career · commitment · faith · fear · work

From Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving.

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Last Tuesday night as I sat at a rainy Oakland BART waiting for
the shuttle to take me within walking distance of my apartment, my friend
called.
She’d remembered that it was my first day of training for my
department store sales job and wanted to know how it went. I told her, Good. A
lot of corporate training-style stuff. Different department managers
introducing themselves. Lots of powerpoint presentations about the history and
brand of the company. And there were to be 3 days of this.
I told her I was most nervous (I told her I was trying to
call it “curious”) about what would happen when I actually got onto the sales
floor the following Saturday.
I haven’t worked retail since high school.
She told me we were both having “first day” experiences.
She’d just this afternoon signed a contract with a small graphic design firm to
be a partner with them, and she, too, was “curious” as to how it would all work
out.
She told me that morning, she’d read this story about a guy
who’s mentor suggested that he make a decision to not worry for one year. That
whenever he got nervous, or tried to “figure things out,” or was anxious about
an outcome, he made the commitment that he would simply not worry, that he
would trust in the “universe,” and understand that he didn’t have to know the
outcome. He just had to do what was in front of him and take small actions.
Needless to say, he had a great year.
As I huffed into the phone on Tuesday night, walking through
the dark blocks toward my house, I asked my friend if she wanted to make a pact
with each other. That for one year we wouldn’t worry.
And so, we did. We each announced to each other our
commitment (middle names and everything) not to “not worry,” but to catch ourselves as quickly as we
could, and to remember to “let it go,” and, for me, to have faith in the
benevolence of the universe and the unfolding of my path.
When I’m scared of not making my sales numbers, and this
whole retail thing doesn’t really work if you don’t. When I’m worried that
retail hours and theater hours are the same and how will I be able to do both.
When I am concerned that I quit a full-time time to have time to engage in
creative project, to find a “fulcrum” job (more pay, fewer hours), and I’ve
ended up in another full-time job…
I’ve been telling myself this past week, “From
Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving.” Because that’s a year for my friend and me. One year of not worrying. Of trusting that it’ll not only be okay, but that it’ll
be great.
To trust that if I simply do what’s next, make that next
phone call to a friend, hang up that next sweater, show up to that next
audition, the world will have a way of working out.
Sure, I’ve been nervous this week — making calculations,
staring wide-eyed at rehearsal schedules, wondering if this position will be
temporary or not — but I’ve been remembering that catch phrase, whispering it
aloud, and it’s helped.
Today will be my second day on the sales floor. I am scheduled with them through the start of January with an option to extend. I have an audition set up for late January for a great musical. And I have COBRA payments to starting this month.

But I’m not going to worry one bit. ;P

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