The Blessing of “Go, Be Great”

About two months ago, I had my first glimpse of a major opportunity. Back then, it was just a twinkle of a possibility, but it slowly grew more and more substantial. Now, it’s happening: I’m moving to Seattle.

The opportunity is a dream of mine coming true — a job that will not only fulfill me intellectually, but emotionally. A job that will empty and fill me daily, and push me to my limits. The best job I could have imagined at this stage of my life, right out of college and ready to prove myself.

The only catch? It’s on the other side of the country.

Three years ago, the distance would have been exciting, and only exciting. All I wanted back then was to move to the west coast and make my own life for myself by the Pacific. But then I met the love of my life, and he lives in New York. My dreams changed to include him, and they still do.

When I called him at the first glimmer of this opportunity — a request to apply for a job in Seattle as the Marketing Associate for my favorite literary journal — I wasn’t sure what he would say. I assumed he would pause, take a moment to think about it, and then reluctantly say, “Well, if that’s what you want.”

Instead, his enthusiasm crashed over me.

“You have to take it,” he said. “If you get it, you have to take it. Go, be great.”

“Go, be great” is something my fiancé says to me a lot. When we first met I was still struggling with significant social anxiety, and he would say those words to me before seminar classes where I needed to speak up. He texted them to me throughout my training as a Resident Assistant during my senior year of college. He said them over the phone as I applied to elite grad schools, studied for final exams, and wrote first drafts of my Senior Capstone thesis. He said them when I didn’t get into the MFA programs I’d hoped for, and when I told him I wasn’t going to accept my only offer at a school in Montreal. He believes in me when I’m not able to.

I know I don’t need his permission to leave. I have just as much agency now as I did when I was single, and I would make the same decisions and steps forward if I wasn’t part of a couple. But the strongest part of my relationship with my fiancé is how much we support and encourage each other. My confidence, as well as my own self-knowledge, has skyrocketed since we met. Most of that comes from those three words: Go, be great.