Earlier this week I turned away the chance at what used to be my dream job. I had been offered the opportunity to participate as a finalist in interviews for a leadership position outside of my home country, in a prestigious international institution. The moment I realized I had an actual chance, war ensued.
I had followed my heart when I decided to put a full stop to my career at 45 and try a different path. My dream for my future included time to breathe, to look out the window at green grass, blue skies and the flowers in my garden, time to be, projects where my power of connecting the dots and taking things from idea to action would make a real difference, people I love working with, who recharge me and whom I can support positively as well.
This was, of course, completely counterintuitive to everything I had been taught, to all the standards that I used to try very hard to live up to, to all that “everybody” deems to be “the right thing to do.” I had a comfortable life, a good job, a good salary and good benefits, what could posses me to disrupt that in search of … metaphors?
Sensing the ambivalence, the Universe threw one more jab at me as if to say: let’s see, can you really put your actions where your mouth is? And so, here I was, at the end of an online interview where I thought, ok, I truly have a chance here. And I was right.
The ammunition that fed the war between my mind (aka ego) and my heart (aka soul) were the voices that live constantly in my bones.
The polished version of the war went something like this:
Mind: Are you nuts? Turning down the opportunity you have dreamt of for such a long time??
Mind: Oh, there we go again, you and your personal development crap! Selfish much? So, putting yourself before your family’s wellbeing? Who died and made you the most important?
Mind: How about the money? Do you realize how much you could make? How much you are turning down?
Mind: Do you think another opportunity like this will come along? Like … everrr? This was your train … and you missed it.
Mind: What are you turning this down for? Something that isn’t even so certain … dreaming again? Do you get to do that several times in this lifetime?
Mind: Oh no! If I can’t convince you now to do this, I will just remind you every single moment that you will regret it.
Mind: Suit yourself!
Heart: But … I don’t think that is my dream anymore … I have changed …
Heart: I think my family’s wellbeing is tied to mine. And I worry about working 16 hour days to be good at this job. Alone. In a foreign country. With a teenager who doesn’t want to be there.
Heart: I know, this is a tough one. And it will take some getting used to … we do love having money … .
Heart: But I love the projects I have set out to do. And I will be home with my family. And life’s history has proven that I, the heart, have the solutions, not you, the mind. So, shush!
Heart: You know, I am sure I will regret some things but hey, I know the road of stress and pressure and being directed. How about I do something else so I never regret not taking that road?
A battle was carried out on the field of my being over the past few days. The bruises still hurt, the crevices still feel hollow, there is young, timid grass rising from the desert of burnt dreams and I am hoping that the rain will come soon to help it grow. It may be in the form of tears but … still water, still growth … .