Blogging 101 Assignment: Writing prompt

I was a painfully shy kid. Maybe it was being the oldest, maybe it was because my mom was an only child and I picked up on how insecure she felt about raising me.

Anyway, beyond furious blushing, I tried to stay in the background and shrink away from sight anytime I was outside of familiar territory. My parents were from the old-school of “kids should be seen and not heard” which only really worked with me, by the way.

Eventually I felt very trapped by my own fears. By the time I went to college – a small Catholic women’s college – I pretty much knew I had to do something to overcome this. I just didn’t know where to start. This was the early 80’s before self-help gurus.

I had a really big dream though.

I wanted to work for the CIA.

I know, right? shy Catholic kid from the midwest. Probably read too many Robert Ludlum books, but I was idealistic enough to want to make a difference.

So I pranced my ass down to Washington, D.C. with some girlfriends for a week. My mom said I would never bother to go interview anywhere, it was a off-hand comment, but sort of stung.

Our first stop, after getting overcharged by a taxi driver, was to our Congressman’s office, . we got our picture taken with him on the Capital steps. I mustered the nerve to ask about job opportunities, thinking they’d blow me off. But they let me use their typewriter to fill out applications and rewrite my resume.

Two months later, I got a call from the CIA to interview.  There were a battery of tests, and two different trips to D.C. It was an amazing time, and included a trip with just me and my Dad to D.C. (because what father would let is 22 year old daughter go alone to the CIA to interview, right? My dad was a total hit with a lot of the staff.)

There’s a lot of funny stuff to this story, but it’s outside the theme of this post.

Needless to say, my mom was clicking the beads furiously that I didn’t get the job.

And after 7 months of interviewing, I was cut. And devastated.

But – this became my benchmark for overcoming my shyness. “If I can interview with the CIA, I can do ___________.” And for years, until I grew into a confident person, I used this mantra.

Don’t let YOU be your stumbling block. See yourself in the role you want, the job you want, the life you desire, and find one thing you accomplished and let it be your benchmark until you reach that goal.

6 thoughts on “Sink or Swim, aka, Fake it till you make it

  1. I love this post! Good for you for taking charge of yourself and getting over your shyness. Sorry you didn’t make it into the CIA, but sounds like you were close….7 months into the process. It sounds like you are on the path to accomplish anything your heart desires.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL. I was really proud of myself and thank you so much for the kind words. Seriously, when I was dealing with the hospitals and doctors when dad was in there, he was amazed. He told my husband I was such a shy kid, he could hardly believe I was doing what I did. So if all that was a lead-up to helping my Dad, it was totally worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a huge believer in ‘fake it until you make it.’ Sometimes forcing yourself to do something can show you new skills and interests you never thought you had! I think we are all our own worst enemy and overthink situations way too much. It’s important to remember if it goes wrong that’s okay because tomorrow is another day!

    I’m sorry to hear you didn’t get your dream job but it sounds like the experience was just as beneficial! Have a good day! 🙂


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