The past week was really a roller coaster ride for me. First, I was so keen on accepting the job offer. Then I realized I didn’t want it after all. And thus began a tumultuous period of vacillating between wanting to say yes and wanting to say no.
Yesterday, I finally said no. Even if the job was something I’ve always imagined doing, even if it will augment my income exponentially, even if this could be my ticket to bigger and better things, I still decided to say no.
The strange thing is, the people who know me well— every single one of them— are not surprised at my decision. As a good friend put it last night as I was discussing the matter with him in tears (yes, I’m dramatic that way) and wondering whether I might be making the biggest mistake of my life, I just happen to know what really matters to me and there’s nothing wrong with that. I happen to know that at this point, spending time with Mama is a priority because growing up without her has put a strain on our relationship, and it feels like we are catching up just now. I happen to know that no matter how dedicated I can be to what I’m doing, I can never be happy in a job that eats up all of my time,. I happen to know that it’s not success or money or prestige that motivates me. I happen to know where my passions lie.
What made it hard for me to decide was the thought that I might be saying no to something that could open more doors for me in the future. But as my friend correctly pointed out, if this job offer came out of nowhere, that only proves that it can happen again. So maybe he’s right. Maybe there will be better offers in the future. Maybe I’m meant to be somewhere else. Or maybe I’m just fine where I am right now, and even here, the best is yet to come.
What matters though is that despite the thought that this could be a monumental mistake that I’m making, I’m really at peace with my decision. I’m convinced that it’s the best decision I can make because it’s consistent with who I am. In the middle of my confusion, I was afraid that saying no would mean taking the easy path and lacking the courage to take on more responsibilities. Now I realize that courage is being true to yourself and embracing who you are even if who you are is contrary to what most people expect. Courage is knowing that you might be making a mistake, but you decide to make it anyway because you know what’s more important to you in the long run.
This isn’t the first time that I’m letting go of what seems to be a wonderful opportunity. But when I think of all the times I said no in the past and to where those no’s have led me, I smile at the certainty that I have chosen well. God has consistently blessed my decision. As I have learned over the years, any decision that’s based on love– whether love for yourself or love for others—He will always honor and bless.