I had flown in from Memphis for the interview. A job opportunity I could have only dreamed about when I was a kid.
It was snowy that January day, I remember. Cold too.
I waited in the lobby for 10 minutes or so, the interview team wasn’t quite ready. I knew it was going to be with a potential peer and the potential boss.
The boss came out from her office and yelled to the peer, “Justin’s here…let’s go eat…”
It was a flurry, but I started following them to the boss’ car. Not much small-talk was had, we kinda just jumped right in, well they did actually.
I was just trying to keep up.
We get halfway there and the boss says, “Oh by the way, my boss is joining us…”
The boss was a VP. The boss’ boss was the SVP, over basically the whole operation.
Brooke and our three (at the time) girls were cheering for me. We were ready to move home, get around family again.
I needed to land this job.
We squeezed into a booth that was awkwardly small. The peer across from me, the boss on her side, the boss’ boss right next to me.
The boss and the peer were super friendly. The performer parts of me were thinking “I’m crushing this so far.”
The boss’ boss though. Well, he fell asleep.
Like literally fell asleep.
Head back on the back of the booth, mouth open, the whole deal.
In a heartbeat, I went from “I’m crushing it” to “Yep, not getting this job…”
I’m convinced at some point the boss had to kick the boss’ boss under the table, because he eventually came to and fumbled through some questions that weren’t really relevant.
We finished the lunch, drove back to the office, and I said my good-byes and hope-to-hear-from-you-soons…
“No chance I’m getting this job,” I texted Brooke before I even unlocked my car door.
Thankfully the boss’ boss didn’t make the final call because as boring of an interview I must have been for him, the boss called me a few days later with a job offer.
I think about that lunch every once in a while. And I always laugh.
And I don’t want to draw too big of a conclusion, but I will anyway.
How many times do I think I’m the one being interviewed, but I’m actually the one sleeping through the meaningful moments?
It saddens me to look back, at key areas of my life, and know I slept right through them. Not literally of course, but in a distracted, unfocused, not self-aware kind of way.
In an effort to chase something that seemed so important, only to find out the truly important people didn’t care how important I was.
Or when I was so worried about impressing people only to find out that parts of me had to stay hidden in order to be so impressive that I ended up feeling really alone and unknown.
And when I’m so consumed and worried about making a living, that I forget to actually live.
Like my boss did to my boss’ boss, when you’re dead asleep, you need someone to kick you and whisper, “wake the hell up, you’re missing it…”
I don’t want to miss it any more. But I know I’m tempted to every day.
I want to live, not just make a living.
I want to be known, not just the impressive parts of me.
I want to chase the things that matter, not just the ones that make me feel important.
And my goodness, it’s hard. So if you see me sleeping, please kick me under the table.
Because I don’t want to miss the meaningful moments…