a collection of random thoughts and ideas from me, her, and sometimes us
Category Archives: conundrums
you have been in your first job out of college for six years. you have succeeded in that job – been promoted several times and given amazing opportunities to show the knowledge and skills you have gained. you have mastered the subject area for which you are responsible. and at the end of the day, you wish there was something more to learn. for those of you who read this, this is bee seeking advice . . . when is it time to take a leap of faith and try something new?
when you like your job, but you also wonder if there is something else out there to do. when you need a new challenge but do not know if you should seek it somewhere else or ask for a new opportunity where you are. when is it that you know you need to go down a new path and how do you decide what that new path might be?
if you ask me
how i’m doing
i would say, “i’m doing just fine.”
i would lie and say that you’re not on my mind.
some of the most complicated relationships in life originate from ones family. i am certainly no exception. and even with the most challenging relationships, i would be hard-pressed to ever say that those people are not on my mind. the mistakes we have all made. the really good memories. and the things that will never be forgiven. over the past week, however, i have come to find the depths of complicated relationships and the true challenge in seeing the world in black and white.
as noted previously, i am honest and loyal to a fault. i care much more than i should and think everything should be fair. setting aside half of the fairness argument today, in my opinion, withholding information and/or asking people you “care about” to purposefully lie to people they care about on your behalf is wrong. especially the person who you know wants to respect your wishes and be loyal to you and also needs to be completely honest to others. it is truly not fair. it hurts. it leads to tears and devastation and a complete crisis of conscience. which is more important . . . loyalty to the person who asked you to withhold information or being honest with the person you have been asked to lie to?
i made a purposeful choice a handful of years ago that i was not going to take sides in an argument that was tearing people apart. now i feel like i am back in the middle and needing to make a choice. i do not like it. i am really sad. and i really love my husband for the ice cream and shoulder and reassurance that at the end of the day there is no way i am going to be alone. maybe if the world did not need to be so clear – black and white – and did not have to be fair all the time to me, this would be easier.
sometimes it lasts in love and sometimes it hurts instead. (adele)
I am honest to a fault and see the world in black and white. The gray area frustrates me. Right and wrong are so clearly evident. And yet, recently I have seen so many examples of people who seemingly have no moral compass at all. Those who, literally, drive on the wrong side of the road with no care for on-coming traffic. Those who ride the train in the morning without a ticket and see no difference between their action and stealing. Those who are lazy and unproductive simply because they have been able to get away with it.
As noted previously, I often sit and wonder where life will take me. I do so from the lens of working really hard to get to where I want to be. And I seemingly do so with others thinking I am “on a high horse” trying to make you feel small. Well, that is not my intention. I intend to live by a set of rules that clearly dictate, at least to me, what is in fact right and wrong, black and white, fair and unfair, and, most importantly, true and honest.
Maybe everyone can think as simply as me today. No middle ground, just two sides.
As I am sure it is apparent, ZP and I are young. We graduated from a college we loved with drive and passion and a vision of the jobs we wanted. And we got them. We have worked hard. Fast forward six years and I have found myself wondering . . . is this what I want to be doing and what is the next step?
This one is really hard for me for a handful of reasons.
- I am loyal. I committed to being in my job and I work hard to meet and exceed the expectations set of me. When I consider moving on, my biggest worry is letting people down and not following through on the commitment I have made.
- I am a planner. I like structure and consistency. I like knowing what to expect, good or bad, and being prepared for that.
- I am scared. What if the next step I take is the wrong one?
- I am rooted in tradition. Eons ago, people took a job and made it a career. They stayed where they were for decades. They made the best of their situation. They kept their head down. They excelled. And they saw a difference between working to live and living to work.
Side note: I thought I had that last one down until recently. For all the challenges in life, recently I have found that it has been far easier to work harder at what I am doing then to figure out my next move.
I wish I was more spontaneous. I wish I was less scared. I wish I knew what I really wanted to do in life (other than sit on a beach all day).
I am far from ready to take a leap of faith and I have no real idea if now is the time to take advantage of a fork in the road. I love the work that I do and the people that it affects. I just wonder . . .
