A year ago, I made the decision to leave Hong Kong not knowing how it would all pan out. It threw me into an existential midlife crisis. The idea that I didn’t know who I was was at the heart of the issue.
I still don’t know if I made the right decision. Ask me again in 10 years. We shall see!
I realise it’s impossible to know. If I had stayed, everything might have worked out. Equally, the decision to leave could have ended – and still could end in – an unmitigated disaster.
That was my fear. Based on who I thought I was. If I’m brutally honest, it was my fear about staying as well. This idea that I wasn’t capable. That I would fail whatever I decided to do.
That’s why I deliberated over the decision for so long.
But I didn’t know. I didn’t know how capable I was. I didn’t know that I would be sitting here a year later with two fantastic options on the table. I didn’t know that I would be in some of the best physical and mental shape of my life.
If you’ll excuse me, I might afford myself a rare moment of credit to say just how fucking proud I am. Not just for making these opportunities happen but to do so while pulling myself out of one of the lowest points in my life.
But guess what? I still don’t know who I am. I find myself torn once again. I want to take on both opportunities for different reasons.
I’m curious to see how the career fits a year-on with a different company. I want the adventure that opportunity presents. I also desperately want to do this degree and gain the necessary skills to help others as I have been.
So, that’s what I’s going to do. My short term plan is to defer my masters until I’m settled in this new role. Once I am, I’m going to complete this degree. Then, well, who knows.
We shall see!
Once more, I don’t know if I’m making the right decision. I don’t know if I’ll be able to manage. Or, even if I can, whether or not I should commit to one. Whether I should leave my aviation career grounded.
There is, however, one big difference between where I am now and the person who decided to leave Hong Kong a year ago. I’m much more comfortable not knowing.
I realise who you are is an ever-changing, nonstop discovery. It’s in constant flux. Trying to find yourself is like chasing a ghost. It vanishes the moment you do.
And maybe you don’t want to land at the destination of who you are? The moment you do – the moment you think you know who you are – you limit yourself to that person. It’s easy to get stuck there.
But if you remain open to the reality you don’t know, you remain open to becoming something else. Something better. Something more.
After all, your potential doesn’t lie in the known. It lies in the unknown. It’s what you don’t know about yourself – it’s the strength you don’t know you have – that’s where your potential lies.
That’s where possibility lies.
You can trust me when I say this. Becoming who you might be is far better than knowing who you are.