Never would I ever…has anyone ever played that game? In its simplest form, while in a group of people, you go around asking whether members of the group have done something. The goal is to expose each others past actions and embarrassing moments. While the game is intended for entertainment value, we often treat our reality like the game. There are certainly areas in all of our lives we’d prefer to gloss over, or keep hidden rather than share, because we don’t want to be judged or ridiculed. I'm not even talking about the deep stuff. Don’t worry, you and Pandora don’t have to start letting secrets fly. A lot of times its surface level. The neighborhood we live in, the type of car you drive, where you buy your clothes or the brands you wear, and where you work. I for instance, work in retail and it took me a while to own my career.
The retail industry can be tough. Day in and day out, you have to be a rapid-fire problem solver, and let me tell you it can be exasperating. It takes a special kind of person, with a special personality to be passionate about it….and thats not me. I absolutely go to work and give 110%. BUT it’s just not my passion. Because of that, in the past, I wasn’t proud of it. And much like the heckling antics of the game, I would allow others to make me feel ashamed of it.
I felt inferior working at the mall. Most people don't look at it as a “career”. Post grad school, I’d come to dread the question “where are you working now?” , because typically it was followed by the cringeworthy “OHHH” or “How long do you see yourself there?” So I tried to up the ante. When people would ask, I obliged by saying “I’m a MANAGER at so-and-so’s”, desperately throwing in my title to imply significance. Fast forward a few years, and my store closed. As we closed our doors, I assumed I too had closed that chapter of my career life (trust me, there was an abundance of happy dances and “Celebrate good times…” might as well have been my walking theme song). I vowed that I would NEVER again step foot inside the retail arena. And you know what happened? Life. I became a single parent and my life and needs changed. I couldn’t be a stay at home mom with my newborn and toddler as I envisioned, but I didn't want to miss out on the fleeting moments of their early years. While I didn't seek it out, guess what came knocking (and quite timely might I add)? Another job opportunity - in the retail field. And…it was exactly what I needed. It provided the lifestyle and flexibility I longed for that gave me those precious moments back with my babes. This second time around, I went into the workspace feeling grateful, empowered, and with my head held high. That shift in attitude made all the difference in how I approach my work day and interact with those in it. Had I let stubbornness or shame get in the way, I would have missed out on an opportunity that has truly been a blessing.
Don’t allow anyone else’s perceptions dictate your decision making, or make you feel small, or ashamed of your journey. No one else is meant to take the path that is laid out for you, nor understand it. So stop seeking approval for it. Listen and be lead by your heart. We need various workers and trades in order for the world to function properly. Whatever it is that you do food service worker, or financial planner, mailman, mom, or mogul, do it with diligence, pride, and yes, even PASSION. Never say never. Be open to the opportunities in front of you no matter how insignificant you may think they are. The task you may not want to acknowledge, could be the transition you need to take in order to elevate you to the next phase of life. If God is leading you in a certain direction, follow. I promise you the outcome is worth it. Its not a derailment or a detour. Its part of a well orchestrated plan mapped out for your well being. But only if you're willing to block out the naysayers and take the leap.