I interviewed for a position two months ago; a position I had coveted for years, but I did not know it was for this position I had coveted before the interview.
The job advertisement described the functions but not the context. Suffice it to say that my resume was striking and earned me the shortlisting,but I was taken by surprise realizing the post at the interview so was not at my best. It was a 15 minutes interview with just two questions. I thought in typical ### interview both questions would be competency based, but first was substantive in a post i did not know I was interviewing for.
I got into myself by the second question so excelled at that, but I think I was off with the first question. I was devastated, I cried for days. I was in Rome for my vacation when the I took this interview.
Early in the morning a few days later, after a sleepless night wrestling with feelings of inadequacy, I got up early at 6 am and went for a walk. I went for the walk because I did not want my son J to wake up and see me this broken.
I had rented an apartment close to the colosseum so stopped at this point and simply stared and marveled at the splendor of a generation past. It was about 6 am so empty without the tourists, I had it practically to myself.
In the soothing grandeur of the colosseum ‘s civilization and greatness past, I reflected on my pain. I can do this job with my eyes closed, but I am raised in a culture where humility is priced: I have never been good at selling myself.
I turn into a lioness for the rights of oppressed people. I roar loudly and fearlessly to the most powerful for people I care about. But I shrink when it comes to talking about my gifts: I can sell change and social justice, but embarrassed to come across like I am selling myself. This has been my peril. In the last two decades, I have been head hunted to all positions I have had based on my performance and reputation,it is more natural to me to show what I can do than say it upfront.
I wondered through the grounds of the colosseum alone. I have this great building to myself for at least 30 mins before tourists start coming in and I feel much lighter; I did not feel much better, but came out with a lighter perspective.
For a moment I wondered about the men and women who built this and who stood in the grounds. Like the colosseum, we leave symbols of our greatness behind, and not always ourselves. The journey continues.