The man looked at me and asked a series of questions about my experience and then followed up with a request to share my two biggest weaknesses and my greatest strengths.
It is not the first time someone has asked me to answer these questions and I have several answers I can give but I pause intentionally because I don’t want it to appear too polished.
Even though my answers are authentic I want to try to lend more gravitas to them so I take a deep breath and share a story.
He nods his head and moves on to the next set of questions and I wonder if my answers were sufficient or if he is simply on autopilot.
Fifteen minutes go by and I am certain he is happy with my answers or this would be over but that doesn’t negate the sense that he is not all there and I start wondering what would happen if I answer with movie quotes.
Perhaps we can revisit the whole greatest strength and biggest weakness bit so I can act out this scene from Real Genius:
Susan: Can you hammer a six-inch spike through a board with your penis?
Chris Knight: Not right now.
Susan: A girl’s gotta have her standards.
I choose not to find out whether he is impressed by my ability to quote from movies and or share song lyrics that might be relevant because sometimes silence is the most useful resource we have at our disposal.
Hard Decisions & Easy Choices
I am stuck in traffic and thinking about the interview I just finished.
The bottom line is it went well and I am confident I have a very good shot at securing this position but I am still unsettled because even though I need the work this doesn’t feel quite right.
At best it is a bridge, just something to get by with and though there is no shame in that something about it bothers me.
The radio is off and all I have are my thoughts to keep me company when my mind decides I need to hearÂ Everybody’s Talkin byÂ Harry Nilsson.
For a moment I consider taking the next exit and heading to the ocean, if traffic isn’t bad I can be at the beach within 35 minutes.
Traffic is at a standstill so I have time to wonder if when I get there I’ll find a boat so I can make like Max and set sail for where the wild things are.
I would be happy to declare it time to let the wild rumpus begin.
My phone buzzes and I see my son is calling but I don’t take the call. I’ll be home soon enough and we’ll resume our conversation about the current middle school madness.
He’ll tell me about his frustrations with some things and I’ll remember that sometimes it is hard to be a teenager.
When he tells me what his friends advise him to do I’ll remind him it is easy for others to provide easy choices for how to handle our hard decisions.
“Be careful about taking advice from people who don’t have to live with the consequences of their advice.”
No Risk, No Reward
Somewhere in the midst of our conversation I’ll share the Teddy Roosevelt quote from above and supplement his words with my own and some from other people wiser than myself.
When he asks me why I would contradict myself by sharing a quote dismissing quotations I tell him he needs to find the voice inside his head and heart and listen to it.
I tell him that it will help him figure out what the right thing to do is and that sometimes it means he’ll make a mistake.
He tells me he doesn’t want to cause more issues for himself and I tell him I understand but there is truth to “no risk and no reward.”
“Who says that dad?”
“Dumb bloggers and silly fathers.”
What Are You Going To Do?
I am back in the car trying to find that inner voice I spoke with my son about because I need to get a better handle on what I am doing.
People say to listen to our hearts and intuition and swear we can’t go wrong but I am having trouble buying into it.
Fear has crept inside my head and that little demon is doing his best to rally the troops. They want to release indecision and insecurity from their cages but I am fighting it.
Life is much easier when they are incarcerated.
The road doesn’t provide an epiphany or any revelations just the reminder that I can be the hero of my story and that I won’t know what could happen unless I take a chance.
What I fear most is letting fear push me into taking the easy path and going to down a path I already know so I remind myself that is unacceptable.
That inner voice cheers my decision and I think about explaining how I came to a decision by debating with a voice no one else but me can hear.
That ought to go over well.
Except the thing is, it really doesn’t have to be understood or approved by anyone other than me because this is one of those moments where I have to answer to myself.
One of those moments where I need to look in the mirror and know no matter how it shakes loose I did what was required because I am unwilling to live with the regret of not having taken a shot.