I had a job interview yesterday. Most people would think that was great – to have a job interview in an unsteady economy is a gift. But to be honest, I’ve been toiling about my ability to be a both a successful candidate – and even employee.
It’s not that I don’t have faith in myself. I know I’m a highly capable human being. People have told me that who know my worn and torn life story – surviving abuse and terrorism, overcoming cancer, saving a suicidal child, near homelessness, the old “woman-behind-the-man-turned-addict” kind of story that leave people fairly jaw-dropped and maybe even a little awe’d. I’m so tired of that story, although its reality has made me who I am today.
Not to mention a resume doesn’t reveal those years of survival strategies, navigating through a complex system of life circumstances that can shred a person inside and out. That’s not a work history. So my resume looks a little boring and sports quite a few gaps.
Regardless, you would think that I could share my wonderment during phone interviews and be proud of who I am. I actually did fill in the gaps this past week with some hard truth about my past – explaining my life experience and skills because of it are better than any traditional trajectory might allow. It must have helped, because I was asked to come right in for in-person interviews.
But just because I said it, doesn’t mean I feel it. What I do feel are layers of scarred-over wounds that leave me exhausted and doubting my capacity. I’m not ready to move myself out into the working world. I need to ease in gently.
It’s like that funny movie What About Bob, where Bob (Bill Murray) is overwrought with phobias, and clings to his psychiatrist, Dr. Leo Marvin’s (Richard Dreyfuss) book called Baby Steps. I am not saying I have phobias, but I need to baby step.
I didn’t start out my life as a career woman, I did not become a career woman, and I can safely say after today’s interview, I am still not a typical career woman. I don’t have the job history, the experience, the know-how. I don’t look like a career woman, act like one, talk like one, I really can’t even pretend to be one. I am not a 40-hour-a-week 9-to-5’er. In fact, fitting into that box could kill me for a lot of reasons.
Many who know me would beg to differ, and try to convince me that I’ll be fine in whatever I choose to do. But there’s always a learning curve. And sometimes our mind gets the best of us when we’re trying to understand what’s best for us and make our way in life. Fear creeps in, we start to doubt and we attach to an outcome – perceived or expected – about what we can do, can’t do, should or shouldn’t do. The discussion could go on forever.
It’s a process. Life opens doors, we can choose to walk through or close them. Life offers opportunity, we can choose to welcome it or resist. Our mind can chatter, our intuition can lead, our heart can respond, but all we can do is try. Because remember, it’s about the journey.
I did the best I could in the interview. I know someday I’ll find the perfect niche. And in the meantime, I’ll just be grateful for who I am today.