Unknown and Undefined


I recently had an opportunity to apply for a different job.

It was a great opportunity.

I struggled with whether to do it or not.

After much contemplation I decided against applying.

Even though I still struggle with defining my reasons I am happy for having made a decision.

I know it’s right for me.   Even if I can’t accurately say why this decision was right.  I know it was right.  The decision was so multi layered I can’t even begin to try and define it.  But I felt it was not right for me.  And I wasn’t right for it.  Still, I struggle with that decision.  I want to define my reasons.  And make sure I understand them so that if necessary I can learn, adjust and make future decisions with a better understanding of my whys and why nots. Did I sell myself short?  Did I let others down or paint an inaccurate portrayal regarding the work I do?  Or the work I am willing to do?   Did I worry too much about things I should not have considered?  Did I consider the right things or too many of the wrong things.

You know what I want to know?    Did I learn anything from this process.

I tend to think way too much about way too much.

Not being able to define everything I felt to be right has bothered me.  Likely, more than anything else.

Then my friend at work said she had something she wanted to read to me.   She told me she was going to read the actual quote, then she was going to paraphrase it.  Color me curious and intrigued.  I came out from behind my cube walls and sat at our meeting table.  I was touched that she had been out there in her  life and spent part of it thinking about me, and saw something that made her think  to share it.   She  read the quote of Martin Luther King, Jr.


Then she paraphrased it.

Using my name in place of the “street sweeper”.

My friend knows the struggles I had.  And when she read the second version of the quote to me she surprised us both with the emotion she put in to it.  And the emotion I allowed upon hearing it.

I know I made the right decision.  Even though I still can’t define it clearly or accurately.  I just know.

I know I am called to do something.   And I am doing the best I can do define that for myself.  I’ve always felt that if we do the very best at what it is we are doing, and who it is we are suppose to be, then everyone wins.  So this quote does a good job of validating much about what I thought.

And truthfully, I believe my calling is more about who I am and how I do things than what particular thing I am doing.

But even more truthfully……I’m starting to wonder if my calling includes an abundance of over thinking things.  I’m pretty darn good at it.

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40 thoughts on “Unknown and Undefined

  1. Ah, the curse of the overthinkers. I know it well. Either way Colleen, you are so much more than your job.


  2. joeythebuddhist says:

    I like this, thanks for posting 🙂


  3. ksbeth says:

    you made the right choice, your followed your heart and your gut, instead of your brain. they are the real intelligence centers.


  4. Jim McKeever says:

    Colleen, one of our graduating public health students used this quote at Commencement. Like you, she is living deliberately and asking the whys and why nots … So many folks go through life like lemmings, which is easier in some ways. You’re on the harder path, but the rewards are so much greater. Jim


    • Thank you Jim. It does seem ‘harder’ in some regards. I can’t put a thought away, or down, and walk away from it if I haven’t resolved it. It needs to make sense and I need to be satisfied I understand. I don’t always have the option of ‘liking’ the resolution, but I have to have that. Thank you for sharing that. I don’t want to be a lemming.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s not about what you do but h.o.w. you do it. Congratulations, Colleen, your thinking has paid off again. ❤ ❤ ❤


  6. I overthink things as well. Try to stop it, lol, and it only makes the thoughts mad and more abundant! That it feels right, that inside intuitive sense, is probably as good as it gets. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent Colleen! I believe that when we choose what feels right to us the reason we made this particular decision will become clear in the future if it doesn’t seem clear right now. So I guess what I am saying is, if it doesn’t seem clear to you right now, it will become clear in the future. You made the “right” choice for a reason.


  8. dogear6 says:

    You know, that’s part of how I got into state income taxes. It was never was a great career builder and I was forced into it due to a recession. But once I started doing it, I loved it and I set out to be the best state tax person I could.

    My husband and I talked a number of times that it wasn’t well respected or very employable, but I was so good at it. I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to get back out, but that was okay. It was a good job and career for many years.

    Yes, sometimes we overthink but it would be worst to not think about something enough and make a mistake. Mistakes aren’t all bad, but some are pretty hard to recover from. I think you did well to thoughtfully consider what this opportunity meant to you.

    Thanks for sharing – this was something really good to think about for myself.



    • Thank you Nancy. My husband and I discussed this as well. I was so torn about this. You mention mistakes and I did worry about it. I know I didn’t make a mistake by remaining where I am. But did I make a mistake by not taking the next step? Does that make sense?

      I could finish out my career where I am. I feel it is important, necessary and needed work. And I want to do it extremely well. At the same time though, I think about what I could do differently or better by taking the next step. But would I be as effective? So many things to contemplate.

