“Well, but money isn’t your thing.”
I ask him what my thing is.
“It’s environment and equality and hitchhiking in Iran. But you have to have foundations if you’re going to have principles. You need to earn some money.”
I ask him how I’ll make money, what am I good at?
“Making people feel calm and respected.”
Flash forward a day, and I’ve completed two interviews, and had Siberian hitch hikers sleeping on my living room floor.
What am I aiming for? Freedom from fear.
The strangers make me better. The strangers don’t know me. They don’t know all of my flaws, or what I see as cracks in my paint. They also challenge me to reinvent myself, and to let go of preconceived notions that just don’t need to stick.
I had a great interview today, and a glimpse at a new dream job. Progress, a direction. I got the second interview. And I have no idea if I’ll get the job or not, but that’s not what matters. What matters is I’m learning to trust again.
This is the beginning of a new Routine. Things are getting clearer. All the distractions fall away and I see my life around me. What is important, who is important, and how to keep true.
Yesterday O came into my office, and coached me.
“I’m telling you this because I think of you like my little sister. You need to get a house, get married, and have a baby. It will change your perspective on things.”
“But I want to hitchhike Iran, like you said.”
“It’s selfish. Think of your family.”
“I want to write a book.”
“Anyone can write a book. Uber drivers write books.”
“I want a career.”
Thanks for taking me under your wing this year, O. You’ve been a great friend, mentor and ally to me. And you have taught me more than I thought I could learn in a single year. Our cross cultural conversations have made me think, and our different personalities have made me realize that we all belong. And those of us who are similar will find one another. The ones itching for rebellion and overthrow of authority. I’m so lucky to have had a boss who encouraged that in me.
He told me that he didn’t want me to stay in an environment that wasn’t supportive of me. That he wanted me to find a place that helped me grow and learn and feel empowered, and who also paid me.
I realized last night that I’m scared of not being extraordinary. I’m scared of not being magical. I’m scared of not believing in myself, of not being competent in myself. I’m scared of not being revolutionary.
We had Siberian hitchhikers sleeping on our living room floor last night. And today at lunch we talked about gay rights, refugees, Trump and Putin with them.
I told them that my dad has a Masters in Russian, and they both looked at each other like they had landed up in a Russian-America spy daughter’s apartment in America.
I have to be an idealist. I have to be an explorer. I have to be a writer.