New Year’s Day may be the time most people devote to introspection and resolutions, but for me it’s the weeks before Labor Day. Something about the end of summer, or perhaps because the fall has always signaled the start of a new academic year. Whatever it is, the end of summer has always served as a checkpoint for me to pause and reflect on where I’ve been and where I’m going.
Now in particular, as the days grow shorter, I’ve been pondering the good fortune we’ve had with Verily, and how much we owe to people who encouraged us to “just do it.”
When I worked on Wall Street, a mentor cautioned me against waiting for the “right time.” So often we’re told to hold off marriage until that next promotion; postpone kids until you find a larger house. You can certainly do this, but who’s to say those times will be any better? Life will always bring struggles and joy in unpredictable ways, so why wait to do the things you want most?
This mentor of mine was no wallflower. She had an ivy-league education and closed multi-million-dollar deals, but she also loved reading bedtime stories and being the chaperone mom on fieldtrips. As someone who bought into the whole “I’ll have kids and a family once I’m more established in my career” narrative, I found her words challenging. I started to look at my life and wonder, “Is this what I want to do? Who I want to be?”
If not, what am I waiting for?
It’s not that I didn’t like my job or the people—on the contrary, I truly enjoyed it. But I knew that I wanted to take the plunge with Verily someday, and I had a growing realization that today would be just as scary as tomorrow.
On that note, this issue was inspired by the idea of finding balance in transition. I love the practical advice James Poulos offers in “Grad School 101” (page 60), a consideration about making the grad-school investment. Meanwhile, Anne-Marie Maginnis shares her reflections on the value of her degree as a stay-at-home mom (“O, Alma Mater,” page 78). I thoroughly recommend getting lost in our “Fading Summer” fashion spread, too—a wonderful reminder to savor the last bits of warm days while they’re here.
We’re off and running now. Here’s to a fresh start.
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