I made a big old deal about quitting one of my jobs. And it was a big deal. I talked about it for at least a month before I actually took a deep breath, exhaled my worries out into the universe and just did it. And then, as I was typing in the final words on my final posts, I got an IM from my boss. She wanted to know if I'd be interested in a promotion and in one abbreviated, acronymical sentence a flurry of "more money! more validation! more stress and responsibility!" flew through my thoughts.
Because, well...as we all know, that's how the universe works. I was feeling so good about my good-bye, about sending myself off toward a week with a little extra time and a few less deadlines, maybe even a bit more sanity, and then there it was. An offer. An idea. A possibility. It was so there that, a few minutes later, I realized my hand was paused in mid-air above my touchpad and I hadn't yet hit the publish button on those last posts.
I asked for time to think it over. I took a week and
talked to friends about their experiences in similar positions and when
it seemed right in conversation, I asked other friends to give me their
opinion. I got some great advice about time and money and making a plan
for my own professional goals. But the words that stuck out most to me
came from my friend Robin who shared what her grandmother would have
told me: That's just the devil trying to lure you back into the fire.
I couldn't get that out of my head. It made me realize how many times
I've given into the devil, gone back to work for bosses who were not
the kind of people who I could healthily and happily work for, how many
times I've forgiven friends who were not really friends, how many times
I've gone against the whispers of my own spirit and soul simply because
someone else asked me too. The thing is, this proposition was so
well-intended and kind and lovely and, in another situation or during
another month, might be job I would leap up to take. There is nothing
bad about this boss -- in fact, walking away from her was one of the
harder parts of quitting -- and there is nothing evil about the chance
to earn a steady income. Instead, the devil is in the opportunity to
ignore what my heart and head were telling me, to slow down, simplify
and to make smart choices about the jobs I take rather than taking
anything that comes my way.
Today, I told my boss no thank you. Generously, she told me I am
always welcome to return, and for that, I am truly thankful. Maybe one
day that will feel as right as it looks. For now, I am happy to be past
one more decision and one job. I am proud of myself for smiling
politely at the devil and then taking one small and significant step
away from the heat.
And now you, PLCers: What devils are whispering to you these days?