|I know now that to look less like a tourist in India you should not display your India Lonely Planet.|
It was rescheduled for June, when I was visiting Portland for a few weeks, but the interviewer had a glitch in his schedule and I've been told it's impossible to do an interview when there is no one there to interview you.
Finally, we set it up for August when I was again in Portland for the Hood to Coast relay, but there was a last minute wedding up the interviewer's sleeve, and honestly, if it was the choice to interview me or drink free booze at a wedding, I mean, let's just say I know which one I'd NOT be doing.
So, Skype it was, from a little office in Bozeman, eight months after the initial point of contact.
Though this job wouldn't be starting for, like, a really long time, it had been so long in the making that we just decided to get it over with and then we could cease to have this hour-long Skype meetup for a possible-job-starting-in-a-year hanging over our heads.
And it was wonderful. I love interviewing (is that weird? I think I just really like talking about myself to people I don't know and that's BASICALLY EXACTLY WHAT AN INTERVIEW IS!). I especially loved this interview because I got to wear my hipster hat and didn't have to wear a suit and look professional. I got to look like a professional hipster instead.
At the end of the interview, super-cool Drew who had been basically my email buddy for about eight months, said to me,
"I'm glad we did get to connect because you seem very sure of yourself and comfortable in your own skin and that's a very important and rare quality to have."
Luckily, I remembered I was on camera and didn't mouth the words "Who the fuck is he talking about?"
Because I don't always feel all that comfortable in my skin. I feel unsure, non-committal, unable to make long-term decisions because I'm afraid what will happen if it doesn't work out. I get anxious when people ask me what my long-term goals are, and I'm constantly in the pursuit of happiness, but it seems that the pursuit is the point and maybe the goal shouldn't actually be the happiness part.
But then again, I know a lot more than I did 2 or 5 or 10 years ago.
Things I Am Absolutely Sure Of But Only Now And Now When I Was Twenty-Five
1. Kindness begets kindness. Complimenting another girl's stilettos instead of rolling your eyes and trashing her slut-wear to your friends. Tipping your baristas all the extra change, instead of bagging those 57 cents that you'll likely take home and lose in the couch. Not flipping the bird and instead hoping that the dude that almost ran you over while you were crossing the street on your run was racing home to spend time with his kids. We're all insecure beasts, and karma's a sneaky bitch sometimes. At least give yourself a leg up, and ground yourself in the fact that you can honest-to-goodness call yourself a nice person. It'll come around anyway. It always does.
2. It's okay to stop. Stop working out, stop doing yoga, stop writing on your blog, stop caring so much about your fucking pedicure. Someday, those things will be important to you again. But I firmly believe we make space and effort in our lives for the things that we really want to do and be, and everything else falls away the older and wiser we get (cue me feeling awkward that I called myself older and wiser.)
3. Wait for it. Just wait. He'll call you/text you/invite you to dinner. But just wait. Don't go all seven-texts-in-an-hour. Just wait for it. And if he doesn't, you don't want to have that sinky feeling in your stomach when you send him seven texts in an hour and he doesn't write back. Men know what we want. There's been enough goddamn blog posting about it, so trust that he knows that you want him to call him.
4. There is so much more to life than your job. If you love your job, I'm so happy for you. I love some of my multiple jobs, but I am acutely aware that they do not make me who I am. The fact that I care about performance art and writing and promoting the interests of little girls abroad and networking and balance and healthy living and talking until the sun comes up and sleeping in late on Sundays and the idea that we are all so human and it's wonderful? That is what my life is about.
And even though I still get agita when people ask me "so what do you do?" I know now that if they're asking that question, it's just an introduction and hopefully if it is meant to be, they'll get to see me in a way that doesn't involve what I do.
5. It is all just a big, vast, web of the universe. I recently said that I'm trying to pay closer attention to the signs. Like, if a job doesn't work out, or I get denied an assignment that I really want, it's just something, somewhere out there telling me "Nope. Not yet."
When I went to Asia the first time, I was scared so I ran back to New York and stayed for another 18 months while I got my shit together. In that time, I started saving money and worrying a fuckton about my very un-chic life. I worried that New York was my safety net that I wouldn't leave, and what I really wanted to be doing traveling and volunteering to teach English and really getting OUT THERE and SEEING THE WORLD.
But those 18 months allowed me to ground. They allowed me to dig deep inside my soul and really start digging through. And there were no distractions, like traveling or moving. I know that I wouldn't have been able to go to India, fall in love with nature, and be the "very sure" and "comfortable in my own skin" person that Drew up there mentioned without doing all of that excruciating, soul-searching work.
The point of that (unnecessarily long) personal story is that every decision we make works out to be a sentence our life's story. It all works out to be exactly how it is supposed to be, which is sort of terrible to hear in the present, but in hindsight, makes everything just a little more magical than we'd like to admit.
Okay, your turn. What do you know now that you didn't know 2 or 5 or 10 years ago?