Home is Where the Heart Is: A Musing on Work as Calling

A few months ago I left self-employment and the business world to become the communications coordinator at an independent, college prep school. The move was quite intentional. Business was fine. I was making a decent living. The proverbial phone was ringing. The work just wasn't making my heart go pitter patter anymore, and it hadn't for a long time. I was tweaking a model for which I'd long since lost my zeal. Something had to change.

Earlier in 2016 I spent some time in classes that were teaching me how to think about "calling" and how to make a new "container" for my life. Those were some damned powerful classes and months of intense exploration. At the time it felt like so much of the seeking and exploring I've done for decades.

Going into that exploration, I thought I was going to focus my business in certain markets with specific products. I was working toward coaching certification and had earned certifications in personal branding, social media, etc. I built a website (this site is its stripped-down version). I printed new cards. I though I got my shit together.

I was also aware that the model I was building was a good enough placeholder until I figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up.

Then I had one of those time-standing-still, life-flashing-before my eyes experiences. A friend had called, and something he said triggered that blinding flash of thoughts and images that led to one of the most significant moves of my life. I won't go into details about that call. It matters not. What does matter is within 20 minutes of hanging up, I sent an email telling the person who is now the best colleague I've ever had (Steve doesn't count) that I wanted to work with her.

I'm not sure I had ever been so focused on something as I was making my way into this organization. I think it may have been the best sales process I ever completed in spite that in the panel interview, I was a freaking mess. My social anxiety went into overdrive. I couldn't feel my body except for the sweat pouring off of my head, and I couldn't get my mouth to work right. I admitted to my interviewers that I was extraordinarily nervous.

I did the most honest version of myself I could do under the circumstances. And I said something like, "even though I don't know a thing about the other candidates, I know no one wants this job more than I do. And no one is more qualified." It was the one time my mouth worked perfectly. I love a good transcendent moment.

My days are filled with joy. I adore my colleagues and the students (especially those who randomly inhabit my office). Being around the process of teaching and learning makes my soul light up. I could gush on. I'll save some of it for other posts. Oh yes, I have been feeling the writing itch. Perhaps I'll scratch it here from time to time.

The best I can describe it, I am now home. The path was certainly not something I would have mapped out. I've always said I'm more of a compass kind of girl. That big goals just aren't my thing. That the destination is just a way to experience the journey. Now I'm having this remarkable simultaneous experience of both the journey and the destination.

Be still my beating heart.