Today I received news that I did not get a job that I really wanted. A job that I thought, in my delusional thoughts, was perfect for me and vice versa. Not only did I not get the job, I didn't even get a second interview.
This has me questioning a lot of things. Like what I know and what I don't (both practical knowledge and that intrinsic, intuitive knowledge). Like what I have been doing for the past 36 years - more specifically, the last 8 years - when I have been A) doing association work, and B) raising a child; both of which I would like to devote a number of the rest of my adult years to.
I've lost some things and I've found some things. Is it an even trade? It depends on the day; sometimes the hour. It also depends on who you ask.
I've lost confidence in my ability to network effectively with other adults. Because there is no news scroll on Noggin, I am woefully unprepared to hold a conversation on Obama's health care plan, the pros and cons of getting involved in the Iranian unrest (do I get points for knowing there is unrest?) or the latest trends in change management.
I have found the ability to engage preschoolers in a game of Infinity Questions (adults know it better as "20 Questions") on topics as broad on why it is NOT raining, why the Play-Doh is red and what makes glue stick.
I have lost three years of my career, where I could have been promoted to senior manager or maybe even department head (again, have I mentioned I am delusional?). This includes professional development, trends in association management, opportunities to be mentored and, perhaps, to mentor.
I have gained three and a half exceptional years with my son. Years that I would not trade for all the professional opportunity in the universe.
I have lost a great percentage of my professional confidence. Do I know how to effectively recruit and retain volunteers? Can I still write a successful communication and marketing plan? Could I EVER? I don;t even know anymore.
I have found maternal instincts that I never thought I had and never believed I even wanted. This includes trusting my gut when it comes to discipline, nutrition, education and many other aspects of making sure my phenomenal boy turns into a happy, healthy, productive member of society.
I've lost confidence, found loads of doubt. Lost security and found a whole new world of worry.
I've lost time. And I've found it.