When Chet turned two, I decided I was ready to start exploring what I want to be when I grow up. We are done having children, and I’m currently withering away at my current job. With Chet turning two, I am ready to put him in preschool so he can interact with other kids. I’m also ready to dust off my degrees and return to the work I’m proud of on my resume. There is only one catch, I’m not willing to change jobs just for a change. I want to be invested in my career. I need work that is fulfilling and rewarding.
At almost thirty four years of age, after earning a bachelors and a masters degree, after a divorce, after being a single parent, and after my own version of happily ever after, I know a few things about myself. I have a lot of passion to give. When I love something, I love big. There is no containing the things that make my heart sing. If something is lucky enough to make it on to my list of loves, I give all of myself to it.
When I set up a job interview at Operation Smile, I knew I was all in. It’s already a company I feel passionately about. The mission of the organization falls perfectly into place with my own life mission. I knew that the only way for me to approach the interview process was to allow myself to fall in love with the job. Through the entire process (and it was two long months), I let myself be vulnerable. I allowed myself to envision how perfect this job was for me and for my family. I didn’t hold back. I gave all of myself to the process.
Today I found out I didn’t get the job. They hired an internal candidate.
Disappointing news is never easy. Sad doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about not getting the job. My brain had gone back and forth from the cheesy optimistic “it will be okay” responses to tiptoeing down the path of unhealthy “I suck” self-talk.
Neither one of those thoughts feel productive right now. Of course I know everything works out in the end. I have a loving husband and two awesome kids. I don’t need more than that. I also know I don’t suck. They hired someone internal, and I can’t compete with that.
This leaves me somewhere in the middle of wanting to cry and wanting to pour all of myself into another project. It also leaves me wondering so many questions. If things always works out exactly how they are supposed to, and I firmly believe “nos” happen because a even better yes is waiting for me, then exactly what do I need to learn from this process.
Is my whole hearted approach appropriate for a professional environment?
When I interview for another position, I plan to tackle it the same way. My whole hearted approach is nonnegotiable for me. If if doesn’t fit the company, then the company isn’t right for me.
Do I place too much value on career choice?
This is probably the hardest question to answer. I’m not sure I’ll ever have an answer. I firmly believe a job should not define your life. I also believe that your life passion should become your career. Both contradict each other.
Why isn’t motherhood enough for me?
This is probably where I am the hardest on myself. Why isn’t raising two amazing boys enough? Why can’t I be satisfied collecting a paycheck and watching my children grow up. Why do I need to leave a bigger impression on our planet? I don’t know why. I have so many amazing mom friends in my life. I admire them all. I see what they do every single day, and I know they all are contributing amazing things to our world. I wish I knew why I needed to do something more.
The no I got from Operation Smile today hurts, but I think it hurts more not knowing exactly where I’m supposed to go from here. This job was perfect. It put a check next to every box. Now I’m left to wonder more about what to do with my unused passion.
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a featherbed.” ~Terence McKenna
There is one thing I won’t let today’s no stop me from doing. I refuse to stop dreaming. I know, without a doubt, that I will leave my finger print on our world. Maybe I’ll never see it. Maybe I’ll never have that dream job that reaches into the forgotten corners of our planet. Maybe I’ll never get the chance to nurture someone back to health. But maybe I will. Just maybe I will.
I can be a mother and a wife. I can be a dreamer. I refuse to give up on either one of them. I know without a doubt that I am meant to help heal the bruises on our planet. If my boys are watching, if they ever read this one day, I hope my unwillingness to give up on my dreams gives them the courage to tackle their own. After all, my children are the finger print I will leave on the world.