“Be aware of what season you are in and give yourself the grace to be there.”
— Kristen Dalton
Oh how I have missed capturing my thoughts in written form on this blog! The last few months, I have been taking time to be present with my emotions and sit in the uncomfortable feelings of navigating this season of transition. Transparently, I felt unmotivated to write and burnt-out from content creation on social media as well. However, I do get so much joy from writing and am in a good place currently so I decided to sit down and take a moment to answer some of the common questions I have received in this season.
How is Dallas — are you loving life in a big city?
Dallas Highlights: I love the immediate access to activities/places I enjoy including: sporting events, concerts, festivals, wineries, and dog-friendly brunch spots. Previously, I sometimes drove upwards of 2-3 hours away to experience activities away from the revolving doors of college students that would frequent downtown Oxford. I have a Super Target and Trader Joe’s around the corner from me which I absolutely love as well since prior to moving — I would drive 1.5 hours away to access these favorite stores of mine. Overall, everything is just a quick drive away and there is no limit of opportunities to experience all that DFW has to offer!
Dallas Drawbacks: The first few months the heat was brutal so I definitely had to adjust to continuous 100+ degree days. The past week or so has been the best weather so far (mid 60s in the morning and high 80s during the day). I am looking forward to getting to explore more now that fall is quickly approaching! Outside of the heat, traffic has been an adjustment to navigate having to plan ahead my departure times as there will almost always be a delay due to accidents, people commuting to work, or simply congestion from the sheer number of people within the city.
What’s it like making adult friends in a new city?
Building community in a new city has been challenging but I anticipated that being the case prior to taking the leap. I moved to Dallas knowing very few people and wanted to make an effort to create new connections before venturing into the safety net of those I did know. I will say this has been where I have been stretched the most during this season. Consistency is the key in my opinion – you have to gather in the same areas/spots and be open to new connections. Will you always hit it off with people you meet? No – but keep at it long enough and someone will stick!
A couple things that have helped me build a community of friends:
- Join a gym or take group fitness classes (ClassPass is great!) – I currently am loving F45.
- Attend networking events (I attended a Dallas Black Bloggers Conference this summer and made so many cool connections!)
- Volunteer with an organization you are passionate about (I am currently looking into alumni chapters with my sorority to get connected to in DFW)
- Join a club based on your hobbies or a local church if you are believer of faith
- Download apps like Bumble BFF – a great way to meet people with similar interests!
- Ask your friends to connect you with their friends
Corporate vs. Higher Education
This one I get quite often. “How has it been working in corporate compared to higher ed?” I will make a note that not all corporate companies are the same (i.e. I have heard horror stories from people who went to other corporate companies). I definitely think I was fortunate to have a found a solid, healthy organization to start my corporate journey so take my answers with that lens in mind.
Corporate B – Key Highlights:
- I get compensated very well for my efforts (#SecureTheBag)
- I have a hybrid working environment ( 3 days in office, 2 days at home)
- I have healthy boundaries at work (i.e. no one contacts me after-hours)
- I do not think about work when I leave (i.e. my mental health is thriving)
- I have time for a social life (aka my life does not revolve around work which has been a mind blowing concept to process)
Corporate B – Drawbacks:
In my opinion, corporate organizations are very metrics driven and as an empath, I sometimes wrestle with having to navigate fostering meaningful impacts while juggling the corporation’s focus on driving results. Metrics played a role during my time in Higher Education but there is a stronger emphasis on them in corporate. My current role allows me the ability to travel, network, and build partnerships so I have learned to leverage those experiences to fill my people bucket while also managing strategic initiatives that satisfy the corporation’s deliverables.
Do you miss working in Higher Education at all?
I miss consistently working with college students and the influx of students that would walk into my office to let me play their pseudo counselor. Luckily, I still get to work with college students in corporate, just not on an everyday basis. I also miss the camaraderie of working in an office with colleagues who became my real life friends. The opportunity to make friends in corporate exists but it’s not as ingrained in the culture as I saw in Higher Education. At the core, the people are what made my time in Higher Education so memorable. I will not rule out me returning to a college campus one day, but for now, I am enjoying the stability and peace that has come from my time in corporate.
So friends, thank you for continuing to follow along with me on my journey. I take each day one day at a time. There are days I experience immense gratitude for the risks that I have taken to be bold and start fresh. On the other hand, there are moments where I still grapple with feelings of sadness from the solitude in starting fresh in so many areas of my life at one time (i.e., new career, new city, new community). Do I regret my decision to take the leap and start anew? Absolutely not. The Lord has not left me and I will continue to rest in the promises He has for me.
Next month I will enter my 30s and I am beyond grateful for the numerous experiences that have brought me to this point. May you all continue to soar and fall forward. The best is yet to come. Embrace the season you are in.