i’m not that girl (anymore): finding direction
Last Friday, I found myself crying in my boss’ office.
Full-on tears streaming down my face.
Just an hour after I had received a job offer.
A job offer where, you might ask?
I know, I know. I can’t believe it either.
I’ve made absolutely no mention on this blog of my post-Arizona-vacation thoughts, and how my direction felt turned after that trip. No matter how much I love that area, and true - a part of me will always consider it ‘home’ - things had changed, since I had last visited 2.5 years ago.
I had changed. So very much.
I truly wish there were three of me. One that could be there, one that could be here, and one that could go out & live big, big scary adventures without fear of failure. But that’s not how life is, and we only get one, so I guess I need to shut up and actually listen to myself for once.
After Arizona, I started to re-evaluate my life. Where would I eventually want to live? What do I love? Where do I see myself happy?
Then a friend was looking for a roommate in Chicago. And I started to think, maybe there could be a good career opportunity for me there. Obviously since I work in nonprofit theater, Chicago would be GREAT. There are so, so many theater organizations there - one of which I am currently OBSESSED with working for some day.
Plus, Chicago would be my chance to live a “big-city” life before I (hopefully) ‘settle down.’
I think that was the main problem with Arizona. All of my friends - life out there - feels so settled. And I feel so very not settled.
So Chicago was the new goal — very quickly. Then all of a sudden there was a job posting for a job here. And the man hiring was going to be at the conference in San Francisco. Which means I applied. And heard back almost immediately.
We met up in San Francisco, right before the conference started - and I won’t lie. I felt HORRIBLY guilty. Being at a conference for one organization, while interviewing with another. It so, so very much felt like a betrayal to me.
But I did it. I interviewed. And it went well-enough. The guy seemed a bit cocky but I can’t expect every future boss to be as incredible as my current boss. It was just something I’d have to get used to.
Then I didn’t hear anything.
And he never contacted my references.
Finally, almost three weeks after the brief interview, I received a phone call last Friday morning at 9:30, as I sat in the parking lot of the local grocery store.
"We’d like to offer you the job."
I was completely shocked. This man had met me ONCE, hadn’t checked ANY of my references, and he was offering me the job. I should have felt completely thrilled!
But I didn’t. I instantly felt sick.
Then I felt even more sick as he went over the offer. Which was 2K less than I make at my current job, once I factored in base pay and the commission I made last year. Plus, the position only offered 8 vacation days, 3 personal days and 2 (!!) sick days.
I told him I’d need til Monday to decide.
I drove the rest of the way to work, filled with complete dread. I was stressed, I was upset, I was confused. I walked to Starbucks with my coworkers and I couldn’t tell you one, single thing we talked about.
Then I walked into my boss’ office, sat down - and didn’t even get the words, “I got a job offer today” out of my mouth before I burst into tears.
Long story short, my boss couldn’t have been more wonderful. He gave me a hug, and told me to stop crying - “It’s okay, we are just talking.”
Then we spent a good hour discussing the offer and why I wanted to move, how I was so confused, and what I should do.
He gave me some good advice, some biased advice, and expressed how much he truly wanted what was best for me - and this wasn’t the best offer. He also expressed a sincere interest in me staying at this organization longer. Then, on a personal note, he also told me he views me as his daughter, and that there are so many days I am the only one who can make him laugh.
It was the sweetest, most genuine moment him and I have ever had. Seriously. I don’t know how anyone works for someone who is not him. (Or, you know, a gay man in general.)
But all joking aside, he encouraged me to talk to my former boss and good friend - someone who knows me professionally and personally. Someone who could give me good, solid advice without having me on their payroll.
Which is exactly what I did when I returned from the bachelorette weekend in Columbus.
And when I met up with my friend on Sunday night, he said plain and simple, “If you really wanted this job - you wouldn’t be crying in (boss’) office, or here asking me what you should do.”
He also coached me on negotiating and told me how terrible the offer truly was. He said if they gave me everything they should be giving me (what I planned on asking for - one by one) then of course! Take the job. But otherwise, it was not worth it.
Especially when all of this comes down to the fact that…
I am happy here. Where I am.
To quote my boss, the happiest day on the job is the day you are offered the job. But instead, I cried. Hard. I felt miserably sick the entire drive to and from Columbus, because it was just me and the road and my thoughts.
And I didn’t want the job and I was scared to admit that.
I don’t want to move (right now) and maybe someday I will, but I don’t. Not right now.
My thoughts when I wrote this - very much reflect my thoughts now:
"…if I don’t worry about telling my friends in Arizona, or my family here, or anyone reading this blog who is judging me, critiquing my life choice, or rolling their eyes -
I realize that the best decision for me right now - the most adult decision right now - the HAPPY decision, right now… means I’ll be here for a little while longer.
It’s funny, you know. All of this internal struggle about happiness and what do I want to do with my life. Our current play is about that quest for happiness, and yearning for a simpler life and time. And as I watched those characters struggle to find it, as I cheer them along and say “just do it!” in my head - I have to stop and think that wait.
I can just do it.
I can make myself happy.
And for now, my job - this time in my life - is here and now.
Even if no one else understands right now, but me.”
Who I am is so much different than the girl I was here. I truly feel like I am finding my stride - through work, my social life, my CrossFit. I am happy with the person I have become/am becoming. And I am okay with admitting that. Finally.
So what happened with the job offer?
We spoke on Monday. He called me back as I was standing in the bathroom at my friend’s house, with a towel wrapped around me, applying my eye makeup.
