Leaving (Las Vegas)

I’ve spent part of my April’s in Las Vegas for the past decade attending the annual BEA Convention. It’s one of the few times of year where what I do made sense to those around me. It’s provided a place where I felt appreciated for my work and camaraderie in the hardships of working in media and being an educator.

This year’s convention has been a bit weird as I’m taking a break from ‘the academy’ and venturing back into the real world. Stepping down from different positions within BEA is bitter sweet. Bylaws state one must be an active educator, with good reason, so my involvement is reduced to that of just member. While it will be nice to not have a break, will miss the work that was done.

I’m still putting the pieces in place for what’s next, but when explaining to people my decision and reasoning I was struck by two things. First, the amount of people who wished they’d done the same earlier in their careers. So many people stated they’d wanted to walk away at some point or take a break. As one said ‘I’ve got to many years in now’.

The second was the amount of positive affirmations and confidence I got from everyone. After the initial shock almost everyone said I’d do fine and they couldn’t wait to see what I was doing next. They understood my decision, liked what I had planned and could see the big picture. I see these people once, maybe twice a year and they were on board and offered to help if needed. Very few around me on a daily basis have done the same.

It has me thinking a lot about tidbits and advice I’ve heard lately.

Edit your circle.

Don’t be afraid of change.

Live life on your own terms.

Do the thing.

Michael Goi of ‘American Horror Story’ spoke yesterday and said something that really stuck – Most people fear success because it leads to more uncertainty.

I don’t know what’s next, but I’m confident that I’m ready for it and thankful for those who see something and believe in me.

Here’s to leaving Las Vegas as an educator for the last time.

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