For the first time in my life, I had an interview that was my true self. I did not say I could move mountains. I did not promise the sun, the moon and the stars. In fact, I said, I would not hire me for that position, but rather another. I’m good, but not that good. Maybe someday but not now.
My former boss, contacted for a recommendation, scoffed. You are not qualified for that position, she said.
But you would be great at the other.
I realized, I was not just stretching; I was reaching for something impossible. It was my need for admiration. For great achievement. Instead of focusing on a job I could be great at, enjoy and live… well, a normal life, I was reaching for something beyond my experience.
I wrote about this a while ago but today it sunk in. I do not have to be great. I do not have to be the very best. In fact, the hardest goal for me? Is to live an ordinary life. And to be happy with it.
I was honest. I told the truth about my strengths- and weaknesses. When I talked about the work I do with one of the foundation boards I sit on, my excitement came from a real place. I love that work. When I talked about the need for new language to get across old ideals, my passion was real, not manufactured.
When I was asked what kinds of direct mail campaigns I’d been a part of? I said none. We were never trying to get business. We were only trying to get notice to the issues.
I do love the work. I am not a zealot but a realist. I believe there are ways to change old messages to create a splash. And that we are uniquely positioned, in our society today, for change. It is the first time in fifty years we do not have an incumbent President or Vice President running for office. We are faced with a war long over due to end and a public finally opening their eyes to the daily carnage.
When the Dixie Chicks don’t get booed… we have come somewhere as a public. You can say that's a shallow measure but... I'm not seeing a lot of depth in a culture that has someone who can dribble a basketball making more money in an instant than a teacher does in a lifetime.
I feel the excitement every time I read the paper. The pendulum is shifting from the right, moving towards the left. I am poised, with the not-for-profit work I do to be a part of this amazing time.
Okay, I skip the parts about Anna Nicole.
It is change I want to be a part of. But I don’t need to be the head of the crowd. Or be the best at. I have the answer to my question the other day- I need to do more than raise three boys to feel good about my contribution to the world at the end of my life.
But I don’t have to promise the sun, the moon and the stars to be good enough.
My greatest accomplishment?
Being able to live a normal life.
Considering what I’ve come from? It’s not a given.
In fact, perhaps the greatest thing I can give my children.
I gave an honest interview today. First time in… my whole life. It doesn’t matter if I get the job.
I took a huge step in the right direction.