Queen of the comfort zone, how did I get out

Well… I’ve decided to change my life. Again. What changes do I have in mind? I don’t know that yet Uśmiech I’m going to write today about Basia’s Revolutionary Road and how it evolved through time. Everything started like a year ago. And some things that happened during this period have already transformed my life. Or maybe it was me who has changed? Not sure about that either. Let me invite you into the journey of my life transformation.

Dear diary…

A year ago I was really fed up with IT world. Actually I wanted to quit. For real.

I honestly didn’t care about programming, technologies, news or conferences. I felt frustrated, exhausted, without hope and bored … Wait! I’m never bored. So this was a real sign. I needed a change – revolution to be honest. But… I chickened out. I said to myself regular excuses – like that I don’t have money and do have a loan to pay. So I really cannot switch to any other industry, without resigning from my current life standard. Don’t get me wrong – it all was true. I really needed to have something that allow me to earn some money, so at this time, this meant I needed a job.

So I started to think about getting new one, in which I could have a chance to really care about what I’m working on, to actually do something valuable. First thought was about starting my own coaching business, but those were just plans, distant future. At this point I thought the only option I had, was getting back to IT. I made a promise to myself though: I cannot do the same stuff I was doing for 9 years. So this is how I turned to Base. I never dig that startup/unicorn/changing the world attitude, but what I knew for sure, was that their real and most important values are the product and the client. This was something I truly needed. Something radically different than I had a chance to experience.

Ego polishing

There was another thing I decided that time – I really craved to start doing more talks, to speak in front of people, at conferences and meetups. If you know me at all, you probably know that deep in my heart, in my core ME, I am a star Uśmiech I love to shine, brag and act the wisest person in a room. But there was a problem – I was Ms nobody then. There was even one day (actually during the recruitment process to Base), when I used my speech at 4developers from 2009 to brag about my teaching skills. Somebody asked me then, why I don’t do this more often. This remark made me feel a bit ashamed. It was like someone pointing out Why aren’t you doing this thing you always wanted to do?. So finally I decided to really live my life (at least in that area), stop whining and actually go for it.

So a little bit later, with big help from one of my friends, I got some speakers gigs. If you read my blog, or follow me on Twitter, you know how well it went and still is.

Successful woman

People are awesome – I hear it far too often. Personally I think this phrase doesn’t mean anything. It’s even a bit offensive. Everyone wants to be special, and when you say that, you’re basically claiming no one is. Ok, maybe when we talk about general beliefs I can admit people are great, but I don’t know them all, do you? And how can I say so without getting to know them better. And how well can I do this when I usually meet them only during conferences or in a bus or on a street. I don’t even mention about my lack of social skills (yes, yes, this changed also, but I will talk about it later). Aghhhh… And last but not least – getting to know people is so complicated, time and effort consuming, so why bother if the reward is maybe 5% chance that I’ll meet somebody interesting? After all I was happy with my old, boring but well known myself, in my apartment, far away from others. And when I got a bit lonely I could always catch up with someone using this cool new thing called the internet.

Surprisingly something changed one day . I gave a chance to people, because I did it to one person. And there … there was like a flood after that point. And people were responding to the changes that happened in me. Of course they mostly didn’t know there were any changes. I not only have met tons of people, but I actually have built real connections, friendships even.

Yeah… My name is Basia and I’m no longer asocial person!

But lately I often hear that I’m a successful woman. I go for all those conferences, have a great job, am single (so that basically gives me the right to do what I want). But to tell you the truth, those are only shallow aspects. They are nice, I like them very very much, but I could really live without them. They don’t define me and to be honest aren’t my real success. So what is it then? Yeah… as it is hard to say for me – people, or maybe to be closer to the truth – relations with people. Deep, meaningful, absorbing and often funny. This is my biggest success in my life – I touch people and what’s more important, I allow them to touch me.

So… are all people awesome? Sure, but maybe to some other people … ? Don’t get me wrong again – they probably are, but there is only some number of them I can handle and get to know deep enough to say so.

What now?

First of all I quit my job. Last Monday. Base was a great employer, with awesome people (yeah, yeah, shut up Uśmiech), working environment, and a place where I could really grow. But at this stage of my life, I’m looking for something even more. It will be hard to beat that, because they really spoiled me Uśmiech I was thinking about it for some time, since I realized that I really don’t care enough about the stuff we were working on. And in Base commitment and faith in product, in work you do, is crucial.

