I tried to positive thinking the shit out of this thing. That’s not normally my style – I’m East Coast pessimism (realism) and cynicism to the bone, but just once, because this was straight up my dream job, and potential salvation from my current vocational doldrums, I figured I’d give The Secret a shot. Every day, for months (months!!) I refined answers to difficult interview questions, envisioned myself doing the job–including but not limited to meetings, phone calls, and filling out time sheets, and repeated mantras affirming that I already had the job–the time-space continuum just needed to catch up. I was committed, and I worked hard, and in the end…fuck all. Didn’t get the gig. Not sure who I lost to, but down to the final five contestants, after waiting and waiting, I finally got the dreaded too-short email, and that was all she wrote. What did I learn from this?
1) Positive thinking is garbage. Maybe not garbage in that it’s worse than telling yourself crap messages about how you’re a failure and have no chance of succeeding (it’s not), but garbage in that thinking positively does not bend the universe to suit your desires. For six months, I mixed Stuart Smalley-style self-affirmation, intense visualization, and legitimate boots on the ground job hunt hustle as hard as I could, but I didn’t get the outcome I wanted.
2) That’s it, really. I can’t think of anything else I learned. After that email, I went for a run, cranked off a bunch of angry push ups, and moped for a couple weeks. Then I got back to the grind, hunting down job openings, writing cover letters, and trying to find a good-enough-thing on the way to the perfect thing. I’m refocused on my writing, because ultimately, writing itself is the goal. Sure, I’m trying to find someone to pay me to do it, and it could be a major improvement in my life once that happens, but until then, I just need to make work steadily. So here this is, and here I am.