Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Year of Gratitude - Day Seventy-four

Day 74 - Pauses
I had an interesting day.  It began with a delightful conversation with my daughter, Catherine.  She is an amazing young woman who has been through a lot - more than a 17-year-old should have to experience - and who is blossoming into a wise young woman.  I have worried about her over the years, especially in the last 18 months, but I now know I needn’t worry further.  Though she has down days - even weeks - where she struggles, this girl “gets it.”  She has opportunities to stumble, pause, get back up, and get back into it.  I cannot express in words how proud I am of her and the progress she is making as a young adult.
I then met another HR professional over coffee whose professional experience has paralleled mine.  To meet someone else who understands exactly what I am feeling is wonderful.  I don’t think this was a situation of “misery loves company” - it felt more like “power in numbers.”  I want to start a business and include this guy.
Then I met with the two gentlemen who had contacted me after the newspaper story, who wanted to talk to me to see how they could help.  They both are well known in HR circles in the Portland area, and to tap into their networks could be valuable.  
They asked me a lot of questions, and eventually offered advice.  One told me that my high energy and confidence may be working against me - it appears that I have my act together - and if I have my act together, others may not be able to figure out how to help me.  When I asked him what I could do differently, he told me to be more humble, and more vulnerable.  When I asked him how he would suggest I show humility and vulnerability, he didn’t really answer the question.
The other gave me one piece of more concrete advice - to change my resume to show my consulting as covering a shorter period, so that the resume is balanced heavier on full-time employment, since that is something I am seeking.  OK, I suppose if anyone goes to my website to read that my consulting started in 1997, I don’t have to put that on my resume.  Fair enough.  
He also asked me if I want to stay in Training as far as my future employment is concerned.  I said yes, especially focusing on service leadership and cultural development, but that I’m certainly capable of doing more.  He then asked me if I wanted to stay in Training.
I walked away from this meeting feeling confused, and a little down.  If I couldn’t convey my message to these two, am I conveying it successfully to anyone?
I went to a dinner party held by some dear friends, Blaine and Dan, in Camas, Washington and felt the comfort of being around some wonderfully positive people.  I was a little out of sorts - I didn’t feel as “engaged” as I normally am with this group - but if they noticed, they didn’t let on.  It was nice to spend an evening where I didn’t have to be “on.”  
And it reminded me that I can pause a moment, take a breath, and just “be.”  Thank you, Boys, for letting me pause.

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