I know what I know, if you know what I mean.

Lately I have been a lot more social than usual and, accordingly, quite insecure in my interpersonal abilities.

Despite the fact that I am quite introverted and mildly socially-anxious, I am normally pretty much okay with this fact. Just because being hyper-social and/or the center of attention isn’t my favorite thing the world, doesn’t mean I can’t do it and do it well. I can feign extroversion well enough that I can confidentially masquerade as someone with a natural proclivity toward being outgoing. The only catch to to this ability to emulate extroversion is my inability to keep the charade up for extended periods of time. As grateful as I am to be able to prepare my ass off and give a solid presentation or contribute to a meeting, I still find myself lacking when it comes to long term, low-level social skills, and thus my insecurity is introduced. Perhaps it is an unfounded fear, but I find my.self fretting that my tendency to frequently zone the fuck out and hyper-focus on tasks and thoughts, coupled with my preference to listening vs. talking in most situations, will make me come off as being anti-social or a bitch.

So, what to do? I cannot change the fundamental nature of my personality (nor would I want to), but I can do two pretty crucial things:

  1. Get over myself . I am 99.98% certain that no one pays as much attention to my self-perceived weaknesses and flaws as I do. I am not the center of the universe and being so hung up on my own shortcomings dramatically decreases the amount of free “processing power” that I can dedicate to more meaningful and more useful tasks.
  2. Push myself out of my comfort zone. If am going to be hung up on an insecurity to the point of feeling quazi-shameful about a fundamental component of my personality, I am sure as fuck going to doing something about it. Just because being super passive in social situations is my default behavior does not mean that I cannot force myself to behave differently.  I am going to put some thought into it and come up with some minor SMART goals that are easy enough to achieve that they don’t feel impossible, but are substantial enough that they force me to develop my areas of insecurities.

I had forgotten how much of a cathartic outlet writing can be. I would say “I will do this more often,” but we all know how that promise goes.

Are you standing still or will you step into the great unknown?

I received and accepted an offer for a job located in Central Maryland last week.

Accordingly, I resigned from the Pittsburgh-based position which I’ve held for the past 3.5 years and will work my last day on May 15th.  My old job is the last concrete thing tying me to the Pittsburgh region so it feels very odd to know that in a few short days, 100% of my life will be situated in one place. After spending six years straddling state lines, suddenly living, working, and playing in the same area code somehow heightens the feeling of a new beginning which comes with starting a new job.

Geographic ruminations aside, I am very excited about this new position. Admittedly, I am slightly nervous about the learning curve since I am moving from an industry which I  have a very intimate knowledge of  through experiences both personal and professional (higher education) to one which I know nary a thing about (ad tech), but I think as long as I put my nose to the grindstone and take advantage of all the resources and opportunities which are available to me, I’ll be fine. The Company (which is how I’ll refer to my new employer from here forward – no name dropping from me!) is in the midst of a really exciting period of growth which is a stark contrast to the environment I’m coming from. (Ironically, the day I resigned from my old company, their stock slid 28% in a single day- the most in nearly five years – upon announcing a  loss of $467 million during the last quarter.)

Despite the familiar fondness which I posses for my former employer and all of the wonderful people I worked with during my time there, I am very excited to be moving on to big and better things. I have grown and changed a lot as a person over the past several years and as a result of said growth, my desire to seek out new challenges and gain control over the direction of my career became too loud to ignore, thus my need to move forward. While I am certainly a bit sad to be closing the book on a chapter of my life during which I made many memories and achieved many goals, I am beyond thrilled to be joining The Company.  After spending so many years in corporate America, I am absolutely head-over-heels with the stereotypical start-up “work hard, play hard” ethos and ambition that so pervade every interaction I’ve had with The Company thus far;  I am definitely not in Kansas any more, that’s for sure.

But you know what? That’s okay! I am keen for a challenge, I am keen to raise the bar I’ve set for myself, and I am keen see to what comes next. Here’s to new beginnings!