‘Wait, what is this? Wasn’t this newsletter of yours like…dead and buried for a long time?’
Yeah, it was. And then I learned something new about myself and realized it’s time to undo my decision and restart my personal newsletter. And then I slept on it, until I was sure it’s something I *need* to do and not just an impulse caused by other factors.
Hello. Cristina here. Long time no talk. I hope you’re glad to see my name pop-up in your inbox once again. It’s been what, one year since the last Friday Read?
You know how I always used to talk about how people are resilient to dislodging old beliefs, patterns and thoughts, even when faced with new contradictory information?
In the past few months I revisited some of my old decision. Both personal and professional. Only this time, I postponed acting on whatever conclusions and solutions I reached. I wanted to make sure there are no more impulsive decisions anymore, as I know I’m guilty of those.
Yes, it’s true, I lack patience and, once I notice something’s off, I can’t just ‘unsee’ it. I take full responsibility and I tend to jump straight into problem-solving & action mode. I can’t ‘sleep on it’ or wait and see if it goes away on its own. (for personality geeks out there: Restorative is my main theme in Clifton strengths… and also my biggest weakness).
Announcing that I’m closing this newsletter a year ago was one of my impulsive decisions. I noticed a problem (the fact that I was spread too thin) and went to action: I closed this personal newsletter and announced that from that moment on I’ll focus solely on The CEO Library, the project I co-founded in August 2017, and where I’ve been sending a similar weekly newsletter. Another impulsive decision was half a year before that, when I switched from writing in Romanian, my native language, to English, on all personal channels.
This was the narrative going on in my mind at that time:
a) Switching to English was some form of moat building in case I ever decided to move out of the country. This seemed like the smart thing to do at the time, given the unstable social-political context and how so many folks were moving elsewhere (context for those outside Romania: we have the second emigration growth rate in the world, after Syria – and Syria’s war-torn).
b) I’ve always juggled with multiple projects at the same time, from various fields and different implication levels. Deciding to focus on only one project was a way of signaling (to my own brain, but also to the world) that I’m going all in and forcing myself to take 100% ownership of whatever happens with The CEO Library.
These decisions made sense at that moment, they seemed like the smart/grownup thing to do, but in time I noticed they left me with several unfulfilled needs.
In the process, I learned new things about who I am, what I value and what I want (or at least what I thought I wanted).
Perhaps I’m wrong (again), but this is the story I’m telling myself at the moment I’m writing this:
1. I need to hold on to my roots and help first and foremost those in my proximity: I’m talking about other Romanians, those who still are living here and share common worries, thoughts and values. This is a selfish thing, come to think of it, as I’m actually helping myself and my legacy in the process. I can’t „fix” this country alone, we all need to get involved and be part of a future change. I can’t just bury my head into sand and ignore what’s going on around me, cause I won’t be able to stand myself when I look in the mirror (and how will my kids and loved ones respect me?). And I know I can help those in my proximity, and, in the process, help the country, help myself, my future kids. See? It’s selfish. But I need to do this before I can focus on helping others in the world. It’s some form of security, perhaps.
2. Nothing can replace quality human interaction, IRL, and seeing with my own eyes how I’m helping others, how they improve their life and become maybe 1% happier thanks, partly, to my contribution. Yes, it’s a form of feeling significant, of knowing that I matter. And, in my case, this comes mostly through one-on-one social interactions. Quality, not quantity, ok? Knowing I positively contribute to those I see on a daily basis gives me more energy than anything else that comes under digital form.
3. Writing in a language that isn’t my native one, even if I’m forcing myself to write just as personal as I would in Romanian, dilutes the message in the process. It lacks nuances, therefore it loses power, connection and ability to relate.
So, what’s next?
In the (slow) search of ways to fulfill my needs mentioned above, I decided to bring this personal newsletter back to life, and to reverse it to its March 2018 version: in Romanian, that is. (sorry to my non-Romanian subscribers, you’re gonna have to use a translation app for my future emails).
One of the main changes will be that I won’t be sending it every Friday. Expect it to arrive in your inboxes every other Friday instead – it’s just a way of making sure I deliver more value for you.
Another major difference will be that I’ll prioritize IRL interactions and I’ll try to constantly come with new pretexts to meet and interact physically. This also means that there’s a chance I might not reply to all emails anymore, as it’s an inefficient way of doing things. I will continue to read everything you reply and I’ll use your challenges, dilemmas and questions as fuel for future content or even events I’ll organize.
That being said, cheers to a new chapter! Just writing down these words feels amazing
„People tend to accumulate large mental holdings of fixed conclusions and attitudes that are not often reexamined or changed, even though there is plenty of good evidence that they are wrong.” – Charlie Munger
Have the courage to change your mind and live your truth.