Securing A Job Is Actually An Inside Job

I realized I have a little problem with confidence. On the outside I present as a strong, confident, accomplished person, but inside…totally different story.

burr poolWe were invited to a poolside gathering at our new condo complex last weekend, complete with cocktails, a beautiful spread of food and the perfect background jazz. It’s not a complex actually, it’s an old estate home that was renovated into about 20 two-story condo units. It sits on 23 acres of pristine land behind an old stone wall, so it’s quite intimate and equally elegant.

I didn’t really know anyone, except for burr backmy immediate neighbors, although we have seen others in passing, each of us waving hello. Last week when I had the great lost cat fiasco, I emailed the manager of the estate who emailed all of the residents to watch for our cat. Within minutes I not only had people outside looking for her, but I had several emails of support. I knew then that I was living with compatible people.

So when I met one of my email neighbors face-to-face, also a cat-lover, I thanked her profusely for her kindness, and we got to chatting. “What do you do?” she asked me. That’s a loaded question given my history.

I certainly couldn’t answer, “Well I am an abuse survivor who lives to tell about it…mother of a grown child formerly on the autism spectrum [what do you say when they grow up?]…and an independently employed lost professional soul when it comes to an official job title.”

writerSo instead, I told her I’m a writer – which I am – that is my cosmic gift or special purpose from which I’m trying desperately to make a living. “Oh how interesting and ironic,” she said. “I need to hire a writer!”

Turns out she works at one of the premiere medical facilities in our city, in fact, it’s known world-wide, and she works in Communications – my original degree and first job out of college. When I heard where she worked and that she was hiring a writer I proceeded to tell her the highlights of my resume as if I was amazing. I would like to think that on some level I was amazing, I used to work for the Kennedy family among other things, but I lost that loving feeling about myself quite some time ago when my life took a drastic turn of catastrophic proportion.

But that was then. And now, I suppose I could appear amazing on the outside, but feeling it on the inside? Not so much. After I had proclaimed my substantial credentials (which may very well be in the eyes of the externally confident beholder,) she asked for my resume. “I will send it tomorrow!” I proclaimed. Again – pretending to be awesome.

resumeInside I was a wreck. It was fairly intimidating that in her pile of perfectly-premiere applications that mine would be amongst them – the underdog who bases her credentials on life experience instead of work history. Oh sure, it’s listed, but almost as a sidebar. I have adopted my own resume format which talks about who I am and what I know, not necessarily what I have “done” in the working world.

So be it. After I hesitantly sent her my resume – she is my neighbor after all and I will have to see her possibly for years to come – I owned my individuality. Never mind I’m terrified about being able to sustain any job, let alone a full-time one, the stamina it takes of a day-in and day-out career, and living a “normal” life after years of trauma and drama with a body that feels chronic pain. But those are technicalities. Ones that I hope, will sort themselves out day-by-day.

In the meantime, maybe confidence is overrated. Maybe, being who we are – even as an underdog – has its benefits. Underdogs are flexible, able to be more innovative, aren’t tied by reputations and the pressure of being the best kid in the class. There’s a freedom to express ourselves without intense risk, and an opportunity to be more creative in how we showcase who we are. We can be our authentic selves, and that’s the gold-standard of existence. We just have to come to believe it.


The Unspoken Sound of Surrender

I’ve got nothing to say. Which is not like me, not at all.

There has to be something to say I thought, as I stood over the hot stove cleaning up the greasy meatloaf that fell off the spatula before dinner. All I could come up with was Oy vey. Whatever. Sh*t. I had just gotten the pre-prepared meatloaf at a fancy local meat shop and didn’t expect it to ooze so much fat as it cooked, leaving it swimming in the loaf pan. Why is everything such a struggle.

While I have enormous love in my life, the day-to-day is hard. We’re in a financial conundrum, neither of us can find work resulting in a passion-driven income, and it impacts us every day. Passion is paramount. Money matters. As does health. And it’s hard when all are on the fringes.

I don’t know what happened when I tripped a couple weeks ago and broke my toe, but I realized there’s a theme here. For a long time now I have been asking for a break. Give me a break I say a lot in my head, please a break. We need more income, a better job for Sir Husband, a good job for me, Jesus C just give me a break.

Well I got one. Two in fact. Literally. Bones. And that wasn’t what I meant. I suppose we need to be more specific when we are yelling to the cosmos. I’m uncomfortable from toe-to-head, my body is doing its own thing, my mind, my life, the same. When we reach the pinnacle of tolerance, even with gratitude recognized, we sometimes want a break. A lucky one, not a literal one.

“Mom, the meatloaf fell on the floor.”

I know. Give me a break.

Wait I take that back! Instead I have nothing to say. Because as I stood at the stove, spatula in my hand, I realized something that felt important, which I’ll try to put into words.

Surrender dear one, just surrender I heard. Who was that whispering in my ear? A wave of peace came over me, like a the softness of a breeze. Yea it probably sounds corny, but some moments seem simply beautiful, no matter what else is on your plate.

We don’t often recognize when our soul is speaking to us, but I heard it as plain as day in the midst of a dinner mishap.

Stop trying so hard, it said, just let it all unfold.

Now this is getting interesting, I thought as I stirred the mashed potatoes.

You mean stop worrying about how to find a job? Pay the bills? Buy a car? Stop panicking? Being sad? All I do is try…and try…and try… but still long for less struggle, more fun, more physical ability, more financial stability. If I don’t try hard to find it, how on earth will I ever have it?

I didn’t have the answer, the words just didn’t come. But the softly whispered feeling of surrender did, and that really said it all.

fall fly