Isn’t life funny sometimes? Tonight, I gave the best budget workshop of my career, at a higher level than I ever have, better than I ever have, and in a place that really needed it.
I also never wanted to do it. I used to do this sort of thing, for a bigger company, for plenty of clients. I was kind of a machine that way. All hustle. No rest. Pure grit, running on caffeine and fumes, with the occasional breakfast of champions, hot Cheetos, with my coffee. I was on a strict diet of stress and coffee and tequila, just to cope with the stress. All in all, a hot mess.
I didn’t get a whole lot in return for my years, except the best experience life could afford me. I learned all the things I needed working in that soul-crushing hell hole, to make a real difference somewhere. Well, one thing led to another and I’m no longer there. But I landed somewhere peaceful, somewhere slower-paced, somewhere comfortable. I needed healing from living a fast lane kind of life, from skimming by for years with little to no real contact with my family, with little to no confidence in my abilities, and little to no light at the end of that tunnel. Well, life got me out of there, in the most painful way, as most terminations go. My spirit was broken; and my reputation was shattered. I felt like I lost the respect of everyone I knew, and let down everyone who had ever taught me, loved me, and mentored me. Worst of all, I lost my sense of purpose. I had given so many years to this place. I could only liken it to how lost a soldier feels without a mission. Like, my worth was gone. Oh, I fell. Hard. My career was over, so I found a little job in a little town. And this little town was my landing place. My healing place.
So, funny thing, fast forward two years, and my boss is gone, all of a sudden, and there is no one to do the hard things, the important things, the vital things. I’ve done these things for years. At a very high level. They are familiar to me. Thanks to my experience, they are not new or as scary. Like this monster of a budget, and this workshop. I would never step on someone else’s toes. I would never take something that isn’t mine. But I know things, and absent any other leadership, I tend to lead.
Because it’s who I am. No, I don’t want to be a leader. But if need be, and no one else will do it, yes I would rather step up than have no organization at all. So when my boss left me, with this whole project in my lap, I took it. I think I literally told him I would never take that seat, even if it was offered to me. It scared me. Well, my trauma told me I wasn’t enough. And that’s an easy lie to believe if you don’t know your worth. My experience told me I’m not fit to lead. And I was fine with that. I’ll just stay in my comfy little job, in my comfy little duties, and overachieve all day long. Do small things with great love, you know the drill… I was comfortable. But comfort never lasts for me.
See, I believe that life has a funny way of removing redundancies. In my former place, (which in now refer to as my “past life”), I was a redundancy. Yes I was great support, but I was strengthening a team that already could do what I could do. When we don’t struggle a little, we do not grow. And here in this new place, my boss was kind of a redundancy. And so the storms come, and they upset every single thing, sometimes fiercely. Then, winds die down, clouds part, and the skies clear. And what you’re left with is a blue sky day, kind of like someone hit a reset button. Thank goodness for the reset buttons. I believe this happens in life, too. My whole life is thrown into upheaval, and I am left with two choices: sit back, stay small, and keep things simple; or step up and be the best version of myself possible. I tend to go where the growth is. When faced with things like this, I usually take the path that scares me, because I know that’s the path that grows me, and pushes me. Yes, I took all the extra credit I could in school. Yes, I took all the extra maths and sciences as electives, instead of “Ag” or “home-ec”. Because that’s who I’ve always been. And when God puts me in the right place, at the right time, with a hole that literally only I can fill, that requires everything I’ve got, and says, “you have no more excuses;” you’ve got to grow with it. The timing is too right. The need is just my size. All my training, even the mistakes, my whole professional career I had left in the dust, are suddenly not only called on but needed- truly, desperately needed- have all prepared me for this moment.
So I take the project. I write the budget. I learn the things. I give the workshop. Being naturally and openly me, it was the best work I’ve ever done. It is the perfect time for me to do something that before, I will admit, I was afraid to do. But absent my leader, and with my team and this town hanging in the balance; it felt “justo y necesario,” like my Grandma says. It was justified and necessary. What I would not do out of fear, I will do it if people depend on me. I will do it to help people., and I will do it if it feels like the right thing to do. And effortlessly, and easily, I stepped into my moment, and it was the calmest I’ve ever been during a presentation.
Life is just funny sometimes, the way things work out. It may not be what we would have chosen, but I’ll be darned if it didn’t just choose me. Didn’t give me much of a choice, really. I don’t fall back. I’ll take that step, that leap of faith, I’ll bet on me. And I found that I am not only qualified, I’m perfectly suited. I was made for this. My creator, He blessed me. My past, it trained me. My pain, it informed me. I’ve always had all the pieces. I just had to lose the fear.
My advice to you, if it doesn’t feel right or healthy for you, it probably isn’t. There is no glory in “busy”. You don’t get medals for martyrdom, giving up everything for your work, for sacrificing your sanity and health, and for exchanging it for valuable time with your family. Sometimes troubles come to tell us we’re not in the right place. If it doesn’t open, it was not your door. What’s right for you will find you and leave you no choice. And then, it will push you forward onto a ledge, and say, “jump!” So, jump, already! And trust your wings to carry you. And you may find that you are, and always were, perfectly enough. You were just planted in the wrong place. Go where you can grow. And grow where you go. And doors will open for you. When the time is right, step into your moment and that’s where you will find your power, that which you’ve carried all along.
It’s almost like there has been this huge elaborate setup, where God puts me in these circumstances, and knows what I’ll do, and let’s me prove to myself, the most important lesson: You Are Enough.
You. Are. Enough.