Today I had three things happen that I'm going to consider major. They are, in the order they happened:
1. An email
2. A reassignment
3. A business meeting
The first was from a woman I'm in a writing group with. She's wise, talented, and encouraging. I've been on a team with her for three years, and have admired her since day one. Both she and her husband have a presence about them that is encouraging and soothing. They have a marriage to aspire to, do cool things, and are great examples of how to live. We had a meeting last night where we looked at things we'd written, and both of ours needed a bit of work. So we pointed that out and gave a few ideas of where to go. It's always so cool and rewarding to talk about writing, and when someone really reads what you've written and comments on it, that's a feeling that won't get old. Today, she sent me a follow up email of encouragement. It was basically that she is thankful for me and the group. It was redemptive.
The second was that I was reassigned. Through an interesting series of bureaucratic happenings, my official teaching position this year is that of a sub. I'm to call the human resources each day for an assignment, unless there's something longer than the day. But I'm also a teacher. So I have full pay and benefits, but I'm labelled a 'secondary sub'. I've been in one school since the first day, but was assigned to another position for the foreseeable future beginning tomorrow. It fits more in my talents, I know the principal and a few other teachers, and they say good things about the place. But that didn't stop the very real sinking sensation that went through my body after the call. I couldn't put my finger on it at first, but was able to name what was bothering me, and it is this: the same position that I will be in, I had an interview for a few months back. I was 'required' to go the interview, think it went well, but never heard anything. My assumption is that I didn't get the job. So when I got the call to go there tomorrow, and probably the days after, the affect is like a sucker punch. Like you're not good enough for the job, but you're okay to sub there. There's a much better sentence in there somewhere, but the result is the same. It was an insult.
The third thing was a business meeting. It was set up because a guy approached me while I as at a coffee shop a week or so ago, said he'd overheard some of my conversation, and had an 'opportunity' that I may be interested in. Whenever someone says 'opportunity', but doesn't say what the opportunity is, that's never a good sign. But I went. Why, you may be asking, would I go in spite of the aforementioned vagaries? Well, the reason is that this summer, I prayed a prayer, asking God to provide me with an opportunity. The truth is, I need a change. I want to do something, rather than teach something. I'd like to help people that need helping, and I really enjoy working with the disadvantaged. I also like to write, to use my body, to be creative, and to work collaboratively. If there was something that incorporated all of those things, I'd be the man for the job. I've looked for many things, and applied for many things, but nothing seems to stick. Most of the time, I don't even hear back. So my prayer was that a door would open and somebody would say, I've got this opportunity that I think you would be good (or perfect) for". So, when something along the lines of that prayer happened, I figured that I'd see what it was about. The meeting was set for today, and I went. A third person was brought in to the conversation, and it began with questions along the lines of 'do you want more money?' Who doesn't. So that was a bad sign. And then, rather than mention the opportunity, they showed (by they, I mean the third person, not the guy who 'had' the 'opportunity') me statistics of the company. When I asked what I'd do, they became silent and couldn't answer. The company is a company that runs - what I found out - you don't refer to as a pyramid scheme. When I asked to see an example of the products and what I'd be doing and what the websites they mentioned looked like, person 3 told person 2 not to show me, because I asked to many questions and 'took the offensive of the conversation'. The point of the meeting, was to set up two more meetings. When person three held his hand over person two's tablet, he looked at me and said, "We don't need you". This, in addition to being bad business, did hit me kind of hard. It was discouraging.
So I left with the meeting with the vague agreement to look into the product, which I had heard good things about, left. On the way home, my body was responding in odd ways. So I ran. I went to yoga. These activities took everything I had left. But where I'm sitting now in the process is with the realization that in here is a choice. I can look at discouragement, insult, or redemption. The woman actually knows me, and she took time to be proactive, rather than reactive. She took time to say something that I can live in and through. And I realize that I now also have the choice as of where to dwell.