Retro Throwback: The Hardest Lessons

On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.

There are two big lessons for me that I am working on. The first is staying in the moment. The second is not to let anyone steal my peace. Bikram has a great quote related to this second lesson:

“If anyone can make you angry, upset, take your peace away from you, you are the loser.”  – Bikram Choudhury

Recently, I got a big dose of both of these things, and I’m just going to lay it all out.

I was invited to interview at another university. I went. Everything went well. The job would have provided me with numerous opportunities that could have done a lot to enhance my career.

Of course, I was not the only person who interviewed for the job. And, in the end, I was not the person who was offered the job.

I knew it was a bad sign when a couple of weeks had passed and I hadn’t heard anything. I tried to sweep those thoughts out of my head. I rationalized that if they had wanted to outright reject me that would have already happened. This meant one of two things:

(a) I was going to get an offer but things were progressing slowly for whatever reason

(b) I was being held on the back burner in case someone else fell through in negotiation

And while I cannot say anything with 100% certainty, I am pretty sure I fell under option B (well, it wasn’t A that’s for sure).

I knew it was a really bad sign when the person in charge of the search committee for the job asked to call me. I know how this game works. I know this is the call where they tell you, “Sorry.”bad sign

Of course, I tried to remain calm and in the moment while I waited almost an hour before this call came about. In the meantime, I was anxious. And in those moments I kept telling myself to stay in the moment. What am I doing right now? Ok – driving a car to the store. And what am I doing now? Ok – getting some items for lunch next week.

And then, right before the call came, I remembered it:

This might be bad news, but do not let that bad news steal your peace.

I’m not going to say that rejection doesn’t sting, because it does sting and it totally and completely sucks. But I will say that my life is already pretty darn fabulous and my job is not the sum totality of who I am. It is a mere piece of who I am. And deep down, I really do believe that my friend, The Universe, always gives me what I need. Not what I want. But what I need.

My friend, the universe.

But that’s not the end of it. Through this event I learned that keeping my peace when I have a major life disappointment is not the same as keeping it when someone cuts me off in traffic.

That night, when I crawled into bed, everything got quiet. Left alone in the dark, with no distractions, it welled up and hit me. And then there was no keeping the peace, there were only tears.

The next morning I continued to grapple with the whole keeping my peace concept. Because surely keeping my peace doesn’t meant not feeling. Surely it doesn’t mean never crying or being sad. Maybe a part of it is recognizing what is going on in the moment. I’m sad. I’m crying. I know why. I don’t know….I am struggling with this concept.

But The Universe did help me see how I have grown in other ways. Even now, I feel incredible compassion for the person who had to call me and deliver the news. I could tell she was terribly upset to have to tell me what she did, and in my heart I hope she is not suffering about it anymore. It was a terrible call to receive, and in its own way a terrible one to make. So thank you dear friend, The Universe, for these opportunities (but it still sucked).

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Mar 10, 2015 @ 14:50:11

    Retro Throwback: The Hardest Lessons http://t.co/ZtkoNMY7CR

    Reply

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