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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Southern Girls Living Fearlessly - Day 19

Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.
- 1 Samuel 3:9

Listen carefully. See the signs. Feel your gut. Follow the path.

Last year, my old boss retired and a new boss took her place. My new boss is young, handsome, articulate, but, bless his heart, not from the south. Through no fault of his own, he's neither schooled nor skilled in the decorum of southern, gentlemanly ways. Still, we got along well. Or, at least, I thought we were getting along well. Relatively sheltered from Yankees for most of my life, their ways are a msytery to me.

Anyway, toward the end of the 9 month school year, he and I had a confrontation of gargantuan proportion. Not only was it massive, but it thunked me on the head like a foul ball out of nowhere. Surprise! I should've been paying attention!

Summer couldn't have come soon enough. I walked out of my classroom on the last day of school and didn't look back, determined to get over it and get centered again during my break. Yet, as the days of summer dwindled and I faced returning to my classroom, my anxiety increased. I dreaded the coming year.

I found myself reading an on-line story about writing jobs. I obsessively followed every link, making a list of writing careers in my Book of Lists. I resolved to follow-up each one and give it real consideration.

The next day, my boss called and wanted me to come in to his office for a meeting. My stomach turned over. I knew it couldn't be good.

At the meeting he offered me a "newly created" position that I would be "perfect" for. A writing position. You might think I jumped for joy, kissed his face, thanked him profusely, and accepted on the spot. I did not. Instead, I engaged in frivolous polite conversation, took the job description, and told him I would call after the weekend.

For two days, I brooded about the real reasons "why" he offered me this job, his hidden intentions and motivations. I knew full well this was not an olive branch and feared that I was being set up. But after that I tried to recall any signs that directed me to follow this new course:
  • Sign 1 - The confrontation toward the end of the last school year.

  • Sign 2 - I was miserable in my old position by the end of the year.

  • Sign 3 - I was dreading returning to work.

  • Sign 4 - I had been, just the day before, researching writing careers.

I called the following Monday and accepted the job. I realized it didn't really matter "why" he had created it or wanted to give it to me. I had to let go of the fear that he would think I didn't know what he was up to or that he would "win." What mattered was whether or not I would be better off sticking with my job from the previous year or taking a new position. In which situation would I win? I fearlessly trusted the signs.

It was not a mistake. It's been more than worth holding that cat by the tail.

TODAY'S ASSIGNMENT: Making a big decision? Making a small one? Having a hard time? Fear over making the wrong choice holding you back?

Say a short prayer: Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.

(Lucy Adams is a freelance writer, syndicated weekly newspaper columnist, educator, wife, mother, and the author of If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny.)

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