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Jump… (Journey Through Reinvention)

By Danié Gómez-Ortigoza

October 5, 2017

You see a cliff. You know you can’t go back to where you came from, but you are terrified of jumping. You look down, but it’s impossible to see where it will take you. There’s only darkness. You are not comfortable where you are, but you know you can stay there (if you want), slowly shrinking and forever wondering what there is beyond that cliff. The jump is imminent…

And so you let go, fully out of breath and stiff with panic.
As you start falling, you somehow realize you actually knew how to fly. The only thing stopping you was your own darkness. And you suddenly rediscover all the infinite possibilities of creation hidden within you. You’re finally fulfilling your life mission and the reason for your existence.

You are free.

Cliffs are everywhere in our lives. They never cease to appear. Some are taller than others, but all of them carry a relevant message. The way we react as we feel the vertigo crawling through our body, determines who we become.

Less than three weeks after I left my job at Glamour, three very talented women from very different industries reached out to me to let me know that they had quit their jobs inspired by my move (#nopressure)
I remember looking at the screen of my computer totally bewildered thinking that the best answer was something along the line of ‘What the blip were you thinking? Go back! This road is dark, and bumpy!’ At the time, I was a shaky Chihuahua and had too many ideas on what my new path would be, but in extremely abstract terms, and no recipe for success.

Every time I went out people would say, ‘So, I heard you left Glamour. What are you doing now?’ I would freeze. It must have happened at least twenty times. I decided that the best thing to say was simply to state, ‘I’m under construction.’

Isn’t it funny how relevant ‘labels’ are in our society? We tend to need to put everyone in a little drawer so we can ‘understand’ who they are. It begins with sex. As soon as you are pregnant, first thing on everyone’s mind is if you are having a boy or a girl.

Yep. Welcome to label number one. Huge expectations are made, based on one little part of the body. You forget that all you wanted was a baby, and start obsessing on what the life of a boy, (or girl) should look like.

When it comes to defining what you do for a living, the label of a big and respected corporation is so comfy. I remember how people’s eyes would light up with possibilities when they saw Condé Nast written on my business card. It was quite funny to watch.

But in reality, it doesn’t mean anything. The interesting exercise is finding your self-worth outside of that business card, and realizing who you are without that huge umbrella that validates you so naturally.
I’m still searching for the right way to describe myself. My bio on Instagram changes almost weekly. For the longest time it said ‘former Glamour Mexico and Latin America Correspondent’. Made me feel important.

I’m over that now, but it was a long process of self-discovery.
I still don’t have a recipe for success, but what I’ve learned is that whatever stage of your life you are in, make sure to build your personal brand beyond your corporation. Don’t expect the label to make you big; be big on your own, and let the world know who you are. It’s the only thing that’s real.
And in regards to the big jump? It was worth it.

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