I will say it wasn't what I was expecting. What I'd been told, you see, was that there were two positions and it was down to three people, myself being one of them. Okay, that's a 66 2/3% chance. But then, I found out it was just for one position - 33 1/3% - and I wasn't the one - 0%...
Now, this came as something of a shock. I'd gone in for quite a few interviews and I had felt, for one of the few times in my life, like I really belonged there. I met people who felt the same way as I did, who had the same philosophy as me, when it came to the importance of writing well. It was like meeting a girl you really liked... and finding out she didn't like you quite as much.
So, there I was.
Now, last weekend, Clostio had come down to visit and, rather than getting ourselves totally faced, the two of us sat down and had a nice, long talk. It was refreshing. One of the things we talked about was our spiritual lives. I told Tim about how, when I was with Rosa, I once spent quite a bit of my time and energy on spiritual pursuits, focusing my spiritual energy on Buddhist teachings and on meditation. But that stopped after Rosa and I split up, I would have done well to continue focusing on that but I didn't and it caused quite a few problems. I expressed how focusing my energy back on that might be a good idea and that I should do that.
Now, Buddhism teaches us that all life is suffering. It's not Buddhism's primary teaching, because no one really needs to be taught that. The primary teaching is how to find relief from suffering. Suffering stems from desire and loss. We all experience loss and we all desire and that leads to suffering - in a nutshell.
I told Vicky that if I didn't get this job, I'd probably be a wreck.
Then, as I drove home last night, I started to think about it.
Basically, I'd lost a job I had desired. I hadn't desired it out of lust, though they had made it sound very attractive, but I had desired it. Why couldn't I stop desiring it? Why did I feel the need to focus on how my present job had kind of gone south, which it has done - no doubt about it.
This brought on another thought: All life is meditation. We are always meditating, or thinking, about something. Work, life at home, our commute, whatever. I have tried to eliminate any useless meditations of desire and dissatisfaction - Tivo helps me do that by skipping past commercials. I've also tried to eliminate meditations of fear by not watching TV news, which are constantly feeding fear with their images of crime and war and disease. Sure, those things exist but TV news shows a very unrealistic slant.
And that, at its core, is what Buddhism helps you get away from. It teaches seeing reality as it really is, not how you think it should be or how it may be "meant" to be.
I thought about Vicky and our pets and our friends and our lives. When you come down to it, I am a very fortunate guy. I thought about my books. Thought they're not published, I get to enjoy this talent I have. I began to meditate on some of the wonderful people I've known and times I've had.
And then, I thought about the job I didn't get, a job I never had so I never lost. In reality, it's not hard to let go of something you never had when you realize what you do have. Actually, it is hard but the teachings that I've learned have made it easier.
This doesn't mean I won't look for another job. I do want one. And it certainly doesn't mean I'm in any way enlightened or superior. I consider myself fortunate.
So, I let go of the job I never had. And I let go of the opportunities I never had. And I thought about those I do have and those I can strive for - and I felt a bit better.
Next week, I'll probably stress out about something beyond my control. That's okay; that's human. I'm not trying to be perfect; I'm just trying to be okay.