It appears that I didn't fool very many of you with my "move to Milan" April Fool's posting! But thanks for your calls, those who were either fooled or weren't sure! And I can't believe it, but my dad bought it! My sibs told him "she wouldn't just give Mew Ling away like that! She's foolin'". But he had the smell of pasta in his nose, and called me today to find out the truth!
My little April Fool's tale got me to thinking about how, for a brief moment in time, I teetered on the brink of "potential greatness". Back then, in the second half of the 90's, I met lots of people and was offered many interesting jobs. A few of those people I met were amazing, and they offered fascinating job opportunities that I passed up. Taryn Rose and I talked of there being a place for me in her brand new fledgling company (check out www.tarynrose.com to see what I "missed out on"). I knew she was destined to do great things in the fashion world even though at the time she was running her business out of her house and had a garage full of shoes. And on many occasions I was approached by Dot Richardson to be her right hand person (check out www.usat-ntc.com/information_general.htm to see what I "missed out on"). I wonder, had I taken either of these amazing women up on their offers, just what my life would look like today.
I passed on Taryn's offer after a weekend in Las Vegas at a huge annual shoe event. If I had remained myself in that world, I would not have succeeded in the business. Had I become who I would have needed to be to succeed, I would have failed in life. I was tempted though, by the lure of the shoe. Taryn gave me four pairs from her first line, and I still wear them all. I could have had a closet full of all of them.
I love Dot Richardson. It would have been great to work with her. I have met few as inspiring as she. Back before I met her, she was on the Atlanta Olympic Softball team. I had heard that she would be rotating through the Arthritis Center (where I was working) the following year. I was none to happy, thinking, oh brother, I don't think I can stand working with someone THAT fake. Fake she wasn't! We had a blast and we became friends. I passed on HER offer because she moved her life to Florida, and I hate Florida. I really really hate Florida. But I think I would have liked working with Dot. We were out having Szechwan together one evening years ago. It was at that table that she said a most profound thing to me. She's not a very tall woman (I feel tall next to her), and I asked her if her height ever affected her game, or if she was intimidated by how much taller/bigger most of the women were. "I don't feel short when I'm on the softball field" she told me. Why was that so profound? It was one of those life truths. If you are in the right place doing the right thing at the right time, you won't be affected by things that could be perceived as handicaps. You won't "feel short".
A third really amazing opportunity that I passed on, was one in hindsight I wish I'd done. It was to spend six months down in Antarctica with USC at the McMurdo station (check out http://antarctica.usc.edu/ to see what I "missed out on"). The man in charge was a patient of "mine". There's an entry on the "List of 50" (no posting yet) which is "Go to all seven continents". At the time I thought I was so indispensible at my job that I couldn't leave my position (and besides, I really loved that job), so I passed on that, too. Since then I have learned that no one is indispensible in their job. I should have gone. If anyone plans a trip to Antarctica and wants company, let me know.
So, instead of being some high powered executive with Genzyme, or a top salesperson with Biomet or Johnson and Johnson, and instead of being out on the speaking circuit for the American Heart Association, I am a per diem nurse working for a radiology company in a small town making people doze for MRIs. This is the most I have ever been "nobody" in my profession. But I am exactly where God wants me to be.
And I don't feel short.