I haven’t posted anything in a couple of weeks because finding a job is a full-time job. Resumes have been worked and re-worked, hours of online applications, networking, interviews and second interviews, etc. and so on.
On August 16th, my morning meditation mentioned six words. True, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. I picked up my journal and made a list of those words. Beside them I wrote, “These are the same values I would like to find in a job”. I was offered a position the next morning. Coincidence? Hmmmm. I’m happy to report that I will be employed beginning September 5th. What a road!
Like a kid’s mud pie on a rainy day, the time and space between April 28th and today has been packed tight with all the feelings that humans can feel. Layers of mud, sharp gravel, bark and bits of smelly moss. It’s been messy and dirty. Fear, like mud, gets smeared all over. You can think you’ve gotten it all wiped off, and it appears again…and spreads. “Where did that come from?” The best way to make a mud pie, is just to sit in it. Get nice and comfortable, up-close and personal with all that filth and fear. When you’re done, you strip down to nothing, jump in a bath and emerge mostly clean, save a few specks of dirt in your ear. This summer has been like that. My tribe has said that the right position was being prepared for me. And that might be true, but I also believe that I was being prepared. Maybe for something I don’t even know about yet.
Despite my best stubborn efforts, I will be damned if I haven’t also learned a few lessons.
Lesson 1: Injustice will happen.
We look around today and there is perceived injustice everywhere. Social media is clogged with it. Just drive down a major highway in town, and you’ll find injustice lurking on the corner. You may even see it in your own family. One definition of ‘injustice’ is “a situation in which the rights of a person or a group of people are ignored.” A ‘right’ may be defined as “behavior that is morally good and correct.” There are moments when I am practically jumping up and down, pulling out my hair and screaming, “Does anyone else in the world not see that everything about this is WRONG?!?!” The discrepancy comes because everyone has a different vantage point according to the life they’ve lived and where they are in their own story. I hate to even say these words out loud, but people DO have a right to be wrong.
These are the times adults warned us about when we were kids…not everything in life is fair. I always want to insert a “comma, but…” here. Sometimes, there is just a period. Not everything in life is fair. Period.
Lesson 2: I am a generalist, and that is OK.
I was first called a generalist by my dad. I took that word and tattooed it on my forehead like a scarlet letter. It’s why I struggled in college to land on a field of study, it’s why I don’t have a particular vocation. I am a _____________ (fill in the blank). It’s why I can become an expert in anything I find remotely fascinating, and then become utterly disinterested two years later. A few weeks ago, my oldest sister completed my dad’s sentence. “You are a generalist… which also means you are a keen observer of life. You have the ability to look at people, situations and challenges differently to come up with creative solutions.” Yes, I do! Damn straight! I have taken that label and reworked it to serve as a badge of honor.
If you are anything like me, you may have read a mountain of self-help books on finding your passion. Endless floofy filled pages that lull you into the myth of thinking, if I could only find my passion and make money doing it, I could be happy! I’ve come to believe that we all limit ourselves with that kind of thinking. Will I be more fulfilled if I’m using my gifts and talents? Probably so. But no one ever said we had to do that between the hours of 9 and 5. Mother Teresa said that, “Wherever God has put you, that is your vocation. It is not what we do but how much love we put into it.”
Lesson 3: Death and Creation
My love and I have been walking the same park in the evening for about a year now. It’s a hidden gem in the middle of the city. We’ve seen it through four seasons. Usually, we loop through the arboretum and then stroll by the pond, trying to identify all the life around. And there is so much of it. I’ve heard it for years, but it truly is amazing how many answers can be found in nature. Where there is creation, there is always death, there is always creation. We’ve watched a mama duck tend her ducklings. There are three less than there were in the spring. We’ve threaded honeysuckle stamen through the blooms and licked off the sweet nectar. We’ve collected various seedpods and feathers. It’s slow and intentional, and it is heaven on earth. There is beauty even in the dying that each season brings.
Lesson 4: Humility
Humility is hard to talk about. For me, it is elusive. When I feel like I have found humility or become humble, is when I most likely need to start over.
After I accepted the new position, I was called for a second interview for well-known organization in town. Intriguing…especially because I thought I had bombed the first interview. The second interview was a smash-hit and before I knew it, I was wrapped up in an obsessive web of “mine, mine, mine”. It paid more and the title was impressive. But they didn’t call when they said they would call. Self-righteous indignation sets in. Entitlement arrives. This is where I screw myself to the wall.
Eventually they contacted me to let me know that I had not been chosen. Isn’t it interesting when we realize that we don’t want or even care about something until it might be a possibility? The grass starts to look greener, the dangling carrot more tasty and the sparkles more sparkly.
Humility. I don’t need a fancy title. I don’t need more money than what I need. I don’t need more. I don’t need to be anywhere, but where my feet are. Right here. Right now. No one owes us anything folks. Not one damn thing.
So, I’m looking forward to this new employment opportunity. I’m looking forward to doing good work for people that chose me and believe I will. Referring back to the Prayer of St. Joseph, I’m grateful to be able to provide for my family, with dignity.
I’ll continue blogging about life, love and career because this tapestry is still pretty weird, but I like it that way. But the kinks are beginning to unravel a bit and that feels pretty good.