First I noticed that when I switched to the new project where there were lots of things to figure out, including what Basia likes the most – architecture layers, pattern choosing, DA approach, using proper ORM tool. Guys were discussing those topics and I was like… what are you talking about? It’s just wrong what you’re deciding now. But… I didn’t tell anything. I just thought Why bother?

This was the moment I knew it’s over. After all shining and to convincing people that they are wrong is something I really love. And it wasn’t like that that moment. Why? This wasn’t a fault of the project, team or company. It’s just not right time and place for me right now.

Excuses? Just stop it!

Now is the moment when I can shape my life however I want it to look like. Actually wrong – now is the moment when I know there is always a good time to do it. You may probably think that it’s easy for me to do it. I’m single, so no family to support. I also have 10 years of experience in IT, I’m intelligent and really good at my job (haha, a least I hope you think that Uśmiech). I speak at conferences, and recently worked at this cool Cracow’s startup. So I’ll find a new job just like that. My Maslow’s physiological needs are fulfilled, so now I can have my childish first world problems, as finding myself and being picky.

That’s all true, but those are just excuses. For me making a decision like that wasn’t easy too. It’s a big (or even gigantic) deal. I was single, smart, and good at what I do for almost 10 years, but didn’t have the courage to do anything with my discontent. I also really don’t have any money. I may remind you somehow of Madonna, but I’m not a material girl Uśmiech So I do need to figure out the way to earn some and cannot have vacation all the time. Because as previously pointed out – also don’t have family to support me Uśmiech

Finally, remember – there is always a good time to start your own life! The one you really want to live. The hard part it to realize this and figure out what is this life you want to pull off. So if you’re miserable, please just stop it! Do something! Don’t be afraid. I tell you that – previous queen of the comfort zone. If you want to get a cool job – apply for it. If you wanna be better at what you do – spare some time and effort on it. If you want to speak at events – find something you want to share with others and send some papers when there is CFP open. Cliches? Maybe, but worked for me. And believe me – usually nothing works on my machine Uśmiech

As I previously noticed, life is not just about work. But actually changes in mine started with this area, when I realized it’s really important and first of all – time consuming part of my life. When I quit my job it became even more clear to me. Now I’m considering deeper changes that include city I’ll live in, starting my own company, but even to which parts of my life I want to devote evenings and weekends.

Control freak

However stupid that sounds – I’m a workaholic right now. Yes – even without a job. I’m programming during the evenings, go for conferences, write a blog, don’t have time for my family, think about … work all the time. That’s not healthy and will burn out soon – you know, because I actually don’t have a job any more Uśmiech. So what then? First of all I’m gonna need to figure out what to do with my free time. Find out again what I like and hate to do and start to use this spare time, even to the limit. After all I’m now leisure time lady.

But the most important task for me right now is learn how to have fun. Without drama, too much thinking and bad emotions. I had that once not long time ago (I’ll write it in the next post) so now I know I can do it more often.

Good news is I don’t have to figure out my core values – I’m sure of them, I know myself in that area pretty well. I know the answer to the question Who is Basia?. Those are other levels that I need to think of. Now I’m just happy and open for changes, because as we know this is the only stable thing in our lives.

Well… this is it – for now. I leave you like that, because this is basically how my life currently looks like. So, if you’re curious how it evolves in the future, consider reading more or/and following me on Twitter.

9 thoughts on “Queen of the comfort zone, how did I get out

  1. Well, I wanted to write here something very clever. But I can’t. Firstly, due to my poor English, secondly what else can I say?
    Oh wait, the best piece of advice, which I can give you it is that one ” when you are truly at peace with your choices nothing will offend you”. Good luck, whatever what you will do and wherever you wil go!

  2. I’d add one thing that I think is often so forgotten.
    Both discontent and passion are internal stuff. Not so conditional as may appear. Actually, not at all. We bring it with ourselves wherever we go.
    Fingers crossed for your next adventure Basia!

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  4. Basia,

    It sounds like you became quite disillusioned with our industry, which is a shame – I think you made the right decision to move on. How is your new job in London? Are you slightly more optimistic about it now?

    I’ve just watched a couple of your talks – very impressive! I love hearing people talk when they have a genuine passion for programming and software architecture, which evidently you do! It’s a shame you didn’t join our company – if you decide to look again, (please!) get in contact!


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