One recent Friday, I was winding down what I wanted to get done for the week, trying to get myself to a point I’d be happy to start from on Monday. A colleague that I am just getting to know came by to chat to an office mate. Finding his intended partner of conversation absent, he began the polite, small talk with me that demonstrates interest in other people’s experience and elicits the ‘how did you get to be where your are now’ conversation.
Maybe because it was Friday, maybe because I don’t work with him directly, my persona of controlled self was down and my story faltered. I was too honest. I shared the story of how I got here that depicted cracks of uncertainty. I wanted to back out, start over. How had I let this happen? I knew better. Where had my story gone, the one that displayed my choices like mile markers – predictable.
I have typically prided myself on having a pitch – the concise elevator speech that depicts my journey to here as a series of active, controlled choices; the only story we really feel comfortable hearing, everything else leaving us unsure of how to respond. If others were to hint that life has not been orderly and intentional, we might be forced to examine our own journey while simultaneously wanting affirmation we are not alone. We are not the only ones who question, who doubt, and who worry what may happen next.
I walked out of the office unsettled, regretting my sincerity, wanting more from others than what I had offered of myself.