      Sigh. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • dogear6 says:

        There’s no way to know and there never will be a way to know. You can stay and have things fall apart, you can go and it be miserable. For now things are good and I would enjoy them as they are. Who knows what the future will bring? Woulda, coulda, shoulda is a bad game to play and will make you very unhappy.

        You’re making a good contribution where you are. Should that change, reconsider then. This opportunity won’t be there, but you don’t know what will be.

        Loved that picture at the general store, btw!

        Go take a bath and stop worrying. Life is good. Take a deep breath each time your monkey brain kicks in and starts going in circles.

        Not that I’ve ever needed advice like that!



        • 🙂 Nancy make me smile, laugh, and contemplate. I don’t enjoy the circles with my monkey brain. Nor do I like the shoulda/coulda/woulda’s. There isn’t much to benefit from that.

          And the General Store lunch was so neat. Full of Amish foods. Candy. Ice cream. We sat in the window seat to watch the traffic. A great way to catch lunch! 🙂


  9. Val Boyko says:

    It sounds like your intuition and inner wisdom was at play here Colleen rather than your analytical brain. 🙂
    This may have been too much for the analytical brain to figure out, especially if there were values and feelings involved.
    Here’s a post for us over thinkers you might like:


  10. niaaeryn says:

    When you have a calling you just know, and from what I have read and learned about you, you do. Always best to follow your intuition. Still I can understand the dilemma. I have had my own on the job front lately. Your friend picked a great quote. Love it! 🙂


    • Thank you Niaaeryn. It’s interesting that I often don’t know what TO do. But in this case I knew what NOT to do but I didn’t know why. And that caused me to hesitate and try to talk myself INto doing something.

      I hope all is well on your job front. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. 1. I love that quote, but why does it say words to ‘leave’ by?
    2. When I created my mission statement, suddenly decisions seemed clearer to me. Not sure if you’re interested but here’s the book I worked with to do it. http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9780786882410?redirected=true&selectCurrency=CAD&w=AF4BAU9SBQR4X1A8ZRUK&gclid=CPb78-Xig8YCFYKVfgodaG0Atg
    3. The world needs all kinds of people with all kinds of gifts, including thinkers like you Colleen. ❤
    Diana xo


  12. Oh how I love that you say you think much too much about everything. I do too. Then I’ve learned over the years to listen to my gut. The niggling inner voice, the one that speaks silently and gently, pouring truth into my thoughts.
    I love how you listened, how somehow you knew this wasn’t meant to be. Your friend is so fantastic. That quote is just perfect. I tend to tell my children to be the best at whatever it is they decide to do. And that to me is basically what life is about.
    Your calling is special and you heard your heart. You will go where your need to be my friend.


    • Thank you MeditatingMummy. 😀 I can’t help but enjoy the validation from everyone. That the over thinking is not so odd as I have been told so often. And that it makes sense to others that in this situation even without knowing why making a decision on ‘knowing’ without being able to define it is not just okay-it’s normal.

      Your message to your kids is what I want to do. And teach.

      Thank YOU. 🙂


  13. reocochran says:

    I have heard from people before that over-thinking or in my case, “worrying,” may shorten my life. I am sad to learn this but a doctor told me this once. I cannot help myself. I have heard from a friend, I could take ‘anxiety’ medication. This would possibly numb me, make me not feel the highs and lows of my life, I may stop worrying. But, I would miss those ‘highs’ and for this, I will be grateful for who I am and who YOU are, dear worker who is also a ‘helper of people,’ who is so much more than this!


    • 🙂 Thank you Robin. Like you I don’t think I would want to add a chemical to my system to quiet my ability to think things through. I don’t really see it as a problem, though it can sometimes make me awfully tired. It does seem to get bothersome to others when I want to make sure I have looked it, considered it, and come to a clear understanding of ‘it’.

      And I will be grateful for YOU. ❤


  14. I think you’re both analytical and intuitive, Colleen, and sometimes those two forces kind of fight with each other. I don’t think you actually “over think,” you just might think more about which of those two sides you’re listening to at any given time. 🙂 Both have value. Your friend was very wise in what she shared, and I think that has application to us all. Thank you!


    • So wise Debra, thank you! What you say ‘feels’ right. I believe my analytical DOES fight with my intuitive. And this time I felt the intuitive very strongly, but felt an obligation to consider this strongly. Thank you for this reply, it helps me understand it even better.

      And my friend did indeed nail it with this quote. And THEN she brought me salted carmel timbits for a treat today. 🙂 Good people .


  15. markbialczak says:

    I hear it calling you, MBC, and you hear it so clearly. Way to follow the voice.


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