Prague · Spirituality · Trauma

The Stranger In Me

Although it’s been weeks since I’ve seen it, I’m still thinking about the movie The Brave One. Jodie Foster repeats throughout the film that after the horrific trauma she went through, it was like a new person emerged in her. Someone who was capable of doing things that she never would have dreamed of doing in her pre-trauma liberal open-minded existence, and how much fear changes us from the inside out. In her case it led to her becoming a vigilante and killing bad guys all over town. In my case, the stranger in me is someone cold and lacking compassion. A fearful woman who will not trust and shies away from making connections except in the most exceptional of circumstances. Someone who has begun to delight in the pain of people she could care less about.

In an odd relation to this, I’ve just been given a fantastic job offer that very surprisingly could be the cure to evicting the stranger I’ve become and get me back to the sunshiny person I was in my life before trauma. The surprising thing about the job is that it’s in the financial planning and investment industry, a field I never in my life imagined I would ever be a part of. The job involves doing research and making calls to potential investors to set up appointments with the company’s financial advisers. Boring, yes. But herein lies the spiritual quest: of the hundred calls I will be required to make each day, the odds are I will only make an appointment pitch to fifteen people, and of the fifteen a modest two or three will actually turn into a meeting. Of the two or three, one or none will become investments. Even so, I will have to pick up the phone after each call and make the next one with a fresh slate, an energetic voice and charming personality. One hundred performances a day.

Performing is no trouble. The thing is, a performance must come from the heart, otherwise no one believes it. You can be the best actor in the world, but if you don’t connect with the part then you will convince no one. I will have to become the positive person I used to be if I want to succeed in this job. And the strange thing is, I actually want to succeed in this job. The two owners of the company seem like really stand-up men. They take care of their employees, they make sure they always have what they need, and for the first time in years of working mediocre jobs I actually felt a connection to them that makes me want to work for them. The last time I felt a connection to anyone work-related was at the UN, and I really don’t consider that to have been work because I didn’t get paid for it and it felt more like a part of my spiritual journey. This is not to say I made no connections during my newspaper jobs. Quite on the contrary. But the thing was the connections I made were with people I didn’t directly work with or for, and that put an enormous strain on me. It’s certainly easier to make a connection when there is no money involved.

In this case, money is in fact the driving force behind the connection. They need someone to help them make a lot of money, and I indeed would be interested in making lots of money. It would be the first time since I graduated university that I would actually be getting a salary that is equivalent to the amount of talent I have to offer. It’s indeed ironic that it would be in the financial field, and it’s doubly ironic that the connection and drive I feel to do a bloody marvelous job for these two businessmen is as strong as it is.

It makes me think that this is exactly the type of work I need to banish the stranger in me that has lived in my spirit for years now, dragging me down and not allowing me to move forward. As Grampa Tony always told me, Let The Spirit Lead. I never would have imagined that my spiritual path would lead me into the world of finance, but now that the path has opened up, I honestly can’t imagine a place I would rather be at this point in my life. What an amazing journey I’ve been on so far, and now a whole new world has opened up for exploration. Isn’t life just marvelous?