I've been in a season of change.
Some might call it a quarter-life crisis or second puberty, but I'm gonna go with a season of change.
Spoiler alert: it lasted way longer than I expected.
Three years ago I was all set to pack up my life in NYC and embrace the wanderlust within me. I had terminated my apartment lease, decided to sell/donate all my furniture, and made some fairly elaborate plans to travel around the globe until I found my calling. I've never been one to shy away from adventure and hard work, and while I wasn't entirely sure how I was going to fund my vagabonding, I knew that I would find a way. Four years of living alone in NYC had taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to.
They always say... if you want to make God laugh, make a plan. Well. He must've had a great chuckle on the day that all my plans went flying out the window.
Something happened that shook my family to its core, and my dad needed me. I dropped everything and did the unthinkable.... I moved back to New Jersey and started a 9-5 desk job in the family business. Despite my dad's best efforts to coerce an interest in imports/sales out of me as a baby bear, I knew next to nothing about the product lines, the clients he worked with, the demographic he was targeting, or the industry I was stepping into. I mean, I studied journalism in school... what could I possibly know about trading consumer goods?
Turns out, much to my initial dismay, that I was actually pretty great at it. I picked things up insanely fast and with a combination of hard work and charm, I quickly found myself directing the logistics and operations of our blossoming business.
But... something never felt right. I was learning so much from my dad, my clients, my suppliers, my colleagues, and even my team. I was making good money and had more financial security than I had seen in five years. I was traveling domestically and internationally for some of the biggest trade shows on the planet. I even had an office dog to play with every day. So why was I feeling so down all the time?
Sunshine and some time to reflect sounded pretty ideal, so I booked myself a solocation. While I was gone I realized that while this path checked all the conventional boxes, there was still one big empty box on my heart: personal fulfillment. It didn't matter how good I was at my job or how great the perks were... it just wasn't something I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life.
So, for the second time in my 20s, I did the unthinkable...
I decided to quit my job and take a pass on a business that was mine for the taking.
In the 18 months after I got back from that solocation I researched and visited business schools all over the world, took the GMATS (twice), finished building and training a team of amazing humans for my dad's company, took a few more solocations, submitted applications to four top tier MBA programs, and got accepted into my dream program: Bard's MBA in Sustainability.
Leaving the business and stepping back into the unknown was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make in my life so far, but I know it's the right one. I'm more excited and motivated than I've been in years.
Now that the grunt work is done and I'm sitting pretty at the tail-end of my funemployment, I figured... what better time to start a fresh new blog?
If you're here because you remember my OG bear blog, you know that it's been a WHILE since I've furiously tapped my fingers on a keyboard and clicked "post" with wild abandon. At first, I kept telling myself that it was because I was too tired after working all day. Then it became this huge, looming thing over my head: three months without posting became six months became a whole year became three years. And I felt like a failure.
It took me a long time to realize that maybe I hadn't failed at anything. Maybe my musings had simply outgrown the little space I had originally carved out for myself on the Internet. Maybe, I needed a fresh start here on the web as much as I needed a fresh start out in the real world.
"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down." - Mary Pickford
SO. Here we are. What's new? What's coming? Well, in an effort to keep expectations (and self-imposed pressure) low, I'm not going to reveal toooo much. But, uh, we can go ahead and break 'em off with a lil preview of the remix....
- A recap of some of the insane trips I've taken myself on these past few years. If you haven't been following my #wheresbear chronicles on Instagram, that's an even better place to snag a preview.
- Some of my best tips and tricks for successful solo travel. I've got a ton of them.
- A summary of my business school application process, which ended up being an incredible journey of self-discovery in itself.
- Powerful examples of things that inspire me. Starting an MBA with a focus on sustainability is bound to bring up some pretty cool shit, and I'm more than willing to share that knowledge with y'all.
And of course, because I am still me, there will probably be plenty of mental health, self-love, and general, silly chatter up in here. You can take the bear out of the old blog, but you can't take the old blog out of the bear.
Cheers to fresh starts and new beginnings,