The purpose of “Prompted” is to provide an outlet for myself and others to reflect on past experiences, personal goals and innermost desires. It is my hope that this exercise will encourage unconventional thinking and self awareness. Each week, I will provide a new prompt and post my response on the blog. Readers can comment with their responses on this post and read what others said here.
What have you lied to yourself about? Why did you do it?
If I had to narrow it down to one thing, I would have to say that I lied to myself a great deal during my job search this summer.
I graduated back in May 2016 with a B.A. in communication and had a hard time accepting that God’s timing just wasn’t synchronized to my personal deadlines or calendars. I wanted to move off and do great things, meet new people, (blah blah blah) and had a small window of time to make it happen. It was primarily based on when and where I could find a decent paying job. So, I put in application after application and the rejections came pouring in days before I walked across the stage.
Over and over again, I would get hung up on the possibility of some full time job, any job really, that even hinted at a little security. I desperately wanted to be able to have something to show for my degree. I considered so many different avenues: cellphone retail sales, insurance claims, bank telling, property managing, reservations, admissions coordinating, etc. It was frustrating and disheartening to constantly get rejected for jobs that I was positive that I was qualified for.
I even applied for a supervisor position within a department on campus that I worked for for two and half years. The basic qualifications: customer service experience, experience working in that environment, a bachelors degree… Everything I had. I figured “experience + degree + connections = job”. I didn’t even get an interview.
They all said no. Still, I think the real tragedy would have been if any of those companies had actually hired me.
I was in a low place. I cried to God for months about it because I was afraid of the future and had no idea what I was meant to do with my life. I wanted things on my time and was upset that nothing I tried to force would fit.
So, I formulated a master plan to avoid anymore rejection: Step 1: Go for my MBA. Step 2: Start a business. Step 3: Hire myself! After all, in school, everyone could see my potential. In school, I didn’t have to apply, I was invited. In school, I was rarely ever turned down because all that mattered was my GPA. In classes, I felt like I belonged. In the world, I felt insignificant. I spent the next few weeks scrambling to complete paperwork for admissions and financial aid, going back and forth with my family (they didn’t think it was necessary) and trying to convince myself that it was the best route to take.
Things were looking up. I had a plan. Obtaining another degree seemed to make sense.
But then, two weeks before the semester started, everything turned around. I went for an interview with a college and was called back the same day to schedule a second interview. The morning of the second interview, I received a call. They wanted to cancel the interview and had decided to go in a different direction with the job. I felt relieved because I was conflicted about if I would take it or go back to school. I no longer had to choose. Closer to the time of the scheduled interview, I received another call from the director who led my first interview. I told her that I was under the impression that they had decided on another candidate. Well, it turned out that the interview was canceled because they had already made the decision to offer me the job.
It was a full time salaried job with benefits! So, guess what I did?..That’s right, I turned it down! After all of that crying, praying, rejection,etc.. I turned it down because I had really drilled it into my own head that I had to back to school, when in reality, I just wanted to be able to say that I was doing something. I also felt that, because I made so much of a fuss about getting admitted and registered, I couldn’t abandon the defense mechanism I had built for myself. She told me that they would move on and interview more candidates.
I thought I was doing the right thing by sticking to my guns but honestly, I never felt at peace about it. I realized that I was forcing myself to stick to something because I had invested so much time into the idea of it.
Days later, I called the director back and she informed me that although the committee had moved on to more candidates, they would still consider me when it came time to make the decision. I just knew that I blew it. Even if was qualified, who would want to hire someone this indecisive?
The wait over the weekend felt so long. But, on Monday, she called me and offered me the job for the SECOND time. This time, I accepted.
When I look back on it now, the time span was only over the course of a few months. However, it felt like my season of rejection went on for years. I made plan after plan and every last one fell through. To combat the failure, I chose something I was certain I could not fail at: school. That was my safe place. Let me be the one to tell you that safe doesn’t always mean that it’s meant for you. I was so committed to my own plan that when God did send me the job I had been praying for, I passed it up.
The irony is that I now have the opportunity to go back to school with tuition assistance and loan forgiveness because of this job.
The greatest lie I told myself: My plan was better than His.