A couple of months ago I saw a video for the song “Brave” by Sarah Barielles. The song is about being brave and speaking your mind. The video shows people “happy dancing” in public. They are dancing and happy because dancing is fun, and happy people dance. They seemed so free.
Then the bridge came on and it goes like this:
“Maybe there’s a way of the cage where you live. Maybe one of these days you can let the light in and show me…how big your brave is.”
I started to cry.
This song has been with me (literally on my iphone and figuratively in my head) every since that day. It inspired my post to get unstuck. I have been trying to take baby steps with being less of a perfectionist, but, to be honest, I have still been working a lot and keeping everyone happy except myself.
But I was also doing a lot of thinking.
I had an epiphany a couple of weeks ago that I don’t like managing people doing stuff, I like to do stuff. I have zero interest in deciding what someone else should work on, telling them what to do, giving them feedback on it, and sometimes redoing it. I like to come up with a plan and execute the plan. I like working WITH other people, and I like helping people and taking care of people, but I don’t want to be responsible for their work. I don’t want to climb the ladder. I don’t need a promotion. I want LESS. Less work that I don’t like, less stress, more happy.
I had big plans to go in and tell my boss this (when she returned from her travels) because she keeps planning for me to run large teams and every time it comes up, I just stay quiet and internally pray that it does not happen (and things change SO fast all the time that I have learned not to make a stink until it happens.)
Today, it happened. I got the call that someone quit and my boss just started talking about me taking his job. I protested. I told her about my plans to come in and talk to her about not managing people. I was almost crying. At one point she said “I feel like I am talking you off a bridge.” But she continued to try to sell me on it! She is an amazing sales person and me taking this job would make her life so much easier. I was not brave this morning, and I caved in and told her I would take the job.
All day, I was panicked and miserable. I couldn’t eat. Could barely work. I pictured people congratulating me on my promotion and me starting to cry. I could not picture how I could fly to Germany and rally a team of people I had no interest in managing. This was not good. Why in the world would I agree to me MORE miserable!!! I was already SO miserable!!
But what would happen if I called her back and said no? I would piss her off. I would make her life harder. I might damage our relationship. I might be committing career suicide. I might have to find a new job. I might get a new boss. It was all scary but it all sounded better than actually DOING the job I had been praying would not land in my lap.
I called her back tonight and told her I didn’t want the job. The conversation was short. She was not happy. I have no idea what will happen next, but I might have just broken out of my cage.
Check out my inspiration, here…