After writing my first blogpost for more.com (“Top 10 Hidden Rules That Can Sabotage Your Career“), I am feeling like the lawyer at the end of the holiday movie “Miracle on 34th Street.” In this final, “aha,” moment, he realizes that, since the kindly old man with the white beard actually was Santa Claus, his success proving so in court wasn’t such an amazing feat after all.
Similarly, I’m reconsidering the magnitude of my life reinvention. In the past several years, quitting my tenured university professorship to become a coach seemed like a big deal. Now, after writing that more.com post, I’m thinking, my reinvention wasn’t such an amazing feat after all.
What I’ve realized is that, although my title (coach) and industry (professional development) have changed, the core of what I do and believe has not. In fact, the no-holds-barred feminism of that blogpost returns me to my roots, as a feminist commentator. As early as high school, I was competing in original oratory with a speech about the gender rituals I observed as an exchange student in Brazil.
Have I undergone a reinvention, or a return?
I like that. I like thinking about what I call my Do-Over! as a way of delving deeper into my native self, rather than as an abrupt departure to foreign shores. Even when I was a professor, I was as much devoted to helping young women develop their voices as I was to the subject matter. As a coach, I continue that devotion, just in a different context.
So if the prospect of a “reinvention” feels a bit too risky to you, think about that “re” prefix. Your Do-Over! isn’t only an amazing feat. It’s also a return to the soul.