When Being Proven Wrong is a Good Thing

It has been a while since I have written anything substantial other than a few rants here and there. Time has gotten away from me. Between the fundraiser and this new job I am trying to land, I have been straight-out, too busy to acknowledge peoples’ birthdays on Facebook kind of busy. That’s pretty busy. Izzie is doing really well and her echo showed no obvious changes. I say obvious since echoes tend not to reveal collaterals which I am sure she must have by now. Considering how active she has become, I wouldn’t be surprised if she had a whole new set of arteries growing in there. She is doing great. We couldn’t be in a better position going into the Fontan at this point. She is almost caught up with her developmental delays and is talking quite a bit. One thing she hasn’t learned is how to slow down.

I’m torn on whether I should teach her. If I teach her to slow down, will that begin to hinder this amazing spirit that she possesses or will it help keep her healthy physically? If I ask her to stop and take a breath, will she learn on her own the feeling of needing to rest or will she get resentful that I am keeping her from pushing forward? I don’t really know the answers right now but I do know that she  is showing me on a daily basis that she can do things I didn’t know she could. For example, she can climb the ladder on the swing set that leads to the slide. She did it more than 20 times yesterday. Everytime she came down the slide she would laugh, clap and then go right back over to the first step. When I was trying to pay attention to Addie she would be halfway up already with no one behind her to make sure she wouldn’t fall. As she reached the middle, I could hear the huffing and puffing start. Didn’t stop her from reaching or climbing the last two steps. When she reached the top she would turn around, smile at me, say something I couldn’t understand or exclaim “ta-dah!” while breathing fast. Without missing a beat she sat down at the top of the slide and wired for one of us to hold her hand as she went down. And then the cycle would start all over again.

If you asked me earlier in the day if she could climb that I would have said no. I would have said, she isn’t strong enough to get up there. She is too little. Or something along those lines. It never occurred to me that I am placing limits on her instead of seeing if she could climb up herself. Izzie proved to me that she can reach higher expectations than I set for her. She showed me that maybe I shouldn’t assume that her heart can’t handle every day activities. At the same time, 20 times was a bit too much for her and she ended up throwing up a little lunch. Oh well. She made her point. Please don’t set limits for me, Mom, because I can and will surprise you.

Which brings me to the subject of this new job I am trying to land. For the past 5 weeks I have been at a financial firm in Boston trying to impress then with my design skills. The position itself is more than just design. It also is about creating compelling content that excites people about the services the firm has to offer. I would be the driver of that content. I was told a few weeks back that this past Friday would be a debrief on my performance at said firm, and the decision would be made to either hire me, or have me stay a little while longer to make sure I am a good fit. The meeting was suppose to be a half hour. One hour and a half later, the meeting broke and I was called into my manager’s office. She told me that I am a great designer. She told me that I proved that beyond a doubt I have the design chops they need for their pieces. What I hadn’t shown was a passion for their content. The concern is whether or not I can dig into their processes and ideas, internalize them, and create successful marketing pieces for them. Will I be excited enough to want to stay after six months or a year? I was told it was a risk she was willing to take, but only if I could be honest with myself about whether this job will be enough. 

I didn’t know what to say. I have never been accused of not being passionate enough about my work- as a matter of fact, I have been accused of being TOO passionate about what I do. What the heck is she talking about? I was so stunned I knew whatever I said wouldn’t appear genuine and I think she knew that too so my assignment over the weekend was to think about whether this type of work would be something that excited me. 

Honestly, I am not a finance girl. I don’t understand finance, nor do I understand a lot about investments. What I do understand is other peoples’ excitement and enthusiasm. I understand that I would need to learn a lot and that excites me. I understand that I would become a resource for other people and that excites me. What doesn’t excite me are numbers. I don’t understand them. My brain has a hard time processing them. Just ask my former math tutor. I think I failed Algebra three times in my scholastic career. The other concern I have is when I don’t understand something, my ADD brain speeds up to skim over material in a desperate attempt to understand it. I have to make a conscious effort to slow it down and re-read many times so I can figure it out. There isn’t enough medication in the world to slow it down when I am trying to figure something out. I offered to read a basic high level brochure on Endowments. I have re-read it at least 5 times already. But I won’t stop until I figure it out. Figuring out complicating processes excites me because it tells me that I am smarter than I give myself credit for. It is an accomplishment. And who wouldn’t get excited over that?

When I was at Eaton Vance, the CEO along with another manager was putting materials together about a new product that would revolutionize the finance industry. It was an extremely complicated process and I had absolutely no idea what any of it meant. My job was to help create materials that would support their argument to the Securities Exchange Commission on how amazing this new product would be. I didn’t understand a single word of it. What I did understand was their excitement. I understood what was at stake  and knew I had to deliver something that was easy to figure out. I asked my colleague a lot of questions and had a few informal conversations which gave me the content I needed to create the materials. It turned out to be a simple explanation on how this product worked, and got them another meeting with the SEC. It put them on the road to getting the product approved. And I still am not 100% sure on how it works. 

Without realizing it, my manager put a limit on me. She felt that I didn’t show enough curiosity to give people confidence to hire me. I think that 5 weeks isn’t enough time for me to change gears from being the vehicle for content to actually driving the content. It was never a level playing field to begin with. The unfairness of the situation did something I don’t think she or the others expected. It lit a fire of “You want to see excitement? I’ll show you excitement! I’ll show you how passionate I can be!”. I’m glad that she was honest with me, and am looking forward to walking into her office on Monday morning and saying “Bring it.” But first, I have to read this brochure one more time. 




2 thoughts on “When Being Proven Wrong is a Good Thing

  1. Appreciating the commitment you put into your website and detailed information you provide.
    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t
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