Making Room in My Life for a New Adventure – not an easy thing to do

Blog entry created by: Teresa

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Leaving My Job

It’s early January, and I’ve spent most of the last couple of weeks touching base with AIA donors and Trustees, letting them know I am leaving, but that I still care very much about the AIA and will do all I can to help it continue its success.  Someday, I would like to play a different role at AIA, maybe serve on a committee, as I have put much of my life into it over the last six years.

Now I am at the Marriott Hotel in Anaheim, CA , at the AIA Annual Meeting – where I see thousands of AIA members.  Announcing that I am leaving in a meeting of 200+ of our closest supporters wasn’t easy.  I almost burst into tears.  I really do love the people who make of organization what it is.

AIA No Longer Feels Like it’s Future is in My Hands

One of the things I have enjoyed at AIA is tremendous support from our Board.  Today in our Board meeting something unusual happened – I lost a vote that would have gotten an important program started immediately.  Instead, it was delayed until it could be further reviewed and approved at our April meeting.  I don’t know if it had to do with me putting in my notice, or if it was just because the program represented a significant change in the way we support our 100+ local chapters, but it still felt very telling.  No matter how much AIA felt like “my” organization over the past several years, no matter how much progress we have made, it isn’t mine anymore.

The good thing is that it was never me making all the progress we have enjoyed at AIA, it was the team.  I tried to only hire people who were driven by the desire to succeed.  All I did was give them the tools they needed and try to clear obstacles for them.  That team is very much in place and will carry the organization forward unless they are stopped by the new Executive Director – which I hope will not be the case.

I find myself in a situation where I am clearing out some things in my life to make room to pursue new goals.  The trip, raising money for charities we are going to visit, and learning and spending time with the kids aren’t possible without giving up my job.  But seeing my role at work change before the new things really get going is a little disconcerting.

What is Truly Important

They say that one’s place in society closes up faster than one imagines.  It’s true – once upon a time, my boss asked me to stay because the organization would not be able to continue its path without me, (which I never believed to be true) and now I think the Board is collectively taking back its organization and readying it for a new Executive Director.  This may seem a little sad – but it isn’t really – it really means that when you tell yourself that you can’t do what you dream of doing because you are needed for this and that and you talk yourself into thinking no one else will fill those roles, you are doing yourself a disservice.  It makes me think more about what I want to do in this life that I regard as truly important and impactful and I feel even more committed to this crazy worldwide quest to learn about the world and help people in need.  It will work, or it won’t, but I won’t die without having at least tried to live out a lifelong dream.

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Posted on: January 9, 2010 | Categories: It's Tough to Leave, Pre-Departure Thoughts, Why We Are Doing This


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