So today I put forward a proposal to my company. Here is what it said: I would like to work less, be paid more for each hour I work and I’d like to do all those hours from home.
Here’s what they said. You want WHAT? I explained again that I wanted more money (because I wasn’t being currently compensated appropriately for the caliber of my work), I wanted to work fewer hours (so I could have the flexibility to be with my kids more) AND I wanted to do all of this remotely (home or while traveling with my husband and kids).
For days I’d imagined this moment and kept thinking that they would look at me with an expression that said that “you have SOME NERVE making these demands!”
But instead, they said OK. They thought we could work it out.
What? I was confused. No resistance? NO challenge on the money part? I was almost hoping for some pushback so I could do my speech about my worth in the market, my years of loyalty, my commitment…you know, I am a woman, hear me roar!
So now, starting September 1, I will be working from home…I just wish I knew what that meant exactly.
Facing Fear With Eleanor
As a suggestion from a close friend, I have been reading the book My Year With Eleanor, by Noelle Hancock. It brought up a point that is sometimes forgotten among recent college grads, which is life is better lived when we challenge ourselves and look towards exciting opportunities. This is the time to stretch boundaries, be adventurous, and face fears that would normally hold us back.
Last year, I dared to stretch my comfort zone by going to the New York School of Trapeze. I took a two-hour beginners class with a group of about six other students. I quickly discovered that this was not the first time for most of the other students and that one of them was a professional gymnast. They made the process of gliding through the air look so effortless.
I, on the other hand, was a complete and utter beginner. I started shaking as I climbed the rattling latter to the marker. I hesitated in grabbing the trapeze bar in front of me, which meant leaning 45 degrees over a ledge with only a tiny man holding me back. But as soon as I leaped off the platform and zoomed through the air, my instincts took over. I tucked my knees, did a backflip mount and hit the net within seconds.
“I did it!” I kept thinking. I looked at the clock, only fifteen minutes passed, “Now I have to do that 20 more times?”
Because even though I was able to accomplish the acrobatic trick on the first go around, it didn’t make it any less scary. I have found that the comfort of trying new things doesn’t happen off the bat, it takes time, patience and a lot of pushing onward. Nothing worthwhile comes naturally at first, which is why we have voice lessons, dance rehearsals, acting coaches, and graduated schools.
With that said, I continue to climb that latter, which seemingly became a lot more sturdy as time went on. I learned a few tricks, even did a catch at the end. It was a fulfilling experience, one that I am grateful I can say I did.
While that was a year ago, the rate of exploring new activities has dwindled. I am ready again, to take on fear. With Eleanor by my side, and my best friend inspiring me, I am willing to “do one thing every day that scares me“.
This year I turn 27, and I am dedicated to do 27 new and exciting activities that push me towards making the most out of life. Some may just be superficial acts like dying my hair, and others may be life changers, such as traveling the world. Either way, the actions I take have to at least spark some fear, and be something I would normally never do.