Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why I'm dragging my feet (dreams ddd 2 of 3)

It's been 5 months since the job was posted, and I still haven't applied.  It's not that I'm waiting for the will of God to be revealed to me in 30 foot letters of fire because that would be dumb.  (Just Do Something turned out to be an excellent little book giving language and explanations to process through our wrong-headed misunderstandings about God's will in the modern U.S. church.)  So what is making me be stupid?

1. I don't want to let my dream be killed.  I am apparently okay with it lingering in a coma, as long as I don't have to deal with the deathblow and separation.  I am being a coward, preventing myself from failing by not trying.  Maybe I'm waiting for the position to be filled, thus taking it out of my hands/control to do anything about.  [Or I was until I talked to the head of the department, and he said that they had a favored candidate who proceeded to not pass muster, thus opening the position again and foxing my procrastinatory attempts at decision avoidance.]

2. I've heard some things that indicate that a thoughtful person who values truth-seeking over niceness might have a rough time there now. 
I'm much more outspoken and less willing to just let stupidity lie to preserve peace (defined here as the absence of open debate that might involve opposition/hostility).  I have less tolerance for blind dogmatism than I used to (and I never had much to begin with).  I am afraid I might not like working there, afraid I've built this dream up onto a pedestal, and the reality will not be like the dream at all, but then I'll be married to it and trapped by it and my commitment to it because that's how I am.  [This seems a reasonable concern until you combine it with 3.]

3. I'm feeling comfortable with where I am, literally and figuratively.  I have a more-or-less permanent job that pays the bills and where my managers and co-workers value me.  I'm part of an artistic community that I enjoy.  I'm active in the alumni association.  I'm part of a Christian community I can tolerate.  I have friends here.  I may still be able to teach (part time) with the connections I have.  I am safe-ish and on better financial footing than I have been since my injury.  Why would I want to risk moving far away to the middle of nowehere to a possibly repressive environment where I would be trying to do something full time that I've never done before and might discover I dislike or am incapable of doing?

4. I don't do well when I pursue things I'm not passionate about.  It's not like I always got everything I applied for passionately, but I can't think of one time that I did get something I applied for when I wasn't really committed to and passionate about it.  I don't "phone in" performances well.  I have this tendency to sabotage myself in cases like this by procrastinating until I have to do a slapdash job at the last minute, and it shows.  Or I'll say things in extremely non-diplomatic ways to repel people.  I push them away and thus control my own failure.  I'm so good at it that I do it unconsciously unless I am extremely vigilant and alert.  I am not very vigilant and alert right now.  But I don't want to get rejected for that reason this time.  I want to turn in an honest application and stand or fall honestly.

This could all be a moot point.  I could be considered unacceptable for the job, and that would be the end of the matter.  [Or not, since I'm hearing rumblings that they might rethink the doctrinal statement in the next few years, which would reopen all of this if I fail to make it through this time.  As usual, I just want it to be over.]

If I do pass muster, though, I'm going to have some tough choices to make all within about a three week period of lease renewals and housing searches.  I need to think about the choices ahead of time, so I can avoid rushed decisions I will be more likely to regret.

What are your thoughts on these reasons?  Feel free to tell me I'm being ridiculous.  :)  I numbered them, so it would be easier to comment on specific concerns.  :)

To be continued . . .


  1. So, did you apply? Methinks you did. Good.

    So, you've overcome the obstacle of fear #1. That's good. I think the others are legitimate concerns, although I can't imagine you sabotaging yourself (#4) if they accept you for the position. Clearly you love to teach. (Not everyone loves to learn, so that may be an obstacle. But I'm sure you've already encountered those students.) And clearly this is still a dream, a strong, desirable dream, so strong that it's hard to face it head on for fear it will disappoint in any of a thousand ways. I guess I'm of the opinion that if it's still something you want deep down, despite the fears, you should try and just see what happens.

    Waiting expectantly for more news!

  2. I did apply after sorting all this out. :) As for 4, I'm afraid I'll sabotage myself before they offer me the position (phone interview, possible in-person interview, all kinds of chances). I'm very good and subtle about it, unfortunately.

    Thank you for your insight about the dream. The way you phrased it helped me to clarify/face the fact that it's fear of the unknown/disappointment that's making me skittish. I'll have to think about that some more as I try to decide if I'm just stubbornly clinging to an old dream on principle or whether its really something I should continue to dream about and possibly make a reality.

    As a character I love would say, "Let's see what happens" indeed. :)

    Thank you!

  3. Then again, I do sometimes sabotage myself after I get there. My last job at RetailEstablishment really did seem like a dream job for a couple of years, but then it started getting more and more nightmarish, leading me to doubt my ability to choose good dreams, I guess.

    I just cared too much to let things fall apart when I could see ways to prevent them, but forces outside my control intervened in stupid ways, and I smashed myself. I could see that happening quite easily here. If this dream does come true, let's hope I've learned something and will be able to respond better (or at least destroy myself less :).