Sunday, July 21, 2013

On Not Running Interference

So when I was applying to open a Menchies franchise, you can imagine my shock and absolute horrification when they demanded a resume from me as part of the application process.
As a mom {who became a mom merely 3 weeks after graduation, pushing PAUSE on any dream for a career}, the prospects of throwing together an itemized, impressive, bullet-pointed collection of what I'd been doing the last 6 years that would somehow convince a corporate leader to let me take part in their success was somewhat laughable.

That being said, a resume had to be turned in.
So I got to working on it and before you know it, the check I was writing out for the 15 hours a week my babysitter was putting in, read as "managing a household staff." The credit card that I was swiping a couple times a week at Ralph's (the local grocery store), in addition to a swipe here and there at Nordstroms every month- all this swiping quickly qualified for "balancing and managing a specific budget." Are you starting to get the picture of where we're going with this? Before I knew it, I had a big ole long list that even I was impressed with. All my "responsibilities"were  consolidated in one big 8x11 inch piece of paper, and by golly I was writing a box and checking off every last one of those things. Y'all I'm chalking that up as success.

Now before we get distracted by the notion of whether I was over selling or underselling myself-- the mystery still remains-- that's not really what this little writing has anything to do with.
It was crazy that when being forced to conjure up an itemized skill set, I did it. I put something together that sold even me on what an amazing person I was and all the crap I was getting done. Like I already said, jury is still out on the authenticity of the resume.   

But what I've really been wanting to write about is a different kind of resume- one of listening to that little voice that helps me make good decisions. After15 years of experience in the field (I was a late bloomer), I actually feel like I have a strong resume. As we've been getting ready for this move over the past 9 months, I feel like I've been relying on the lessons that have some from the individual bullet points of the resume that I've spent years building. 

I remember being 18 years old, graduated from high school with no plans. I hadn't applied to a single college. I hadn't set up any apprenticeship that would prepare me for a career. I was merely floating. Fortunately it didn't take me long to realize on my own that I wasn't headed in the direction I wanted to go. I was in the midst of solving a lot of internal, personal conflicts during this time, of realizing that choices I was making were acting as barriers to where I ultimately wanted to end up. It was a painful process reconciling habits to put me on my desired path. It required me to do things that I wasn't certain about, and even less happy about. Yet, I knew it was for a better good. One of those specific decisions was that of going to Ricks College, i.e.: BYU-I. I felt in my heart that was definitely the right thing for me to do. But can we take a short break to talk about Rexburg, ID? What's the opposite of "happening"? Well, that's what Rexburg, ID is. It's a small town in the middle of nowhere and operates at a very slow pace. For those of you who know me, you know I need a little something going on in my life. This kind of stillness makes me lonely
So upon receiving my unexpected acceptance letter to Ricks college which solidified my intuition that it was the right choice for me at that time of my life, rather than jumping for joy and doing fist pumps with family, I opened that envelope behind the closed doors of our office, where the silent tears that rolled down my cheeks went unnoticed to anyone else. 

The merge of doing what I knew I should do versus doing merely what I wanted to do wasn't a painless process. Yet, I went and I did and I learned and I moved on.

My next very vivid memory of following that little voice came when I decided to serve an 18 month mission for our Church. I was still new to making good decisions and I think God was quite aware of my abilities {perhaps better put would be my inabilities..} and catered to those, giving me every opportunity to thrive and take the fullest path possible for my life. That's why I believe I had such a strong and unmistakable feeling when I decided to serve a mission. Anything weaker and I would've instantly talked myself out of a mission and chocked it up to a crazy idea and nothing else. That out was never an option because I absolutely couldn't deny what I had felt and, therefore, what I needed to do.

It turns out my mission was an experience that served as such a solid foundation in projecting me on the path of becoming that person I wanted to be.  

It seemed like up until this point, I was always shocked and somewhat disappointed when I got these notions for moves I needed to take on my path. It hurt and I somewhat fought it before following it. I was learning to trust God and that still wasn't second nature to me. 

But I was getting not only stronger in my resolve to follow that voice, but I also could reflect on the previous experiences and see that they made sense. It built my faith that I was really being looked after and that those decisions were really for my own good and my own happiness.

But the whole being disappointed with the path I was being asked to take, it wasn't to always remain that way. God threw me a bone. In March of 2005, Yosh and I had been married for a bit, I was 7 months pregnant with Dallin B, we were fixing to graduate and looking to move onto careers. I had stomached the proposals and played the role of supportive wife when Yosh was thinking about jobs in Virginia and Oakland. But make no mistake that I was faking. I was not excited, those wouldn't have ever been my choice. So please take a minute to imagine my absolute, unaltered, sheer delight when Yosh received a call to let him know he had got The Job. Where he would work in Beverly Hills, CA. 90210 y'all! Home of Brandon, Brenda, and the gang. There was no faking, role playing, or anything else-- I was excited! Now it's important to note, the calm feeling that came over when this job opportunity arose and as it progressed to a real possibility. The excitement wasn't simply based on the associated zip code!

When Yosh and I moved to California just over 8 years ago, it didn't take long for me to come up with my tag line, "If Yosh ever tries to make me leave California, he'll have to drag me out while I'm kicking and screaming." That line eventually evolved to, "If Yosh ever wants to leave California, he'll have to get another wife. I'm staying here."

Although we didn't end up living in Beverly Hills, but rather Sherman Oaks and Pacific Palisades, we have loved our time here- hence the declaration that I'd leave kicking and screaming.  

So you can imagine my surprise at my own reaction when I got a call last November from Yosh, just throwing out the idea of maybe moving to Austin. Like the smart man he is, he was treating the subject with much sensitivity, asking if I wanted to, saying that he doubted I would say yes and that was totally ok. My response was, "Yea, I think we could do that. I'd be down to move for a couple years." Yes, I was shocked at my own, immediate gut reaction to the proposal. There was no kicking and screaming, and there was no mentioning of the D word, and I don't mean Dallas.

The peace that settled in right when he posed the question was all the convincing I needed.
I think all these years later, with all this experience under my belt, I'm learning to trust. To remove my own  doubt, judgement and fear, and simply trust. And more importantly, I'm learning to not run interference. There's a song or scripture that says, "Be still my soul, the Lord is on our side," or something like that. And while there's no denying that my soul ain't always all that still, I'm not going anywhere. I'm sticking around, doing my part, and enjoying the fact that I know the Lord is on my side and continues to show me the path to my own personal, optimal happiness time and time again. This is why I can't run interference.

So here we are, getting ready to take off on this new "adventure" as we like to call this move. {No, it's not a complete uprooting, no we're not really leaving the Palisades. Huh uh. We prefer the more softer, tender, more subtle LIE of minimizing what we got going on to an adventure! Might as well be a week vacation in Costa Rica!} We're saying the good-byes to some of our favorite people, putting brave smiles on our faces to hide the underlying sadness, and we're moving forward.

All this said, this better be good, God, or else there will be hell to pay!

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