Over the last week, I have said goodbye to some very special things in my life – my dogs, my home, and a place I thought I would be forever. Complicated doesn’t even begin to describe how layered this grief is.
But with grief comes reflection. As I have said my goodbyes and given my things to the people I love, one of them said: “I hope you find what you’re looking for.”
After my first round of anxiety-ridden “well, what’s that supposed to mean?” moments, it hit me. I’m not looking for anything as I head out in the van. This is the first time in my life I’m not seeking. I’m pursuing change with no destination – just a good compass. It’s nameless evolution.
My entire life has been filled with goals I needed to reach before I could have happiness – as if I’d be happy when I arrived at a certain number, destination, or limit. I was living a life of New Year’s Resolutions as if there was always another place I needed to be, but I hadn’t arrived yet. I just had to work harder. Think smarter. Play the game, whatever that meant.
That game is really fucked up – mostly because we play it with ourselves. We create a gap between where we are and where we need to be, always striving for change even if we have no idea if the change matters – even if we don’t know if our complex formula for change will add up to anything feeling any different, let alone feeling like a whole new life.
It’s messed up that we play along, pretending we’re the keepers of the universe and just one 3-step to-do list away from taking the test and passing at life. Instead, we’re always the losers.
This life isn’t about winners or losers, though. It’s about destiny – and damnit, we all get to have a dream, no matter who we are. A dream that we can live, especially when we allow it to play out instead of trying to design a map to a place we have never been before… and honestly don’t know that we even want to go.
“In an ever increasingly unpredictable world… a detailed map may lead you deep into the woods at an unnecessarily high cost. A good compass, though, will always take you where you need to go. It doesn’t mean you should start your journey without any idea of where you’re going. What it does mean is understanding that while the path to your goal may not be straight, you’ll finish faster and more efficiently than you would have if you trudged along a preplanned route.”— Joi Oto via my friend Jomiro
Straight path? Ha. Me? No. *That’s a gay joke.*
So today, just hours away from departing towards my destiny, I’d like to remind you one last time this year to abandon the restless stir of not enough. Go get a really good compass. It can take you anywhere and far beyond a mapped life, because let me tell you: life isn’t about incremental change. It’s about fucking living.
On that note, I’m off to live mine until the New Year. I’ll be taking time off from writing this letter to live the lessons. To try and teach myself how to retreat inward. To change without worrying what I’ll lose. To leap towards the life I’ve always wanted.
I’ll write next year from a van with a view at the spot I’ll find with my very own (badass) compass.
Be well –
P.S. If you want to work for me, if you want to create stories about this life I’m about to live for my social media, this blog (and this job!) is for you.
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.