Me: Is the salary negotiable at all?
Seriously? Nope was the professional answer?
And with that, I told him I couldn’t accept the offer.
I got off the phone.
I finished my makeup.
And I was okay.
More than okay.
I was happy to know that this chapter of my life wasn’t over.
… … … … … … … … … … .
You know, as I sat down - I was trying to figure out how I wanted to type all of this out. Everything that happened, how I came to this decision… so at another friend’s suggestion, I started skimming through my older entries. The ones towards the beginning of this blog; the reason I started this blog.
And I came across this entry, from March 2011, where I stated:
"That’s my main goal right now. With this blog, my schedule, my life. Getting myself to a better place. A happier and healthier and financially more secure me.
Getting myself as far away from the girl in this picture as possible.”
As I sit here now, I am happy to report I am not that girl anymore.
Which is the biggest success of all.
CrossFit kicked my ASS tonight.
Burpees are the worst.
Buuuut I scored one of these freaking awesome hoodies that our box was selling. Love! They special ordered them before I started & luckily had a few extra. Only smalls & mediums left…. But the medium fit! Hoorayyy!!!
I really love the design w the bridge on it, ESP since Pittsburgh is such a bridge-filled city. :)
It’s been a long day. A long, long rainy day. A day that ended with Burpees.
But I didn’t give in & I stuck it out.
Run two laps (in the rain!)
3 back squats, every minute on the minute - 10 minutes - 65 lbs!!!
3 Rounds for Time
-5 Power Cleans (33 lb bar)
-3 Front Squat (33 lb bar)
-15 Over the Bar Burpees (I did 10)
….except I forgot to keep time. 6-7 minutes?
Then… Cool down? Whatever:
15 minutes rowing.
I’m definitely going to be hurting tomorrow.
But at least we’re past Hump Day now!
COME ON, WEEKEND!
How my Sunday started… and I can still feel it all over my body.
I’m ready for bed. Is tomorrow REALLY Monday?
SO glad I got my tickets right at 9 when they went on sale…. This is crazy!!
It was one of my favorite things I did last year - hope this year is just as fun!
Presents for Patients
Tonight, my Little and I took some time to participate in the Presents for Patients Program through St. Barnabas Health System. The woman we visited was 83 years old, and reminded me SO much of my paternal Grandma, who passed away in 1996. V
Her name is the same as my mother’s — Dorothy — and she has no family to visit her over the holidays…. Because they live in TUCSON, ARIZONA where her grandson attends the University of Arizona (SMALL, SMALL, CRAZY WORLD!)
Dorothy can no longer walk, and spends all of her time in her room, with the blinds shut. She watches cooking shows, though she can no longer cook - and envies those who so easily (and not-so-easily) walk past her room. When we asked her how long she has been in this nursing home, she quietly held up two fingers. Two years. Two years in the room where you don’t even look out a window.
The gifts Dorothy had requested are things that all of us easily take for granted - socks, body wash, a night gown and candy. And yet, you would have thought we were showering her with gold coins.
Dorothy requested to split her present in two - something to open while we were there, and something to look forward to on Christmas Day. Because it would be the only thing she had to look forward to on December 25th. So tonight, she opened her stocking and looked through all of the candy and cookies we brought her, before we tucked the rest of her present in the corner to wait for Christmas morning. Then, we hung the stocking for her near her bed.
I know it’s last minute. I know the holidays are busy - and expensive for everyone. I know everyone has family and friends and work and obligations… to the point that sometimes, it feels like there is hardly time to breathe.
But if you can find an hour of time, you would be amazed at the difference you can make in someone’s life. No one should feel forgotten on Christmas Day. And I most certainly will not forget Dorothy.
“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
There are no words to express how happy I was to be in a room with all of these people - and all of their light - today. In a world where so much negativity is given constant attention - it’s nice to know that people can come together, do what they love to do, and help out another human being.
Dani, although I don’t know her personally, has brought so much happiness into my life. By inspiring my hip hop instructor to become an instructor herself - I have found a joy in dance/working out that I never expected to find. I have grown as a person SO MUCH because of this class, because of these people. I have allowed myself to think things I can’t even believe I allow myself to think (like maaaaaaaaaybe someday I could be an instructor too?! WHAT?!)
So all of those people - and the people those people have inspired - came together to raise money for Dani, who is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Yet her smile lit up the entire room.
You know, it’s funny…
Dani, in many ways, has taught me to be fearless.
And she may never even know my name.
This incredible day was easily one of the best days of my life.
And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss this Hip Hop family when it’s time to say goodbye. In fact, it might actually be one of the hardest parts about leaving.
Tomorrow I’ll be here.
Running this. Their 30th Anniversary Race.
It will be my 4th 5K (3rd official one - I count the Do Life one in Pittsburgh as my first!) And it will have more hills than I’m used to running, though I have run part of these trails before. The race starts running through the main drag of this cute part of town, before it works it’s way through Frick Park and the trails there.
It will also be my first officially chipped & timed race. Ahhh!
I will be running it with my marketing director (who is going to ZOOM by me!) and my friend Matt, who I am hoping to sucker into staying with me for the race. But we’ll see! I don’t want to hold him back, so I may end up truckin’ along alone. Which is fine! :) I guess. haha I need to learn to run with people who are more along my level of running..
Anyway. Wish me luck. My knee bothered me some today after last night’s run, but I hope by staying off of it some today, it’ll be all better for tomorrow.