Have you ever set out to do something and then realized it was completely wrong for you?
I'm at the point in my life where I feel the change. A gradual shift; one that means growing up and maturing--making my own money. Driving a car, which I'm in no great hurry to do.
But I did think I was ready for a job. I had my first interview a couple days ago, and it went well. I told them I wanted to work there because I loved the atmosphere. I was in my element. That would translate well to my work.
And then I got home. I was sitting on my back porch steps, finishing up a book. My mom was talking on the phone when I felt the uneasiness start. Because ohmygosh I had just interviewed for a job I'll would most likely be offered.
And I'm not ready.
I thought I was. I really did. I pictured smiling mornings and busy work and paychecks and ordering really cute clothes. I pictured buying a car and saving up for college and having extra money whenever I wanted it.
But then, sitting there, I thought--
How much time am I going to miss reading? Am I going to get the time to volunteer at the animal shelter with my friend? What about writing? What about doing what I want to do, whenever I please?
What about living my life?
Let me back up...
Two weeks ago, after asking about a job at a favorite coffee shop of ours, I got into the car with my mom. We were also headed to the library, where I was thinking about filling out a volunteer application.
"I don't know," I told her after I had. "I think I'd have more fun at the coffee shop than I would at the library."
"I don't know..." My mom replied. She knows me. But she also encourages me in anything and everything I want to do, so it was up to me.
Then mom got an email from a friend at the library we know very well. I could come any time in to volunteer. Mom told her to call me.
I was kind of hoping she wouldn't. I didn't think I wanted to volunteer. But eventually she did, and I got excited about it. Sure, I wasn't chomping at the bit, but it was going to be good to try.
I ended up there last Thursday, in the YA section, shelving books. Pulling duplicates. Going over them with her. Scanning them into the computer. It was two and a half hours of "work." And I loved it.
I recounted my tales in emails to my friends. The job developments, and the volunteering. I didn't see it at the time, but the paragraphs I wrote about the library were ten times the size of the one about the job. I didn't have much information, but still.
That was my second clue. But I didn't see. I overlooked it.
Then I got a call Friday. To come in for an interview. Horray! My first one! I was excited. I told my friends, of course. IMed Kassady right away.
Earlier that day, I'd told the lady at the library I would email her. I'd like to come in again next week. I also asked one of my friends if she'd be interested in volunteering at the animal shelter with me. She said yes.
So I had these volunteer opportunities. And I had a job interview.
It came and went well. Then the moment on the back porch, one of intense, tears-in-my-eyes panic. After discussing it with my mom, I felt better. I didn't have to take it, of course. I had options.
I realized, standing out there with her, the sun shining down cheerful as ever--the library is my element. I was blind to it. And writing this--looking back at the signs--it only reaffirms it.
Why are we as people so stubborn to what we really want? Do we know, internally? I thought I did. I don't. I don't know. Perhaps I'm going to have to repeat this process with every job I go after from now on. I hope not. But then again, if it eventually leads me to what's right, who am I to complain?
If I'm offered the job, I'm going to turn it down. Thank her for her time.
Then I'm going to email our friend from the library. (Probably before then, to be honest). I'm going to go back in this week. And the next. Probably after that, too.
My place is among books and people who love them as much as I do. I've practically, as I told our library friend, been living in the YA section for the past year.
Sure--coffee is any writer's #1 drug--but then again, aren't they usually buying it and not serving it?
And, as an update--I just talked to the owner and told them I wanted to withdraw my application. Seriously, I have never felt so relieved. :)