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I didn’t get the job.

I applied for a marketing position at a local arts advocacy group, and made it to the final 2 candidates in what seemed to be an extremely competitive process, considering I had three interviews with a total of six different people.

The job itself came to me by serendipity. I wasn’t looking. I didn’t want a full-time job, having two little munchkins at home who still require quite a bit of my attention. But this job is my dream job (did I mention the two words Marketing and Arts?). I was encouraged to apply, and darn it if flattery doesn’t motivate me, so I did.  I just wasn’t sure if I was in the right place to be working full time.

But how would I know unless I tried? The entire process I was a mess. I’d submit my application and ask myself a thousand questions. On the day of my first interview, I sat in a chair for two hours at home, trying not to throw up or sweat on my new blouse (but I got dressed early, because that’s how I do, I’m a planner and impatient). A week went by and I couldn’t stop thinking about “what if I had a job.” I planned my new wardrobe and stressed about childcare. I scolded myself for counting my chickens and pretended to go with the flow, all the while thinking of nothing but the “what ifs.”

I didn’t get it. And I’m completely fine with that.

Because one afternoon during this process, a friend asked me what I really wanted. Not what other people wanted of me, or what I expected other people wanted. What did I really want, no strings attached?

I blurted out, not even having to think: I want to write and paint.

At that EXACT moment, my phone dinged. I received an email from a local bridal magazine asking if I could do a last-minute feature profile for their upcoming issue. My friend and I gasped. If that wasn’t a sign telling me my path, then what was?

Regardless, I decided to stick with the job interviews, because like I said, it’s a dream job. My new “sign” gave me confidence and insight, though, and took away a lot of my anxiety. If I didn’t get the job, it would be fine. I would be fine, aside from a bruised ego about not being the best.

It seems so selfish to go for what you want. I am a mother, a wife, and often feel like the logistical backbone of my family. Financially I contribute nothing, so I put lot of pressure on myself to either bring in money or do everything that doesn’t require paying other people to do. Writing and painting seems like such a luxurious goal, and I feel guilty constantly for wanting to pursue my creative aspirations.

But I was given permission by the dinging of a phone. I am giving myself permission to pursue what I want. I am on the right path right now, it’s never been clearer. How often can someone say that about their life?

One thought on “Permission

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