Thursday, September 8, 2011

Knocking Doors...

I remember the day like yesterday (18 years ago!!), when I sat in the office being offered a job, that I felt sick to my stomach and that I really did not want to accept it, but.... I felt I didn't really have a choice. It was a big chance. Some people had pulled strings, held out just for me-- who was I to say no?

I had that same feeling almost 20 years later. Although I can give myself less leeway in not listening to my instinct. It has served me well over the years and, most times, I can discern a more clearly than I could all those freewheeling years ago. And yet... I did it again. I sat there, knowing, this isn't a right fit for anyone.

Cue the whispering of judgment as it begins to echo in my head... "You've been out of work for 18 months"... "It's time to start working".... "Hey- they held out, waiting for you, hoping you'd consider it"... "They were counting on you"... 

Who was I to say, "No"?

Always a mistake to undervalue yourself.

Will I ever truly learn that?

Returning to the work force and, subsequently leaving it again, hit me in ways I was not expecting. Odd, like a kick to the head from a horse. Left me dazed. Confused. Smarting. And more than a little pissed off. Pissed at lots of things.

Eventually- I got over myself. sorta.... at least things slowly came back into focus and I realized, my perspective had just been broadened. Don't you love it when that happens??!

Dust has been shaken off. I've explored all worst case scenarios and having them exposed reduces the fear and anxiety, somehow. Once that was done- I could focus on the "What now?"

You are going to laugh. You're going to think- duh. What was she thinking? What was she doing all this time? Here's the truth. I never made a 're-entry plan'.

Honestly. I did not. I never looked at my life - now- in the "oh so very different life than the last time you were leading projects, teams, volunteers and databases" sort of way. I just assumed- "Oh, I may have to scale back on actual hours spent- you know 40 vs. 60-80 but other than that all is the same".

I never took into account- "I've changed." I'm not the same person. And although I had a moment of "oops." in not trusting my instincts/ devaluing myself, what I expect of my self is not scaled back. It isn't "less time".  It's- more.

More passionate people surrounding me.

More dedication to meaningful, feed the soul of my family time.

More fulfillment.

So- I've a plan of attack. Mostly involving lots of prayer and saying thanks, but also some logical steps to make sure than in one year or 6-8 months we are not in this same position.

First- Pass Teacher certification exams. I've been putting this off for- oooo 15 years now. Having never really worked in education, even though that's what my degree says. I don't know how I'll like teaching, but that isn't the point right. Passionate people. Meaningful family time. Perhaps it will open doors I can't even consider now. Who knows- but it's been knocking on my door rather loudly for the past 12 months and I've been ignoring the call. Wish me luck!

Second- File LLC paperwork/ or just start free lance grant writing business from home.

Third- File paperwork for NP. Lofty Goals. More later. 

So yes. I want to surround myself with passionate people. I need to be dedicated to the work (outside the home). And my number one priority is my family. So if my work environment isn't conducive to my being passionate and dedicated to my family as well, than it doesn't work.

What about you? Are you listening to the nasty whispers or answering the knocking door? What is your primary priority and how does it fit into your life right now? Are there things nagging at you, knocking louder all the time? Am I talking to myself again? Cause I do that too sometimes...

PS: Not to worry- I'm still searching for director esque level positions (pssst- nationally!!) but the causes- I'll be careful as to where I'm spending my hard earned valuable time.


Paula said...

You should read my husband's blog, starting at the beginning when he quit his job after years and years of climbing the corporate ladder, getting an MBA at Harvard, climbing some more... then realizing one day he didn't really want to do that anymore... I think you would find some interesting parallels. The link to it is on my blog.

scooping it up said...

Oh Shannon. You are an inspiration. So excited to follow your journey, and so wishing you stay in New England. For purely selfish reasons. Lots of love dear!

Julie said...

You are awesome!You would be a great teacher. You'll find something.:)

Barbaloot said...

Oh yikes the follow your gut, take that leap of faith on the work/ income front is a daily, HOURLY debate here!! It's like a maze - which way leads to time for a fulfilling family life and healing for my son while providing an income that keeps the wolf from the door and hey, how about a little job fulfillment while we're at it, eh? Good luck - keep following your heart.

Annie D said...

I have followed your journey for sometime now. You are an inspiration. Your blog is written with such openness and beauty. I too am a single parent and have wrestled with many of the same things you have. I believe when the right opportunity presents itself, you will know.


los cazadores said...

I find this incredibly inspiring right now, thank you - I needed it so much.

So Much.

Best of Luck to you, with that kind of beautiful outlook, you are bound to find an open, welcoming door on the other side of which are passionate folks.

Liz said...

I'm right there with you, just can't figure out which direction to head in to make it happen - for all the reasons Barbaloot mentions above. I've thought about teaching too, so I'll be curious how it turns out for you!

S said...

I think one gets to a certain age or place in my life where this feeling/this need takes over--the balance in a job that doesn't compromise one's family, one's heart and soul. And I think you can find it. I do!