Am I really writing about Most Embarrassing Moments on New Year's Eve? Why Yes . . . Yes I am!
When my child was in first grade, I thought it would be funny to share with him my Most Embarrassing Moment - so I told him about the time I farted in yoga class. Imagine my surprise when just a few days later my good friend (and fellow mama of 1st grade twins) - called to let me know that my kiddo had proudly asked her if she wanted to hear about his moms' Most Embarassing Moment? She was ALL EARS. Oh my - what a funny day that was!
The truth is that while tooting in yoga class was indeed embarrassing, it wasn't actually my most embarrassing moment. Or should I say, I was able to let that moment go a long time ago. The most cringe-worthy event? That shame-filled story I kept to myself for years. It went something like this:
When I moved to Seattle just after college graduation in 1993, I got a job as a temp working with my roommate at Outdoor Research. Long story short, it was clear after just a few weeks that I needed to do something different, so I started looking for a new gig. This was long before the internet, which meant job hunting looked more like buying the Sunday paper on Saturday afternoon, and then going through the "want ads", and sending out resumes & cover letters on Monday morning. Phew!
And wouldn't you know it, one week there was a job posting for my dream job: Working for a company that designed and sold fashionable women's shoes. (Cue angels singing!) If you know anything about me you know that I am passionate about footwear - and the job description felt like it was written just for me! I can't remember exactly what the position was for, but I know it was an entry level office job - probably along the lines of receptionist or administrative assistant. With my college degree in Japanese? I was totally qualified! (OK in hindsight totally over-qualified but whatever . . .)
To add to the juicy-ness of the job-description, the office was located in an old warehouse building near the historic Pike Place Market. (Upstairs from the original Wild Ginger on Western - for those of you who are familiar with Seattle). The whole thing was so fabulous I could barely contain my excitement when I arrived for my interview.
Of course that's when everything went sideways.
The exact details of the question I was asked is blurry, but I was talking about my experience living in Japan, and describing how as a tall, blonde woman I struggled because I stuck out like a sore thumb in their homogenous society. <--- attempting to state that I would never fit in because I didn't have straight black hair. What came out instead of homogenous though? Was monogomous. Yup - not only was it off, is was way off.
Needless to say I didn't get the dream job, and I kept that little story mostly to myself for over 20 years. TWENTY YEARS - that's how big the sting of shame was. The bigger the stakes - I wanted that job so badly - the bigger the shame. * sigh *
Last year I was on the phone with my dear friend who teaches community college, and she made a comment about how she always tells her students to keep things simple during the interview process, something about not trying to use fancy words? And that's when it all came gushing out - and we laughed and laughed, and in just a few short minutes I felt about 100 pounds lighter.
To quote Brené Brown, "When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending." E-x-a-c-t-l-y. And you know what feeling comes with sharing your stories, and writing your own ending? FREEDOM.
Are you keeping any stories under lock-and-key for fear that you might actually die if you shared them? Is it time to release those along with all their associated feelings of vulnerability and shame? I encourage you to give it a try - the resulting lightness, joy and freedom are priceless!
Incidentally my word for 2017? Freedom!
Wishing you all a Happy Happy New Year . . .
Love and Light,
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Meet me here on Saturdays for some weekly vibes - honoring the week that has past, and clearing the way for what's new. Gather your journal and favorite pen, along with a hot cup of coffee/tea/chai - and settle in for 30 minutes dedicated to YOU.