A friend of mine recently shared that she’s thinking about moving to a different country. Not because there’s a great job waiting for her there, or because she’s looking to get away or reconnect with part of her past, but just for the experience.
“In college I wanted to study abroad, and I never did. After college, I was well into a long-term relationship with a man who didn’t want to move far from home. After graduate school, I got as good of a job as anyone could hope for in this economy. But I still can’t get the idea of moving abroad out of my head. What do you think?”
“Would you always look back and regret it if you didn’t take the chance?”
“Then there’s your answer. Start planning for it.”
Note the distinction between “start planning for it” and “just do it.”
Our “just do it” society celebrates getting fed up, taking control, and walking out. Re-creating ourselves is like finding the right relationship – it doesn’t happen all at once, no matter what the 90-minute film may tell us. The intentionality of re-creation should remove none of its excitement.
My friend and I began to discuss how to make real the possibility she had only previously considered a peripheral conception – looking for a job before she left; going to visit where she’d like to move; lining up informational interviews for her visit; reaching out to the dean of her graduate program to find out if any of her fellow graduates worked in the places she’d be interested in moving; and getting in touch with her friends on LinkedIn who worked in countries in her region of interest.
“I feel really good about this,” she said. “I feel like I could do this. It doesn’t seem so impossible.”
“Of course not. All good risks are well planned for.”