A new adventure and the courage to try

We left our beloved Colorado in August 2016 and moved into our Midway home two months later. I haven’t kept my frustrations a secret over my lack of direction. I’ve wanted to just delve into this new life, leaving behind the old but I’ve been forced to straddle both. Though I’m grateful for my continued work in Denver, I have hated having the opportunities I’m missing thrown in my face.

I’ve strongly felt I needed to go a different direction but every time I thought I had the answer, I was reeled back in with the implicit instructions “Be patient. Just wait. Just trust.” For an impatient self-starter this has, at times, felt like agony.

Early-fall, I started looking for jobs at my alma mater, BYU, located about 40 minutes away up Provo Canyon. Though my best-case scenario is to work from home forever, I’ve grown tired of the roller-coaster freelance world, need stability and am not prepared to waste my time with the Heber Valley’s $12/hour wages. BYU has a cap on full-time employees so their way around it is offer 3/4 time positions without health benefits but with some other perks like solid pay, 401K, and a reduced number of applicants because most at this level are seeking full-time.

In October, I felt certain I was going to a receive an offer for that position and when it didn’t come through, I was stunned. There was another job that had been posted around the same time but I had not applied because it wasn’t as a seamless fit and had a lot more responsibility associated with it. I interviewed twice for that position but never heard back, a relief because I really didn’t want it.

And then I saw another posting, THE posting, and applied for it. The pay was less than the other two but the responsibilities were more in line with my talents and passions. I interviewed a few days before Christmas but at the last minute, I hesitated to even go and told Jamie I wasn’t sure I could work for this particular department. Patient man that he is, he said, “JUST GO AND SEE.”

I had just interviewed in some of the most architecturally cutting-edge properties on campus so when I walked into the building with it’s 1970s tile and maze of scaffolding (they’re raising the ceilings), I balked a bit. But from the moment I walked into the office, I felt right at home. The interview with the assistant dean and executive secretary was seamless and we immediately clicked–it felt more like a conversation. Near the end of it, they said they wanted to move quickly and that they did. Within a few hours of coming home, the HR department had sent me a background check form, the next day I received an “emotional intelligence” test (which I somehow passed) and they spent the holidays checking my references.

Last week, I received the offer. With it comes excitement and mourning. It’s a fairly flexible 3/4-time position but when added with everything else on my plate (Mile High Mamas + a campaign with Park City this winter), how am I going to juggle it all? Working from home for the past 12 years has been a gift as I’ve been 100% available for my family. But now my endless summer days of play with them will be limited and it feels like the end of a wonderful era. But I also crave the stability. I’m ready to help dig ourselves out of the financial headaches of this move with so many daunting expenses that include another car, yard and finishing the basement.

My friend Kelly had posted the following on Facebook the previous week and it had really resonated with me. “Affirmation to try: I have the faith to let go of the outcome.”

How difficult is this? One of our frustration wtih Hadley right now is she gets so overwhelmed with everything that she just shuts down…she doesn’t even have the courage to try because of the fear of how it will turn out. But what if we made a new paradigm in our lives that does not define failure as not achieving our goal but instead, failure as not even attempting to try.

In my office, I had a quote from Jane Pauley before she launched her short-lived talk show on the same week that Oprah infamously gave everyone in her audience a car. She said, “Going up against Oprah I warned my kids that this was a long shot, but that I defined success as having the courage to try.”

Here’s for a year of courage and the wild ride ahead!

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