A few days ago, I found out I had been fired. I found out by email on a Saturday morning.
I had, ironically, been planning my own exit for a few months. My conclusion had been that this was not the place for me. I refused to be dictated to; I had become very apathetic of our start-up’s dubious – & somewhat deceptive – ‘mission’; I also realised that my nature is entrepreneurial & I needed to start my own endeavour again.
So being fired was not the end of the world, but it meant I had no control over the circumstances of my departure. It was involuntary. It was sudden.
I had planned for my departure quite meticulously, so had plans for freelancing in place & my long-term plan for building this blog outlined in detail.
However, there still comes the inevitable void. The fear of the unknown. The sense that things are out of your control. That maybe things won’t work out.
Your self-confidence evaporates for a few days, you feel betrayed, you panic. However well you plan, you will still feel ‘the fear’.
Finding opportunity in adversity
After a few tense days that I thought might lead to a legal dispute, my final ‘Contract Termination’ was signed.
I had two months paid leave, with a contractual obligation to complete some work for the company still.
This was the best outcome I could ever have asked for. My plan was to resign the same week & continue for two months further. I now get the desired outcome, my salary, without having to put in the dreaded work for these guys.
The only downside was that I couldn’t childishly boast that I had been ballsy enough to resign, as they beat me to it.
In this situation I find myself with two options: immediately jump into freelancing or learn German.
The only reason I would immediately start freelancing would be out of fear of the unknown. That, in January, my contract would be up, so I would need to look for work. However, it’s only November.
Whenever I feel that fear is my motive to do something, it’s usually the wrong thing to do.
What would be the hard thing? What would be unique? What would be a good story to look back on in this period of my life? What do I actually want to do more?
I want to speak German fluently. It’s hard. It’s unknown. It has no tangible ‘career’ benefits relevant for me, but it’s what I want to do.
Getting to C1 (advanced) in the next 7 weeks would be pretty impressive. That’s my goal.
Rather than plodding along in uninspiring, inefficient classes, with the emphasis on the teacher to impart knowledge, I want to test my own hypotheses.
I have self-taught Portuguese to fluency & know what works.
Hard work, focus & motivation are key.
So is immersion. Conversation, podcasts, films, books, articles. Anything German-related.
I will do what others would call impossible precisely because I need to prove them wrong.
Because, as soon as you set limits on yourself & start having ‘realistic’ expectations, that is the day you set your standards to mediocrity.
You call things impossible because they are hard. They are unknown. They are scary.
But you achieve one impossible thing & you start to question that definition.