Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The moral of my story - or one of them, perhaps - is that life works out. It dips and twists and sometimes crashes and burns. But it always manages to level out - bounce back - and leaves me stroking the petal of a tulip with the tip of my finger while considering its simple beauty.
"I'm glad you're on that team," my former partner said when I saw him on Monday, a departure from his initial dire warnings of killing my career.
"Me, too!" I cried, linking my arm with his and grinning when he squeezed me affectionately. "I'm so happy."
"I don't care much about that," he teased and I sighed at him. "But I do think we need someone smart and talented in that role. It's good for the teams."
"Thanks," I offered. "I'm glad you got our job," I continued sincerely. "I wanted it - desperately, really - but it wasn't the right path for me. And I think it may be the right path for you."
He shrugged and we both went quiet, thinking of the meeting we'd just left.
There was a project I'd championed for years - I think - no, I believe - that it's truly groundbreaking. Elegant. Meaningful. A real weapon in the battle against disease.
And we're killing it.
I looked at my former partner - the decision-maker in this hideous game - and his mouth twisted with momentary regret but he straightened in his chair and continued with discussions about resources and priorities and some activities that were high risk/high reward that we just couldn't support in the current climate.
I nodded because he's right. We've reduced our force, asking talented employees to pack their belongings and leave. Those are terrible decisions - ones that make my stomach ache - and I've tried to connect those people with links in my network and sag with regret when they must uproot their families to find work elsewhere.
I have not the strength to crush dreams. I just don't. I know it's best for business in some cases. I understand the rationale and hurt for those men (for they're typically men in my world) who must decide and deliver those messages. But it's not something I can do right now, even with the knowledge that the world eventually rights itself and balances.
Instead, I return to my support role - organize items and communicate strategy rather than participating in its formation.
And I smile at my tulips, silly as that sounds.