“Do it, Nancy,” the Niggling Little Voice whispered in my ear. “It will be wonderful. The opportunity of a lifetime.”
He was right. That voice certainly had a point. It WAS an amazing opportunity. “If you don’t jump now, you’ll regret it,” he said. “Better grab the chance before it’s too late.”
But mostly I wasn’t listening to the Niggling Little Voice. I was paying attention to the Loud Obnoxious Voice stomping on my shoulder, screaming in my other ear. “IT’LL MAKE YOU LOOK COOL IN EVERYBODY’S EYES. THEY WILL THINK YOU ARE GLAMOROUS AND LIVING THE JET-SETTING LIFESTYLE. THEY WILL THINK YOU ARE CRAZY IF YOU DON’T DO IT! YOU’LL BE A H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E.”
This whole thing had started a couple hours earlier while seated around the dinner table at Grandma’s house.
“I just got an email,” John told me between forkfuls of Grandma’s macaroni and cheese. “There’s a job in Burma. I can have it if I want it.”
“For when?” I asked. “This school year?”
“Yeah. They need somebody right away. Apparently, the job is mine if I want it.”
But then the conversation changed. Grandma and the boys were talking about sailing, and we moved on to other topics.
And my mind fixated on that Burma thing.
John loves teaching advanced classes. This job was for AP math and science. At a fantastic school in Burma. And it would pay a lot more than I’m getting in speaking fees and book sales.
It sounded incredible. The opportunity of a lifetime, really.
That Niggling Little Voice was persistent. “It would be a new experience. You’ve never lived in Burma before.”
But then I stepped into the conversation. “You’re happy in Boise, Nancy,” I told myself. “You’ve got your beads, and the kids are happy in Boise. Their FIRST Robotics team… their advanced math/science school… swim team… cross country and track… Those are all great things. They are wonderful opportunities for Davy and Daryl.”
“But they aren’t Burma,” the Niggling Little Voice said. “Burma will have different opportunities.
“YOU WON’T LOOK SO COOL IN BOISE,” the Loud Obnoxious Voice yelled. “THINK HOW GLAMOROUS AND EXOTIC YOU COULD BE. EVERYONE WOULD BE ENVIOUS.”
“Listen to yourself,” I answered myself in my mind. “There are a lot of incredible things about Boise. The boys are settling in and establishing a home. That’s a good thing.”
“BUT IT’S BURMA!” screamed the little monster on my shoulder. “E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y would want to go to Burma! People will think your life is awesome if you go. THEY WILL THINK YOUR LIFE IS BORING IF YOU STAY IN IDAHO.”
The Niggling Little Voice told me to grab the opportunity and go.
The Loud Obnoxious Voice told me everybody else would think I’m cool if I went.
But I knew my heart wanted to be in Boise, Idaho.
“I know what I want,” I told them both. “And really, that’s all that matters.”
The longer the internal conversation went on, the more convinced I was that Boise was the right place. I would let John make the decision and, if he really wanted to go to Burma, I would seriously consider it. But secretly, I hoped he would say no.
And this morning, he told me he had already sent the email. No it was.
It wasn’t all that long ago that I was wrestling that internal demon, trying to rationalize my desire to settle into Boise and put down roots. Boise had called, but I had a hard time listening.
I felt I had to keep up with the Joneses, although they were different Joneses than most people try to keep up with. I had to impress people with my worldliness. I had set the bar high, and didn’t want to disappoint.
And then came the moment when it all made sense to me and I realized it was perfectly okay to stay in Boise. Now I know we made the right decision.
I knew all along that I didn’t want to move. I knew all along that Boise was the best place for us right now. From the moment John mentioned the job, I knew I didn’t want him to take it. I just had a hard time separating out *MY* desires from what I perceive others would want.
Who am I living my life for? For me and my family? Or “them”? Who will I allow to have a vote? The universe has spoken. I am glad I listened.
Will you listen too? Who are you answering to? Yourself? Or “them?” Are you trying to keep up with the Joneses?