Quote of the Week:
“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.”
Before Lisa and I moved to our fair city of Cambridge, MA we lived together in quant, lovable, Providence, RI. Before I go much further, I want to emphasize that Providence was very good to us both, it made us stronger, and was full of opportunity given its modest size. Lisa had lived in Providence for four years before I even met her; she attended Brown University for both her undergraduate and medical education, and was part of their PLME program. After returning stateside from a Fulbright grant I was offered a position at a nearby behavioral weight loss center on a major NIH funded clinical weight loss trial. I worked there for the last two years of Lisa’s medical education. Then Match Day came, and fate—rather, a computer algorithm—told us it was time to move on.
We were both excited for the change; Lisa was starting a new chapter by beginning her career and finally earning a paycheck—thank the lord! For me, while apprehensive, I knew in my heart it was time to move on. Much of the early part of our relationship was long distance—I actually spent the second year of it living in Lithuania—and frankly, I was not about to do that again. Lisa is the most important person in my world, there was no question about it: I was moving.
What I learned from this experience is that leaving a job is a strange experience. On the one hand, I knew I had been stuck in a rut and though I admittedly felt forced into the change, I knew it was good for me. On the other hand, I was afraid. While Boston is abundantly full of opportunity, I did not know for sure I could find a job on short notice… An extended period of unemployment was the last thing I needed.
Which brings me to the above quote.
For as long as Lisa has known me, I have categorically underestimated myself. If I had to hypothesize why this is, I guess its some kind of protection mechanism. Perhaps my subconscious self thinks that if I set my expectations low, I cannot be disappointed. Ironically though, I have lofty goals and very high expectations for myself; although, for years I have put off my own dreams. On my final day at my previous position, my supervisor gave me a card with the above quote written inside. When I first read it, I was admittedly stumped, but now every time I re-read her card I understand the meaning and what she meant by it, and I view it and my experience there as a source of inner strength.
I have been searching for an easy way to mark that moment in my life so I could be reminded of it everyday. Don’t you think this print would make a great piece to hang in your apartment or house—perhaps framed in an eye-catching color?
Do you have any quotes you hold onto for that sense of inner strength it gives you?