Happily Ever After, Excerpt—Intellect vs Instinct
Intellect versus Instinct
I consider myself an intelligent woman. Academic and street smart. I know to trust my gut and my gut was telling me, Something’s not right.
The offers made are incredibly generous and on their face seemed reasoned. Their promotion is unwavering:
“You’ve worked hard your whole life. Don't you want someone to take care of you?”
“You should let me take care of you.”
“I can give you everything you need.”
“You don’t have to work.”
“Why would you want to work if you don’t have to?”
“If we're both working then it’ll be more difficult to schedule time for us to get away.”
“Rest. Enjoy yourself.”
“Wouldn't you like to be able to stay home and relax and just take care of the house?”
My thought process was:
I can take care of myself.
Then again, he can offer me much more than I can give myself and my son.
I love my career and I’m successful.
But, it’s true. I have worked hard my whole life.
It would be nice to have a break.
It would be nice to feel what it’s like to have someone take care of me for a change.
Why do I hesitate? I don’t want to lose my independence. I should be able to depend on him.
The words, I should as opposed to, I can, in the last thought bothered me. I trusted him—on the one hand—from what I could see he was successful, polite, giving, and charming. My gut was telling me something was wrong. I couldn’t explain the disparity between the two. Why didn’t this relationship feel right?
I was perplexed by the need to explain. Why? I trusted myself implicitly when it came to my professional life. I’d walked away from two positions without having another in the wings. Worried? Sure. But I knew it was best to move on and felt no need to explain. I trusted. In both cases in short time better jobs. Leaps of faith.
In one interview I was asked, “What makes you so successful?”
“Marketing activities are fluid,” I said. “You have to know that going in and be ready to turn on a dime. I just know when….to….turn left.”
He got it and I felt good talking with someone who got me.
“When can you start?” He asked.
“I’d like two weeks.”
“Sure, you have to give notice.”
“No, I’ve already given my notice. I’d just like to have two weeks to wrap up loose ends.”
“Why would you give notice without having a job to go to?”
“I liken it to a bad relationship,” I told him. “It’s best to start another with the last one behind you.”
He looked at me inquisitively and nodded.
“Do you have any questions for me?” he asked.
“What’s your management style?”
He stared at me, so I continued. “You’re going to get more out of me if I pick up the ball and run with it. I don’t perform well micromanaged. I have no problem with you reigning me in and getting my wings clipped. But you’ll get more out of me if I just take off.”
He got that too. And, I got the job.
My instincts were just as keen daily life. I’d start out with a plan and accepted that the plan could change. If got a feeling, a nudge, to turn right or left. Whatever the message, I heeded it. Down the road literally or figuratively I would find out why. I’d get an important call that I would have missed had I gone out. I’d run into a friend who was in need of my help. I’d miss a traffic jam or come upon a favorable circumstance I’d have otherwise missed if I had not paid attention. My instinct guided me through my days. Simply when I trusted, life ran smoother.
For some reason something didn’t feel right in my new relationship. Instead of trusting, I made excuses. Most of my life, after all, I’d been told I make too much of things. So, I rationalized away the discomfort because I didn’t have an answer to the question. Why would I choose to walk away from all that was being offered? I couldn’t answer that question for myself never mind everyone else in the gallery who would be asking. Calling out, “Are you crazy?”
The uncomfortable need to explain instead of simply trusting baffled me. So, I dismissed the feelings that things were not what they seemed and explained them this way: It’s anxiety probably having to do with the adjustment phase of our relationship and all the changes going on in my life.
Still the whispers continued:
Stay the course.
Things are not as they seem.
Keep your independence.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, this basket.