The year is 2006 and my life is completely upside down. Everything I have known about myself; my dreams and aspirations no longer looking familiar at all.
I know that when I left big city life, I made a comment that small town living is going to be so super boring I will just have to fill up my time studying engineering. I could do that now with all the free time I would have and after all; how difficult could it possibly be? Then The strangest things started to happen, everywhere I went and practically everyone I met was either an Engineer, a Project Manager, or a Quantity Surveyor.
Through all the drinking, partying, and travelling around the country; learning how to snowboard up in the mountains and surf down by the sea; following Prime Circle around like a lost puppy dog I met Tim. Tim introduced me to Steve, his boss who was looking for someone exactly like me - middle aged, older and wiser because he was being pressured by the company to employ an intern. I had my interview with Steve, and he urged me to chat with an ex-female employee of theirs so I could better understand what it would be like as a woman in engineering.
So off I marched myself, met with said ex-female employee and she warned me against the pitfalls, the difficulties and challenges that came with being a woman in the engineering field. She advised that it would be better for my sanity and overall well being if I rather pursued something like architecture. I left her feeling utterly dejected. I had been so sure that engineering was the next step in my journey. Having begun the year with such uncertainty, I had begun to feel guided in the direction of engineering; what else could possibly explain all the serendipitous encounters? Not going back to university and studying engineering seemed to be the least of my problems though; the bigger question dominating my mind at the time was - What will I do next year?
Then, with simply no reason to explain why, I bump into an old girlfriend of mine as I am wondering around aimlessly pondering my next course of action. She states rather simply and quite matter of fact: there is more than one engineering firm happy to sponsor someone with my talents and I should give her my CV and she will have her husband submit it to his firm. I was dumbfounded, of course she was right. Why had I permitted the ex-female employee talk me out of pursuing my dreams?
After some serious soul searching and sound advice from the therapist helping to guide me through my midlife crisis, I realised the problem (in my head anyway) was Steve, the BIG boss.
Uncertain if my actions would cause more damage than solve anything. Picking up the phone and putting it down again. Dialling the number and then deleting it; I summoned up the courage from the depths of my being , phoned Steve to discuss my visit to said ex-female employee and then proceeded to give him the tongue lashing he so rightly deserved.
“She managed to talk me out of going to study engineering next year.”
“Oh she did, did she? I had a feeling she might.”
“I couldn’t understand why, it didn’t make any sense to me how I could allow someone I don’t even know to talk me out of pursuing my dreams. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. She is not the problem. You are.” I say triumphantly.
“And just how did you arrive at that understanding?” he asks.
“It’s because of men like you. You are misogynistic dinosaurs who do not want women in the field. It no longer matters to me though what you think or believe. I am going to study engineering because that is what I am supposed to do next.”
I feel exhilarated by my speech, having delivered it quite eloquently as far as I was concerne
d. My heart stopped beating though because all I could hear on the other end of the line was his giant big belly laugh and I didn’t realise I was holding my breath until I heard it exhale when he said: “I suppose you had better come in on Monday then and sign some papers.”
I have heard it said many times: Every problem or challenge has within it the seeds for the solution and no other experience had highlighted that for me quite like this one did. Without fully knowing what I was doing I had managed to slow down the raging thoughts of disappointment and frustration long enough to be able to hear the inherent wisdom within and stand up for my dreams.
The year is now 2020 and that is quite an understanding because hindsight is 2020. I have grown significantly as a person since that long ago encounter of standing up for my dreams. It is also with hindsight that I now know through the teaching of meditation and The Three Principles that our power lies in calming the raging thoughts and increasing the stillness between them long enough to hear our soul speak and guide us toward the best possible outcome for all.