Clearing for Expansion

A few months before the pandemic hit the United States, I had become acutely aware of the ways in which I sought validation from external sources. This awareness, though I’m sure it came gradually and over time, felt sudden. It was like I was blind and then I was able to see. What’s more is the validation from these external sources — men, colleagues, social media, stopped penetrating me as anything worth while and started to feel cheap, inauthentic and unfulfilling.

I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I was stuck in a hallway between two doors, both open. One leading to a version of…