other than the fact that I probably rely too heavily on alcohol to tamp down anxiety—was the importance of living in the truth, and what that means for me.
I’ve been seeing a life coach, with the express purpose of getting out of my own way when it comes to re-establishing my business career. The whole process has been a bit woo-woo. The coach started by having me pay attention to my speech, which I realized can be quite negative as I’m hard on myself when I don’t meet my own impossible expectations. Then she moved onto “positive self-talk,” which, given my previous point, was difficult to take seriously, but I tried it anyway and did, strangely, feel better about myself and my capabilities. Then she told focused on changing my view of situations, past, present, and future happenings. Turns out, all that positivity babble works! I’m not totally in the habit of these things yet, but I already feel more confident and hopeful.
During the course of this, I had a conversation with—or rather, a good talking to given to me by—my good friend Lauren during AWP. I can’t remember what I said [something negative], but she replied, “Don’t talk about my friend that way.” She was talking about me, to me, and it got real meta and weird, but I understood. She proceeded to tell me [I’m paraphrasing poorly] that my future includes good things that can’t be taken away from me, I just have to walk in them. Good things are the truth for my life, and I can’t deny the truth.
And that’s when I had what Oprah calls an “Aha! moment.”
The truth for me is what I am called to do and, though things can get challenging on that road, if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, then I’m living in the truth. Woo-woo, but voila.
I took some more time to think on this and came to a conclusion I’d already known, but was afraid to admit, for fear of failure or lack of opportunity: I am a writer and an investor.
I’ve been a writer since I was 12, an investor since I was 14.
They are my truth. I am both of them, and if anyone tells me otherwise, that person is lying. One of those persons was my business school career “coach,” who, when I was having trouble finding an finance internship, told me, “The market is trying to tell you something.” She meant, “The market is telling you you don’t belong in this industry.” Which was a colossal lie that made a huge impact on me, which I’m only just now recognizing for what it was.
So, how do I know they’re my truth? Good question. I just know. I know how I feel when I act out those things: when I’m writing or talking about growing wealth, I feel at peace, I feel energized rather than drained, I feel honest. (None of this is to say that writing doesn’t get hard, or that I never feel impostor syndrome. I’m still working on that, too.)
All of the positive self-talk and changing my outlook and things I couldn’t take seriously but did anyway helped me get out of my way and be honest with myself. Now, I can move forward and *create an opportunity for myself* in these capacities. I don’t have to wait for someone to give a job—I know that something is destined for me, so I just have to move forward in some way and my truth will come to past.
Now that I’ve got a period of some breathing room (I quit my lit mag associate editor position to get some more time, and things with VONA have stabilized), I’m doing some research. I miss private equity, and I loved working with emerging managers (people starting their first or second fund, and most of them are Black, Latinx, and/or women) most, so I’m reaching out to my network to see how best I can serve the market. And I’m finishing the latest draft of my memoir in time for Juniper. Still a lot, but a different kind of a lot.
During my church’s Good Friday service—which is my favorite of the year, the one time when we happy-go-lucky-Christians get to mourn something—I felt something say, “You’re at the start of an upswing.” And I’m claiming that as my truth, too!