I thought I would be going away, maybe off to Hawaii or Japan or just Florida, get a yoga teacher certification or teach English to Japanese kids or join the Peace Corps and become a Zen Buddhist with a regular meditation practice, giving dharma talks that would become famous via podcasts and blogs and eventually a groundbreaking memoir endorsed by Oprah, which would in turn cause me to make millions or at least six figures, and then I’d be enlightened and awakened to my true purpose that I would continue to spread to the good people of America. As I was thinking about my decision to go back into marketing, I ruminated that nothing amazing happened, that nothing different happened, that here I am going back to do the same old thing that I always do. But I was wrong. Something amazing and different did happen. My perspective changed.
Now, instead of begrudgingly going back into it with the attitude that I’m doing this because I have to, I’m going back with the attitude that maybe I can do this and maybe I am actually good at it, and maybe I can get better. I don’t have to look at this like I’m crawling back to financial safety because it’s the only thing I know, the only thing I seem to be able to do or get, but rather I can look at this as an opportunity. How many people get this opportunity? This thing I don’t want is the very thing a lot of people work very hard for or just dream about. Happiness is a choice. It’s not something I’ve acquired by catching it out of the air. It’s not something I was born with, but something I’ve learned. I can do this with a positive attitude and just fucking do it, or I can live in paralyzing fear and continue on the same path of not progressing, or I can become so fearful that I just don’t do anything. And honestly, I am so sick and tired of the last two options.
There are so many reasons why this is good for me. I don’t have a husband or kids, so why not focus on a career that involves a service that people need and want? Why not try to become a worker among workers? Why not allow myself to be another ant helping the rest of the community because no matter how small I feel, I am significant. Every single ant is needed to help the larger project. I am not just a cog in the system; I have something valuable to contribute.
It’s odd to me that this is the path God seems to have set for me, when I am sure that my path was to write a memoir or teach or counsel others, all of which seem to me more noble paths that surely God would want for me. And I do get to do those things, but not get paid for them, and maybe that’s what I’m meant to do. Or maybe I get to do those things for pay later in life.
So my job interview went really well, and if the second interview goes well then I’ll be moving to Columbia, which is only half an hour away and still close to my network that has become so important to me. And my sister and her family are moving to Richmond, Virginia, which is maybe two hours from there, and what that means is that my family is coming to me. All this time I’ve been thinking I needed to move to North Carolina where my mom lives so that I can be closer to her, and now that my sister is moving here, that means my mom will be here all the time to see her grandchildren, and that I can easily visit my niece and nephew. I suspect they’re going to need their Aunt *Ella when they get to be teenagers.
The company where I interviewed provides a service that people need and want, which is education, and I have this need to do something that I believe in. I felt an instant connection with the woman who interviewed me, and I thought maybe she’ll become a good professional mentor for me.
Speaking of mentors, a side note. Everything I’m doing, I’ve done it on my own, with the help of my higher power, my personal mentor, and my circle of friends. It’s not because my mom doesn’t want what’s best for me, but she looks at it differently. She just wants to see me happy, and she knows I’ve never been happy in marketing before, and she’s never worked in an office environment. So the idea of changing my perspective and embracing a career where I lack confidence didn’t occur to her because she thought of it as me simply being in the wrong career. Mom has always known me better than anyone else so it’s possible she’s right, but this is where I am today and I can either love it or hate it during the process, and if another career awaits then that time will come when it comes.
On my way to the interview I listened to Destiny’s Child to pump myself up, because these women make me feel empowered—except for that song about getting a man to pay your bills (“Bills, Bills, Bills”), which I skipped over. And I must confess I never watched the Charlie’s Angels movie though I remember reruns of the show when I was a kid, but the basic premise of the song, that I did this on my own, and I depend on myself, and not some man or my parents to take care of me, well that really appeals to me. I can do this.
*Not real my name. I think we’ve had this conversation before, but just in case you forgot, or didn’t notice, this is an anonymous blog.