Have you ever had something in your sights for so long that you forget why you wanted it in the first place? Something that you have been seeking for so long that wanting it has just become part of who you are? The problem is that the “wanting it” can sometimes come to define you more than the actual goal itself. The ambition, the commitment, the effort is real and everyone around you would confidently say that you are working towards that particular thing. While that kind of intense and singular focus can be motivating, it can also lead you astray. You can get swept up in the striving and forget to check in with whether or not the object of your efforts is something you continue to want. When you are finally presented with the chance to grasp that thing, you don’t hesitate. You blindly pounce on it without any consideration … without pausing to wonder if that goal is something that continues to line up with your vision of life and with who you really are.
I had that happen this past week. An opportunity came up at the organization for which I work that seemed perfect. I felt I had been waiting for 3 years for them to create this position … for ME. It was the position I have been working towards for months and months (longer really) … building my knowledge in that area, developing critical expertise, consulting with people who do that kind of work, weaving messages related to that theme into my writing and presentations and conversations. I knew I’d be ready when the chance came. And then it finally did. I was so excited that I could barely breathe. I saw the sun come out from behind the clouds and I carefully prepared my application … I took it very seriously and gave it my best shot. The people closest to me were sure the job was mine.
But … it didn’t happen. They offered the position to someone else. When I was given the news, I was completely disoriented. I felt as though I had been cast adrift … my brain couldn’t process the fact that all my efforts had been for naught. I felt frozen in time … like I was standing still (with giant puddles of tears plummeting off my cheekbones) while the world began to turn without me. I was legit heart-broken because I honestly believed the job was made for me … that it would unite my skills and passions in a perfect way … and that I could do amazing things in the role. I spent Friday evening being very VERY VERY sad.
But I woke up yesterday morning and … before my brain could turn on … I noticed I was happy and felt as though I had been released from something. You know when you go to the dentist and they put that heavy lead blanket over you to take the x-rays? You can still breathe but your lungs and your whole body feel kind of squished for a minute or so. Then they take it off and your lungs fill up again and your body expands. That’s how I felt yesterday morning. I realized that I had been so busy working towards my goal that I hadn’t noticed how much things at that organization had changed around me. I had been determinedly (stubbornly?) carrying on my little path barely noticing that people had abandoned the journey … that I was now travelling that particular path alone. There are amazing people there trying to do good work and the reality is that the person who got the job is a better fit for the next chapter of the organization than me. She’s great and smart and brings a totally different lens to the work. As for me? I’ve been set free to find a new wish and travel a new path. My ego is a bit bruised and my brain still occasionally tells me I should have been offered the job, but none of that is real. My heart (which I always trust) tells me the universe has something different / better in store for me.
So … it’s all good. I think one more anchor in my life has now officially been lifted. Don’t worry … I’m not going to do anything stupid like quit and buy a one-way ticket to LA or anything. But I just think a new course is going to emerge this year and that’s exciting. The moral of the story? Keep wishing with all of your heart but don’t forget to check in once in a while to make sure that you still want what you’re wishing for.
Oh and PS … how impressed (shocked) are you that I didn’t blame this on mercury in retrograde?