Transitioning With Liz: Reflection #4 Letting Go, A Chance to Grow

The career transition column by Liz Weldon

A longing for growth and new experiences was a huge part of my final decision to leave. Walking away is never easy, but sometimes facing the pain of growth is better than staying the same. The amount of pressure I was putting on myself, my low self-esteem, the craving for validation, and being in a workplace where I didn’t feel emotionally safe became more and more unmanageable the longer I was dancing. I would have loved to keep dancing, but maybe stepping away from that environment was the only way to try to learn to love and value myself. Honestly, it’s still a work in progress, but I’ve also come a long way from where I was.

A huge part of my healing process has been forgiving myself for all the times I wasn’t ok and acknowledging that I was doing my best in challenging situations.

Looking back, I think it's important to hold both gratitude for my career and also its disappointments simultaneously. Both feelings have permission to exist because both are true. I know I truly have so much to be grateful for, but also hold quite a bit of sadness and regret, which can be hard. I try to focus my attention on the special moments throughout my career. I had many amazing coworkers who believed in me and encouraged me when I didn’t believe in myself. Through ballet, I met so many beautiful people that I’m blessed to call my friends. My relationship with ballet is constantly evolving and much different than it was. It’s now much healthier.

Photo by David Monson