What doesn’t kill me

I finally came up with the courage to tell my mom today that I resigned and began a new job. I probably would have told her sooner, but given the grief and instability that my brother’s passing has caused, I figured it would be best to wait a bit before telling her. My mother is the ultimate worrier and pessimist; she always worries even in the most carefree situations, and when everyone else sees the best things, she tends to quietly point out the worst. I don’t blame her; it’s just the way she is given all of her experiences growing up in a war-torn Vietnam and as an immigrant in the U.S. The number one thing my mother has sought in a job is stability. She always thought I had that at Reprise. And I was bored to death.

The truth about my new job is that things have been going as good as they could be in the last five days I have been there; everyone has been even warmer and nicer (and smarter and less BS-y) than I expected. The culture seems to be exactly what I never quite had at my last company, and I know this will be a challenging, fun ride. My manager has been incredibly empathetic with me given the recent events of my family, and I haven’t felt more satisfied about work in this way for as long as I can remember (granted, I haven’t done any “real” work yet, but I hope to still be singing this song in three months’ time). In the beginning, when I had just signed the offer and given my last company my resignation letter, I was terrified. I was scared of leaving a place where I had built a solid reputation for myself over more than four years, as someone who didn’t just “know her shit,” but also was full of personality and well-liked. I was intimidated by how potentially more intelligent and efficient people would be than I at my current company given the nature of startup culture; people generally don’t fair well in startups if they can’t walk the talk. But in the last three weeks, though I have cried, snapped, and shrieked over and over about how unfair the world is and how my beloved Ed deserved a better life than what he had, I’ve realized that if I can get through my brother departing this world, everything else… would seem easy — relatively speaking. My worst fears came true when I learned Ed had left this world, so how much more worse and painful could anything else really be in life?

I owe it to Ed to take the chances that he never did, to take risks and enjoy life to the extent that he deserved – that I deserve. I never had the chance to tell him about this new job, but I know in my heart that he would probably be the happiest person in the world for me and so proud of his little sister. Everything I do from this point forward, I will think of Ed and think of every step as something that he would have seen and for which he would cheer me on.

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