An interview that turned into something so much more

Last week, I interviewed for a new job. Let me say, this was one of the longest and most inquisitive interviews I have ever had, and I think that is saying something, seeing as interviews are supposed to be pretty darn inquisitive. They asked me what my best friend would say about me, what my worst enemy would say about me, what I would do if I won the lottery, what I would do if I didn’t win the lottery (um, work?), whether I was generally happy or melancholy… This went on for over an hour. The interesting thing though, was I answered the same way for what I would do if I won the lottery and what I would do if I didn’t win. For both, I said that I wanted to work in some way with municipalities to improve green spaces, better manage water resources, and improve public transportation. The only difference was that I would do it for free if I won the lottery.

Here is why this was so eye-opening to me – I am very good at my job now. Incredibly good. Every boss I have ever had in this line of work has said that I was the best legal assistant they have ever worked with. I take a lot of pride in that. And yet, it seems that my passion lies somewhere else. Let me tell you, this is not something which I have harbored for years, and it is only now coming to the surface. I have no idea when this became a big thing for me. Or maybe I do.

About eighteen months ago, I read The Contrary Farmer by Gene Logsden. I instantly fell in love with everything this man said. I bought many (many) books on backyard gardening, on creating my own space in the world. My friend D and I used to talk constantly about buying a pecan farm in East Texas and setting up a B&B. And yes, people very frequently made jokes about how would I of the 4-inch heels, make a good farmer. I used to tell them that I would use my heels to aerate the soil. As with most of my instant loves, I quickly left it along the wayside, but every now and then, I find myself thinking how nice it would be to have a few acres to grow something.

Then, about six months ago, I found a Master’s degree program in Environmental Sustainability, and I was hooked. I want to do that!! I’m not even sure what “that” is, but I want to do it! I am not really sure what I could do with such a degree, and I am not sure that my GPA will get me accepted in to any of the schools which are offering this program, but I know it is something which I want to do. And with it, maybe I can find a way to work with municipalities to improve their green spaces, manage their water resources, and improve public transportation. For money, of course!

Someone told me yesterday that work for work’s sake was not sustainable. You have to feel passionate about what you do. Only then can you move along your life’s path. Yes, this new job would offer more money, which might help to move me closer to my ultimate goal. But I do not believe that I can sustain working for something which I no longer believe in. It would seem that in interviewing me for their job, my potential employers pointed me down my own path.

– Finch

Identity Flux

So I had this incredibly clear message yesterday that I needed to quiet my mind, relax and meditate to find my path. It was actually a little bit like the Universe was hitting me over the head with a blunt instrument, or speaking to me as if I were a small child. But, regardless, I got the message. Here’s the thing – I don’t really know how to meditate.

I don’t know any chants, and my mind is too restless to just quiet itself. So I started by identifying some very basic information about myself, hoping to work my way to more complex issues. My name is _________________. I am 30 years old. My birthday is _______________. I am divorced.

And then I stopped myself. Why do I self-identify as “divorced”? After I had gotten out of previous relationships I did not describe myself as “broken-up with,” “dumped,” or even “dumper” (although “breaker-of-hearts” may have been a title I tossed around sarcastically every now and then). But still, after every previous relationship I have had has ended, I have gone back to “single.” But “single” means something different to me now. I do feel as if there should be a new title for me. Perhaps “independent” or “individual.” I would rather not get all 1984 and go “citizen.”

Another issue was my hair. When doing this exercise in previous years, I literally used to identify myself as “redhead.” That was a very big part of my identity. It helped me to clarify my personality and my attitude. I used to joke that I had been dying my hair red for so long that all personality attributes normally possessed by a true redhead had become mine. But I no longer feel that I can identify that way. I don’t even call myself a blonde. When cleaning out my car this morning, my hair still looked pretty orangey in the sunlight. I wouldn’t mind thinking of myself as a blonde, but it would have to be a very Hitchcockey type of blonde. Cool, classy, together – very Grace Kelly. Alas, my quirkiness cannot be contained, and I cannot stay in prolonged contact with my inner Grace.

Finally, I tried work. “I am a legal assistant.” But I’m not. That’s what I do, but even then, my job goes above and beyond regular legal assistant duties. I would love to qualify myself as a writer, and I think to a certain percentage, I do. However, I am not published – other than this blog – and I do not write every day. I do feel as if I express myself best when writing – although, to me, speaking is writing out loud, so I’m not too shabby there either!

So while I seek to quiet my mind and find my path, I will keep some simple truths in mind. Who I am. How old I am. When I was born. The fact that I love deeply, and am loved deeply. After that… well, I guess we’ll see what my psyche has to say!

– Finch