Years ago, I ran in a 10k race in Eugene, Oregon. Up until the event, I hadn't run more than 2 miles, but the race was packed with energetic, excited women and I got caught up in the frenetic buzz. I ran a seven minute mile right out of the shoot. Problem was, I wasn't a runner, I was more of a walker. And I ultimately finished the race in Last Place, but I didn't care because I was victorious from having shown up and for having finished.
Fast forward to this afternoon, where I was completing my pre-screen interview for the training position in Denver. The recruiter surprised me by inviting me to ask my questions first. Then, she requested high level summary responses to her questions. I answered to the best of my ability, but frankly, I'm not in Pro Form. At the conclusion of the interview, I asked, "Given the qualities and experience you're seeking, what parallels do you see with my experience base and skill set?" "To be perfectly candid," she replied smoothly, "I do see some transference of skills, but not as many as some of our other candidates." And in that moment, I felt a single burst of wind blow right through me.
I don't feel victorious from this experience. I feel sad. To my core.
And I can't stop the questions from rampaging through my head: Why didn't I mindfully prepare higher level responses? When did my life shift so radically that I impress very few people? What does this mean for the rest of my life if I can't land my dream job?
And finally, the most poignant one of all: What the hell am I going to do now?