Amy Roberts: New year, new career
About six weeks ago I wrote a column honoring the lessons I’ve learned over the course of my 42 years. It was equal parts self-reflection and a commitment to implement the truths I’d come to realize. After all, a lesson is often the easy part; putting it into practice requires some intent.
Among the lines I wrote, reflecting on both my life and the hope I have for what’s to come, there are two that have so far been the theme of my 2018. They are:
- If you aren’t at least a little nervous about some of your choices, you aren’t taking big enough risks.
- Don’t confuse your job with your life.
It’s fair to say, I nailed them both in January.
For the past nine years, I worked at the local hospital. It was still little more than a big hole in the ground when I was hired as the marketing and public relations director in 2009. There were only five or six employees at the time, and we had a temporary office in Pinebrook. There, we would pore over floor plans and meet with contractors and strategize about the future of healthcare in this community. We had discussions about everything from where to put the MRI machine to where to put a vending machine.
At the time, I was so busy learning a new job and industry and preparing to open a hospital, I didn’t quite realize what I was part of. I didn’t fully understand I was part of something that would forever change this community. And, like every other job, it’s easy to get caught up in the grind of getting things done. It’s not instinctive to pause and reflect on what you’ve accomplished, and it’s difficult to take pride in something when you’re sitting through another tedious meeting about budgets.
But now that I’ve left, I can look back and appreciate that I played a role in something special. I helped create a place that will have a positive impact on this community in perpetuity. Not many people get to do that over the course of their career.
And I get to do it twice.
After nine years at Park City Hospital, I’ve taken a new job with Kimball Art Center — another organization with big plans, potential, and promise. The idea is for the Kimball to be an anchor tenant in the city’s new arts and culture district. Right now, there are planning meetings and strategy sessions and budget talks. This will all likely be followed with some degree of chaos and the busyness of learning and doing something new. Which will eventually evolve into a place that will have a permanent and positive impact on this community. It’s a bit of déjà vu for me.
The decision to reinvent myself and accept a new challenge filled with unknowns was not an anxiety-free one. I’ve been chewing Xanax like Tic Tacs. But I also know it was overdue. I needed to take on a new challenge, and the line between my job and my life had become blurred. Over the years I’ve been stopped in the grocery store and asked about a doctor, I’ve been accosted while skiing by someone upset with their bill, and I’ve had my fair share of dinner-party conversations about healthcare reform. But even more than this, I had peaked. There was no more room for growth. And for a creative, this is tragic.
Perhaps it’s only a myth, but I’ve always heard turtles can only grow to the size of their environment. If the aquarium is too small, the turtle cannot reach its growth potential. True or not, it’s a good analogy for a work environment. I’d maxed out the size of my shell in that tank. And as daunting as it can be, it’s much more satisfying to swim in the ocean than in a fishbowl.
So now, I’m off to make new waves.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.
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