You know that job interview I was scheduled for today? The one that paid less than I’m making on unemployment?
I called them up and canceled it.
The encouragement of my friends to follow my bliss helped enormously, and I am very grateful to everyone who reached out. Your belief in me, dear friends, has given me the boldness to believe in myself a little bit, and to recognize that there is a difference between faith and hubris.
You may understand how important that is after I bore you with more of my recurring dreams.
I often dream I’m back in high school… or college. If I’m back at my beloved Mt. St. Mary, it’s evident I won’t make it through algebra this time, but I do have the satisfaction of being physically fit, as I walk up hills and stairways steep enough to challenge those at Hogwarts. There’s such palpable love in that school! There’s often one big problem, though: the school is running out of money and it’s going to be shut down… before I get my latest diploma. I worry about the kids, I worry about the nuns, I worry about that magnificent old structure, and I worry what I’m going to do next. After all, my original diploma no longer counts… it’s what I’ve done lately, ya know?
If I dream I’m back in college, things are more complicated. Sometimes I’m there because I never took a class in playwriting, or directing. (This, by the way, is true. I could never fit one into my schedule). Sometimes I’m there because I’m afraid to go for a Masters until I can prove I’m still able to get a BA.
Evidently, I’m really not cut out for college in dreamland. I don’t know where my dorm is, and I usually don’t have a key to get inside, so my roommate always has to be there. I never do get my schedule straight, so I don’t know when my classes are. I don’t know where the actual classrooms are, either. If I see people I know sitting in a hall, I’ll follow them in and attend a lecture… and it’s usually in something totally unfamiliar, that I realize I should have been attending for months.
Understandably, there are classes I never get around to taking. In the Rutgers of my nightmares, I have ditched so many science courses that I am never allowed to sign up for another one… or to graduate from ANY of their disciplines. This is very discouraging, because once again, there are theater courses I’d like to complete, and mainstage opportunities where I’ll never be able to show what I can do. These are no longer accessible.
Where college is concerned, honey, I am hosed.
However, in my waking world, it seems a “Eureka!” moment is at hand.
Today I see that in my working years, whenever I changed jobs, I always took a step backward…and I often took a salary cut. Why? I guess I never had any faith in my record of accomplishment. Like someone who repeats high school and college over and over, I felt compelled to prove I could handle the basics (never believing I could).
I was a seasoned writer of training videos by the time I was thirty, but I was ashamed to be writing for an insurance company, not a creative firm. Consequently, I gratefully accepted an entry level position as a marketing writer for a newspaper, where I rose up to become an editor. The creativity was delightful, but the money wasn’t good, so I became an entry-level writer at another insurance company. It went under. Then, I took three more lower-level training positions, before going into entry-level sales—THAT was a disaster. Finally, I worked at my latest, sorely lamented job… where the word “Senior” was never appended to my title, even though my responsibilities became much greater as the years progressed.
And now, when that company I loved and trusted is too low on funds to keep me around (like the high school of my nightmares), I am back out on my own and looking for what… another entry-level position?
I’m done with high school and I’m out of college. I’ve already passed algebra, okay? I already found my dorm, and my classrooms. I bought the books before finals, read them, passed the courses, and got my degree. Would I have liked to learn more? Sure! But does that negate what I’ve learned in the past? No, it does not. It doesn’t.
There are plenty of people who need an entry-level position, and a chance to prove themselves for the first time. I’m not one of them. I’m not going to steal the jobs they need.
I have enough faith in God and in myself to know I’ll find an appropriate position… and meanwhile, I’m going to keep writing, which may be what I’ve wanted to do all along.
It’s time to pay attention to Matthew’s words in the New Testament:
““Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Time to stop worrying.