No one in my immediate circle of family or community knows what I do for a living.
Most of them think I work in “business.” Try asking a Malu person to explain to you what this means. To be completely honest, I don’t think I really know either, but I have spent a lot of time floating around, working in a couple of different marketing jobs since the middle of college until now.
In both of my jobs out of college, I experienced very turbulent working conditions. Unfortunately for me, my strength is in my soft skills. Soft meaning dispensable, soft meaning that my job is always in constant influx, that I have been moved around a lot and expected to adjust. It also means that I often find myself not being too attached to my work because it is forever changing.
When I first graduated from college, I put a lot of weight into my career identity. It was really important to me to be liked, to be good at my job – and on top of being both an overachiever and a high performer, I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well in the workplace. This is not a bad thing; I actually feel that I have found a lot of joy in being this type of person – it has also has served me very well as I pursued my other interests. However, it is only a small portion of my entire identity and giving it too much energy often created a lot of unrest in my spirit.
Just recently, I have been thinking a lot about a career change – writing and creating the Relentless movement fulltime. I had been reaching out to a few friends about freelance work and I was met with some pretty interesting news about upcoming layoffs in my division. It totally threw me off. I had been asking God a lot about leaving my work and I just wasn’t hearing Him say that.
I think God has taught me a lot about our reactionary responses to Him. In that instance, I was rattling off in prayer, in fear and trembling, all the back-up work plans I could think of because I didn’t want to leave New York. The worst thing that could ever possibly happen to me now was to tell my family that they were right and I was moving back into their loving (“and told you so”) arms. But I remember sitting in all these feelings that week and asking God, do you want me to leave this place?
He still hasn’t told me to leave. And more things keep happening. My heart is palpating seven energy drinks in, while my mind is reminding me to trust God and trust the process . This is a totally awful feeling – but I have come to find that in most scary, God-moving scenarios, there are moments where heart and mind are misaligned. I am coming to find that these spaces are perfectly human, natural – that we as humans are never always fully trusting God and what He is doing, that we rarely ever see the full picture and we just… don’t know.
The trusting in God piece in all of this will ebb and flow into every arena of your life – but especially in your purpose. And I am learning that God actually creates and gives us scenarios to exercise into our grand, purpose-driven life. These scenario rarely look or feel like what we feel He has called us to do. Yet, they are important for us to refine into who we are called to be.
There are lessons in the discomfort. I am learning how to sit in it better.