On Leaving and Learning


I have learned so much about myself in the last few months. I moved out to Durham, North Carolina at the end of July 2018 to follow my then partner as he chose Duke University to complete his law degree. Due to a myriad of reasons, I decided that he wasn’t the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I could have moved back to Austin at that point, but I felt like my time in Durham wasn’t over yet. Staying in North Carolina was one of the best things I could have done for my growth as a human being.

A lot of people are curious about why I’m leaving. You can scroll to the end to read about that. 🙂

I asked a lot of questions of myself. A lot of questions about what I want from life, my career, my relationships. I found a lot of answers along the way.

I answered a lot of questions I didn’t know I had as well.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • I am incredibly capable of thriving under pressure.
  • Friendships nourish my soul in a way that greatly impacts my life.
  • I am able to confidently make decisions that will affect my life. I am also able to walk back on those decisions and pivot whenever new information arises.
  • Succeeding in my career gives me immense amounts of fulfillment.
  • I value independence, kindness, growth, learning, and relationships. I know that now.
  • I can pick up my life, move to any city in the world, and make intense friendships.
  • I know what type of people I want to be friends with and why.

All in all, I have become a more confident person. I am tenfold more confident in my ability to succeed and accomplish my goals. It’s an incredible feeling and I am so grateful.

A lot of people have helped contribute to my growth and I want to give them a shout out here:

  • Jenn Sarfaty. For listening to and reflecting upon every issue I’ve had since we’ve become friends. I’m always going to hold our trip to Asheville in a special place in my heart. You are truly an amazing person. Thank you for sharing bits of your life with me.
  • Sarah Schulz. For taking me into your home and being one of the most kind-hearted humans I have met. You are a true friend and I am so lucky to have formed a deep relationship with you. Your generosity is beautiful just like you.
  • Ryan Levin. For being an incredible human who I can always engage in deep, thoughtful conversation with. Your constant honesty and desire to be forward are traits worth aspiring for.
  • Josh Knapp. For being my first friend when I moved here and introducing me to everyone else in your group. You have made working remotely from coffee shops something I would look forward to every day. You have listened to me cry and complain and vent and I appreciated every moment you gave me your undivided attention.
  • Aaron, Anjali, Mark, and Leeron  for always hosting me when I felt the need to be social and in the company of wonderful people. You always opened your home to me and I can’t express how much I appreciated your good company and wonderful conversation.

Ultimately, I made the decision to leave because of two things. I want to continue my growth with Aceable. Moving to Durham put me into the position of being a Business Strategy Analyst, and moving back to Austin will help me continue my growth in the new position. Working in strategy is a long term goal of mine and being back in the office with the rest of my team will help me continue bringing that goal to fruition.

Also, my brother is having a baby. I don’t have a lot of non-nuclear family in the USA. Back in Iran I have hundreds of family members who showered me in love when I visited over a decade ago. To be able to welcome a new member to my family is so much more important to me than I realized. I want to be close to my niece and being back in Texas is important to maintain a close relationship with her and my new SIL.

Leaving Durham fills me with a lot of emotion. Excitement, because change is always exciting to me. Sadness, because I’ve met so many incredible people here. Anxiety, because there is a lot opportunity here that I will miss out on. Courage, because choosing to leave is a choice I’ve made on my own. Overwhelmed, because Austin is a big city with a lot to offer and I want it all. Thankful, because I can pick up my life and move on a dime.

It’s been an incredible 6 months of intense growth and self-discovery. I’m so ready for what life has to offer from here on out.

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