Healing a Bruise

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.

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7 thoughts on “Healing a Bruise

  1. I am sorry Kristy! I think your perspective is right on about this. I feel like I do have one of those jobs that makes a difference but with that comes so much responsibility and stress (to be honest) I often wish I had a job that I just went to, worked, and came home without the weight of it on me. I guess the grass always seems greener on the other side! I hope you find that perfect job that works out for you as a working mom AND satisfied your goals in life. Being a working mom is hard. Period.

  2. Growing up, my mom always taught us two things: never live outside of your means, and to find a job/career that makes you happy because then you’ll never work a day in your life. Those are two things that I’ve struggled with a lot because life in science means having no money until you’re like 50. But I’ve really learned the importance of having a career you’re passionate about. Perhaps that’s been reflected more so because I grew up with a strong mother who worked incredibly hard (still does) in a job that she absolutely loves. Having that as my role model growing up has pushed me to strive for more in life…to be the best version of me that I can be. I don’t think you should ask the question of why being a mom isn’t enough because part of being a good mom is teaching your children to be the best version of themselves that they can be. And when you’re truly happy and satisfied with your life and career, that’s what you’re giving them.
    I’m sorry that you weren’t offered the position at Operation Smile, but I know you are incredibly intelligent, driven, and passionate, and the right job will present itself as long as you keep searching for it.

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