Thursday, June 07, 2012

Live (lihood)

"I'm being courted," I told Adam yesterday.  "I rather like it."

He laughed at me, as he tends to do, and said he remembered his first recruitment call.  "It's flattering," he agreed.  "But send me the job description - I'll have a look for you."

I wanted him to beg me to stay.  To convince me that I'd soon be promoted and revered and cherished in my current company.  After all, one of the benefits of this role was the location - I could live here forever and be quite content.  I love my house.  My commute.  My office.  Colleagues.  Airport.

This is home.

I live here - sleep and dream, laugh and cry, work and walk.

It is not without problems.  My professional trajectory spiraled downward pretty rapidly - which apparently isn't the best before a potential reorganization.  And as I picture names being pasted on chess pieces that are casually strewn across a board with lofty yet unknown goals, I'll admit to look at this new opportunity with some longing.

I like to start over.  Just wipe everything clean - throw out the clutter.  And work like crazy to get past the learning curve, find people and places to love.  Explore and settle and find my balance again.

Perhaps I'd meet someone there though.  Be happier for longer and depressed less frequently.

"You'd be crazy not to jump at it," Adam said when we met again today and frowned when my face fell.

"OK," I nodded, knowing he's right.  It's an amazing job - several steps up from where I am now and you don't often get the opportunity to skip steps when these jobs are in such high demand.

"More money," Adam said, leaning forward to convince me.  "More power.  Great company with excellent benefits.  Your family situation..." He paused, attempting to be sympathetic yet struggling with his innate compulsion for honest opinion.  "It's going to change, Katie.  So you can't base everything on what's going on at home."

No, I wanted to say.  My dad could be OK.  The tumors are shrinking!  The chemo is working!  He is not leaving me yet.  He may not have to leave soon.

But Adam, as usual, is likely correct.  When looking at the reality of the situation, I likely shouldn't - especially from a mentor's perspective - discard an opportunity because of personal circumstances.

"You're free to go!" he continued.  "No children, single..ish?" I laughed at his raised eyebrow as I've texted him while waiting for dates at certain points.

"Single," I confirmed, shaking my head at him.

"You're young and smart.  Have too much money and are gaining maturity quickly.  You could do this - tell them you'll relocate and beg them for the job."

"I told them about my parents," I noted and watched him wince.  "I don't even know if I want it!" I cried and he cringed even more.  "Oh, shut up - I'm doing fine without you," I teased and he patted my head before leaving my office.

So I'm trying to get back to that moment - where I liked being courted.  Because now it's scary and full of pressure - one of those life decisions that represents a turning point.  Do I stay here and settle happily into middle management?

Or do I head east - to a different lakeside location - and spring upward, unsure of what happens if I fall?

"I just want everything to be the same as it was," I said softly.  With my group and my family and my life, boring as it once was.  And as everything shifts in search of a new normal, I feel sad.  Just gently sad.

And wait for the next travel date so I can embrace the changes rather than waiting here - where everything is perfectly comfortable and safe - and wait for it to all fall to pieces.

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