A wise man recently pointed me in the direction of Psalm 90 (“…teach us to apply our hearts to wisdom”) to help me process a feeling that I do not deserve something that I have recently “received.” He followed that direction with, “applying our brains to wisdom is the easier part, I think.”
And just as I sit and wonder why good things do not happen more often for good people (and why I have such a hard time accepting good things), I receive this message from a friend: “sometimes I think people surprise you for the better… and I think people undervalue the importance of how someone makes you feel.”
We have become so accustomed to settling, in some circumstances, thinking that maybe we do not deserve better or that we should not be seeking something more because it is selfish. Instead, we are left to wonder why “good things” are not happening to us. We should, however, know that we deserve more. We deserve to fight for happy. We deserve to be treated impeccably. And, whatever good the good person is getting, chances are someone else is getting something out of it too.
So, one more from the wise man . . . someone showed me a Hindu prayer once where one’s hands are placed (in prayer position) on 1. one’s head, then 2. mouth, then 3. heart. The prayer, she said, is “Help me be present in 1. body 2. voice and 3. mind.” Then she said, “Look where the mind is!”
You know your life is not normal (at least not like you think it is) when you arrive at BWI at 5:00am to go through security, run into the same security screener you saw last week on the same day at the same time (literally), and he takes pity on you from your previous conversation (about people who do not fly often) and moves you to the VIP line. Or maybe you are simply not normal for actually talking to the security screener and being remembered in the first place?!?
And on that note…if you do not fly often, please have pity on those of us that do. Come to the airport prepared. Do not have twelve thousand bags to carry on. Empty your pockets – everything from your pockets. Remember that you cannot take full size bottles of liquids on the plane with you. And most of all, pay attention to the noted signs and placards : )
As a volunteer for a structured organization, I serve on a lot of committees. On a conference call last night, I commented that someone could bring a “diverse perspective” to the group (as a new member). Immediately following, I was questioned why someone’s personal demographics were a part of my comments on that person. My retort: I did not mention demographics, simply that this individual could bring a unique set of skills and ideas to this group. This has made me do a lot of thinking though, and a little work on defining my word choice. Therefore, courtesy of http://www.dictionary.com:
di·verse [dih-vurs, dahy-, dahy-vurs]
- of a different kind, form, character, etc.; unlike: a wide range of diverse opinions.
- of various kinds or forms; multiform.
- a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface. Compare aerial perspective, linear perspective.
- a picture employing this technique, especially one in which it is prominent: an architect’s perspective of a house.
- a visible scene, especially one extending to a distance; vista: a perspective on the main axis of an estate.
- the state of existing in space before the eye: The elevations look all right, but the building’s composition is a failure in perspective.
- the state of one’s ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship: You have to live here a few years to see local conditions in perspective.
Diverse is a dynamic word clearly noting “differing” and “different.” A word that we use to note the individual and what he/she offers. These days, it seems, the word is confused with “diversity.” Same root; same general meaning (the state of being different); but, so often used these days to reference demographics that it has seemingly become synonymous. In any group, it does not matter if you are pink or blue, tall or short, it matters what you bring to the table. Each person’s background adds to the sum of that person, and therefore the differing view they offer. This is not relative to demographics (or race) but to the breadth and depth of their experiences as a person and how they articulate those experiences when working in a group.
Perspective, to me, clearly falls in the category of “the state of one’s ideas, the facts known to one, etc.” I think every person who serves as a volunteer in this particular group brings a shared experience (as the group is about individuals who have something specific in common), but also their own, individual take on that experience. Every person, even participating in the same activity, will relay the facts and the impact of that activity on themselves differently.
Looking back on my written comments of the individual that we were discussing, I never noted the individual’s demographics, simply the conversation I had with that person and their overall demeanor. It never would have occurred to me to discuss a person based on demographics. To the other person, my comments seemed clearly pointed at that aspect. Makes one take pause and think about the diverse perspectives we all bring to the table, our individual foci, and what hits home for us individually. I felt a personal affront at the insinuation of my comment and I would venture to guess that the other person felt similarly about my original comment. How do we get to a place of not assuming and judging, but thinking the best of others?