Seven years ago, I wrote a blog post about my frustrations searching for jobs. Back then, I was still motivated by money (like so many of us who need to support ourselves) and a big fancy title that would mean something to other people. I had not yet acquired the confidence that my skills and my talents were special because I did not believe that I was special.
Any job interview I landed back then felt like a fluke. It was similar to the feeling I had when I opened up my acceptance letter to graduate school in 2006. ‘Did they make a mistake?’ I actually thought back then. ‘Let me quickly enroll before they realize what they’ve done.’
The beauty about getting older is that we start to believe in ourselves. But this can take a long time. Or at least it did for me.
Several months ago, I stopped thinking about what other people thought. I loosened my grip on the Next Big Thing. I quit my job and sold my home. I moved to a different state and focused on the things I loved. I let nature be my teacher. I took on three part-time jobs. I faced the fear of potentially running out of money. I accepted the fact that my life did not look like the lives of my peers. I put myself out there and accepted both rejection and accomplishments with equal weight.
I did these things because I had no other choice.
As Rebecca Campbell writes, “When you realize that never ending achievement doesn’t bring you what you’re searching for, it is revolutionary. For it leads you to a place where there is nothing you need outside of who you truly are.”
So when I received an email from a potential employer, his decision not to hire me felt like more of a release than a rejection. He wrote, “I enjoyed the opportunity to talk with you and appreciate – and am a bit humbled by – your interest in working for us.”
I responded to the email and expressed gratitude for his kind words. And perhaps for the first time in my life, I understood that being turned down by people and positions not meant for us allows us to stay true to our higher calling.
Silly us for trying to detour from our path.