Saturday, January 22, 2011


While playing the female lead in a high school play, I was required to write my signature on a wall chart once I arrived on site. A fellow actor stood behind me and commented on my signature, which breached the boundaries of the box allotted for its habitation.

"Even your signature speaks of non-conformity." He commented.

There are laws that do and should apply to everyone. I make sure I put in a hard day's work that is worth more than the pay I take home. I don't try to get something for nothing, because I believe that God doesn't want entitled, spoiled children.

I keep the laws of the land, and I try faithfully to keep the laws of God. All around me, I watch as silly rules and expectations are established. A lot of my peers, unwilling to rock the boat, just follow along. When the salesperson at the store asks for my phone number or zip code, my reply is "No thanks." When the blood bank asks me to give them my SSN, I refuse, because they don't need it. If a manager at work is speaking critically about someone in a large group of people, I will defend that person if they aren't there to do so.

Oddly, in my religious circles I find that keeping God's commandments also falls under non-conformity. I keep them because when I was 16 years old (at the height of my non-conformity to everything), I prayed to know he was there and really loved me. He lit a fire in my heart that I noticed would dwindle when I made bad choices. I wanted to feel close to him, and so I did what I felt and knew was right. Sometimes that meant saying or doing "unpopular" things - to my associates, close friends, and even to family members.

Some would call my behavior "rocking the boat" or kicking up dust, but I don't believe in doing something just because everyone else is doing it. I don't believe in cheating on a test just because the student at the front of the classroom is reading off the answers, and everyone else is writing them down. I don't believe in doing something that I feel is wrong just because I am too afraid to speak up. Doing what I feel is right is my objective, and the price I usually pay is popularity.

Yesterday, after beautifully navigating through a marketing problem, our CEO leaned back and asked why I didn't want to do "this" (marketing), when I was so obviously good at it. I told him I would be happy to explain in private. As I walked out of the room, he asked if I could meet with him. He said that he'd heard many rumors about why I didn't want to continue working on the conference, and I proceeded to tell him the real reasons in a respectful, but clear manner. "That was incredibly transparent and clear. Thank you." He replied. As I left he called after me, "I'm sorry about all of this. I really am."

I then left to meet with my boss-to-be. I love navigating problems, analyzing and researching data, and proposing solutions. As I left, we conversed about the next steps to me making the transition to his team. The only obstacle I see in the way is possibly the CEO. I hope he has removed from his mind the idea that somehow he will convince me to continue working on what he wants me to do, because my mind is already made up. I "see" myself working on this team, and once that happens, I can't be turned back. It's as if I am already there.

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