I’m essentially at the 1.5 year mark since leaving Hong Kong, and the more I get into New York life, the less I blog. But I felt inclined to write this note after a close friend of mine from law school asked if I had any regrets leaving Hong Kong, given the extremely positive professional experience I had there.
I noted how two colleagues of mine had made partner this year at my firm in HK, and I do believe that I would have eventually walked that path at some point too. I had an incredibly supportive senior partner behind me, wonderful work, positive relationships with clients, etc. etc. Most importantly, there was also a logical promotion process in place in my office. Why shouldn’t I have believed that I would get that holy grail eventually?
So do I regret leaving that behind for New York, where my firm is your typical NYC BigLaw hot mess? In a word – no.
Though I may now lament my current professional situation out loud frequently, I don’t regret leaving Hong Kong to come to New York. I’m home now. Being near family and friends has indeed filled my heart to the point that I’m able to forget many of the other every day woes. It’s worth it.
I’ve gotten to visit/be visited by some of my further away friends a number of times as well, and that means a lot to me too. I don’t feel rushed to do things at home, and yet I can cherish time with family all the same. It’s amazing and it fills my heart.
When I contrast to time in HK, so often I just felt inexplicably lonesome, no matter how fulfilling my work was, how incredible my HK-based friends were, or how much fun I was having in my travels or experiences. Something about my family is just so integral to my whole existence, I had to leave – no matter what I was leaving behind.
I guess I want to say – find what fills your heart. It will never be just one thing, but there are some things that do it better than others. Be near the people and things that make you feel full, and then you don’t need to worry about ever being hungry.
Happy holidays everyone!