Next Steps… Without Regrets

This has been a year of very tough decisions. After almost 6 months of island life, I’m returning to Canada in a little over a week.

I’m nervous because I don’t know what will happen once I get there. I’m excited because I get to see all my favourite people and places again as well some new ones. I’m already so much more appreciate of them for having been away.

Being away has taught me lots of things. I’ve trimmed a lot of fat from my life, taken a lot of risks, ventured into the unknown and faced any number of baseless fears. Now, I know what I want. And what I want has nothing to do with getting just whatever job and doing just whatever I’m told to do and then retiring to exhausted depression having forgotten how to live.

I am a changemaker. I am an entrepreneur. I only do things that I want to do.

I almost want to write that I have regrets about the incubator and how I could have done more to champion the project or to strategically buck authority for the greater good. I could have and it would have worked. There would have been a cost though and it could have gotten another team member into some serious hot water. I wasn’t able to accurately gauge how much water and how hot it would have been so I chose to do nothing.

I dislike doing nothing but surely it’s a better feeling than the guilt I would have felt if I inadvertently caused someone else’s dismissal or tarnished someone’s reputation. So I stand by my inaction.

Part of standing by my inaction is accepting that the project has been indefinitely stalled. This isn’t the absolute worst. I still got to have a valuable experience. I got to work on other projects and serve other clients. And I got a first-class lesson in cultural relativity. What is perfectly acceptable, even to the point of being “common sense”, in one culture could be totally subversive and unthinkable in another. At one point I considered myself to be simply braver than some members of the team. Now I see that bravery has nothing to do with it. We were just thinking inside our respective cultural boxes. I’ve always believed in the value of cross-cultural ideological pollination but all parties must be receptive to it in order for it to be valuable.

There isn’t much I can do for the project at this stage so acceptance, not resignation, and a pivot to the next adventure are in order. I originally planned my trip to Canada to be temporary but now I’m seeking permanent or at least long-term opportunities there. I remain open to the possibility of returning to Antigua or working remotely to make the incubator a full-blown reality.

Another awesome thing I’m looking forward to: no more long distance relationship woes!

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