I got an offer of a job yesterday, or at least a solid lead, as in “Wow, great timing to hear from you. We need to do another workshop like the last one you did for us. We probably can’t afford you, but if you are interested, let me know.”
Actually, as I write that, I can see everything about it that is wrong…My whole aim now is not to repeat what I’ve done before, but to be my whole self in my work...
She’s awesome though. And the work would be helping pro-choice Democrats respond to the bullshit attacks about Planned Parenthood that the R’s have been hurling around. Which I do believe in…
But right after that, I met a new friend for a walk. She’s a coach, and we met in the magic coffee shop where all the good people in West Seattle cross paths and I liked her and she liked me, and we both knew it, in that “Oh! You are alive too!” way that you just know such things. So we said that we should get together, and I actually did reach out to her, without an agenda, just in trust of the feeling. Right before the meeting, Edith was yammering about how this meeting was not going to produce a job, and it would be rude to ask for her advice if I wasn’t going to pay her for it and that I should really just stay home and watch more Downton Abbey Season 5 or, if I went out, go to Baskin Robbins instead….
But I actually did not cancel at the last minute. I emailed her and asked if she’d like to meet at the park instead of the coffee shop and we did meet and went for a long walk and I liked her and she liked me and there’s no angle, but I did say out loud to her that I didn’t want to do political campaign work anymore because it was always a rushed to-do list and not about deep connection or long-term thinking, and because of that, nothing ever changes. And I find that frustrating.
I don’t want to do that anymore.
It’s hard to say no to money though! I feel like I shouldn’t… plus I know I would kick ass and do good work. I told my old friend that I could do it if they wanted and what it would cost… But I also just want to help them. So I also suggested some ways that they could do it cheaper, and said that I’d be willing to talk a bit about message or structure of the training if that would help, on me. “Not a lot of talk!” I said laughing. “But a half hour or hour… I’d love to help you make this good.” She’s a contract lobbyist, and a powerful, tough lady. “That’s very generous,” she said. “None of us can afford to give away a lot of time for free.”
We said goodbye. I walked along the water with my new friend. At the end, this beautiful, grounded, smart new friend of mine said “Keep doing what you are doing. You are going about this in a great way, by writing it down and getting out there and being open to what you want. It’s a practice.” I nodded. “Yes! It’s a practice,” I said. And then we talked about daily practice. And gratitude, and how it can transform. And then she said “And if I can help with your one-pager, ifyou want another set of eyes, let me know.” Which made Edith give a tiny bit of ground.
It is a practice. I am willing to be uncertain. I am venturing into the dark. And I am grateful, and I do want to help.