Sometimes you just gotta take a risk and go after what you want 😊

I took three big risks in my life so far – I call them the three jumps. And I believe each new jump was fueled by the previous ones. I would have never done jump number three without the previous two. So that tells me that everything I had gone through was preparing me for my next jump. I do love the freedom of being in charge. I love creating something from scratch and being the ultimate responsible for it. And I’ve always loved challenges, for me that’s an amazing way to grow. I do believe the ultimate purpose of one’s life is to really evolve as a human being and do something for this world.Β  But to do that, one needs to grow. Growing means learning and becoming wiser and, sometimes, you learn the best through difficult times. I have never felt more alive in my life, more raw than in those moments when I was put to the ultimate test. The question was: Am I going to show up? Can I show up?

The 1st big jump was my leaving Maersk Line- a multinational company- to do an MBA in the US. I wanted more out of life. I wanted to develop myself and grow. But it was tough to leave the company I was working for since I had an amazing comfortable life. I was living as an expatriate and I had never had so much disposable income. HOW CAN I LEAVE THIS BEHIND? I LIVE A VERY GOOD LIFE. Why am I getting so restless when my life is so good? Why am I thinking about my next step when I should just be happy with what I have right now? Truth is I did not see myself in shipping in the long term; my heart was not really touched.I knew I could do MUCH MORE.

Pre- MBA life

But I did not have the guts to leave yet. So instead, I started preparing for my GMAT and taking my time.  When Maersk in Italy announced that it was going to close its offices in Jan 2008, I knew that my time HAD COME. It was time TO ACT ON what I had decided. And I did. I got my GMAT and TOEFL and I started applying to schools. There was no turning back. It was so scary to do that, though. Change is so scary.

Just as an experiment, I had also applied to Nestle in Switzerland. They called me and interviewed me while I was waiting to hear back from schools; They wanted to fly me to Geneva for a final round of interviews. Right then and there I had to make a decision. Why am I doing this? What do I truly want? My family wanted me to get a job and go to Switzerland since there was so much money there. Why would I spend everything I have in the US?  I called Nestle and turned down their interview invite, while waiting to hear back from schools. I was going to the US as a full time MBA student. I was going back to school, betting everything I had on an uncertain future.

3 weeks after I landed in the US, Lehman Brothers collapsed. The economy crisis had started.

This jump was successful. It took me three years and lots of blood, sweat and tears to make it successful. Three years after I left a comfortable life, I was back to the lifestyle I had given up years ago.  I ended up working for Amazon in the US; and became a resident in 2015 which allowed me to live long term in a country I enjoy and where I feel I fit in.

2nd big jump: moving for love to Seattle without having a job lined up. Never had I moved for love anywhere before. Something uncomforting and scary. Anytime I do something for the first time- it feels scary and exciting. This jump did not end well short-term. The relationship did not work. I was very much a kid, pretty innocent and with high hopes. We broke up even before I got a full time job. It was heartbreaking and dark.  But it was a lesson on wisdom and faith on many levels.  It did leave me with scars and also fears and doubts that I had to work on and it forced me to grow. At the end of it, I did become a more mature person, taking more ownership of my life. Long term, looking back – I believe the risk I took was worthwhile. It did get me to where I am today 😊

3rd big jump: Starting my own business. Very very scary. Again here I am , putting everything I have on the line. And let me tell you something: I am scared of failing! I enjoy a good lifestyle; always have. But there is no other way of going for what you want than going ALL IN. At least in my book. I have this DESIRE to do something on my own. I do enjoy social settings and people and stories. So much wisdom and life in people’s stories 😊  And that’s PUSHING ME FORWARD. I cannot ignore it; I cannot fight it. It’s stronger than my mind.

4 Comments

  1. Reply

    Very courageous Iulia and inspiring. Reminds me of jumps that Ive made and firmly agree. Jumping and doing something you love doing is gratifying, whether entirely successful or not. Wish you all the best and hope the Vineyard and ConnectLounge can meet sometime.

    • Iulia

      Reply

      Hi Ram-

      I read your story. Beautiful. And I love the parallel between jumping for real and jumping metaphorically in life. What really keeps us back is fear and what could go wrong… But I guess when the joy, desire and excitement are higher than the fear, then we jump😊. Are you writing a book? I saw something about this in the comments of the article.. and btw Im not sure I have the guts to do skydiving haha😊😊

  2. Reply

    Hey Iulia
    Thanks
    The book..no ..havent yet been able to focus..Blogging helps.. loads of cluttered bits n pieces ..
    And in todays world of Corona Viruses, travel bans and powerful divisive politics, hope we can still keep jumping without looking like frogs 🀣🀣🀣🀣
    Stay safe and keep in touch..or rather ‘connected’
    xxx

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