Yesterday I had a revelation. I am Beyoncé, Madonna, Prince, Kylie, Sting, Amy et al. I am not, and never was one of The Spice Girls, Take That, Five Star or S Club 7 (though they do throw good parties). So why did I ever try? Don’t worry, I don’t mean it literally and I’ve not lost my mind. Nope, I just had a moment of clarity in the midst of a shitty day. Y’know, those days when you don’t get what you want and you think it’s the worst thing ever? Yep. Find the lesson people, find the lesson.
Let’s wind back to this time last week. I came across a job opportunity. A very cool job with a very cool company. I didn’t need a job at the time that I came across it. I work freelance and spend the rest of my time taking care of my family and myself. But I wanted the job. My ego wanted me to have the job. I wanted the financial security it offered and I wanted the chance to work with other creative people.
I got an interview and during it, I ignored the first red flag. A nagging thought at the back of my mind. Do I want to give my creativity in order to make other people rich and successful? I have done it time and again for employers and clients and every time, I question the logic of it. Where’s the fun in helping my clients make millions and only getting my hands on a miniscule proportion of their success? If I can do it for them, surely I should cut out the middle man and do it for myself? But I loved the company and the job sounded great so, I folded up that red flag, put it in my back pocket and continued with the interview.
Anyway, the second red flag came when I passed the interview stage and was invited in for a work trial. I’m quite happy working alone. In fact, I might work better alone. I like people, I’m sociable and I love collaborating with others, but I am not sure I am the kind of woman who needs to be part of a team. However, I ignored those pesky red flags and decided that I desperately wanted the job (even though I hadn’t been looking for one). It was my time to come out from my shell and blow everyone away with my sheer fabulousness! My prospective employer would recognise that, give me the job and send me galloping off into the creative big league. Long story short – I didn’t get the job. I moaned, and whined and threw my hands to the air, exasperated that I had been overlooked. That I wasn’t quite good enough – again (read my recent Growing Pains posts Part 1 and Part 2 for a little context). And then, I sat on my deck and had a sulk about it all, before coming to quite a stunning realisation.
I am a solo artist. I am not a member of a band. Know what I mean? I realised that I have always been this way. At school I tried to be accepted, join the cliques, be one of the girls, do what everyone else did. I managed it on and off, but I never felt connected to it. Once I got into my career in PR I realised that, although I loved the writing and pitching, I didn’t live for my job. I had no interest in high-fiving a new client win (especially the one who manufactured sewage pipes), and I didn’t want to spend hours pretending to enjoy after work drinks with clients and colleagues I hadn’t chosen as friends. I wanted to be at home, doing something else, with someone else, somewhere else. I wanted to do what I do, in the way I like to do it, when I like to do it, and just be left alone to get on with it.
So there you have it. I’m leaving the band – even though they technically didn’t ask me to join it. I’m going solo – or at least, staying solo. It’s the only way I know how to be my best self. I’d still kind of like that job though, it really was very cool.