After two months of spending nearly every minute of every day together, Mr. Universe finally went back to work today. I think we were both just a little ecstatic about it. The time off wasn’t exactly planned but was necessary and I fully supported him (emotionally, not financially) in making the decision to leave a job that brought more stress than benefit.
Initially we thought he’d take a week…maybe three. We’d spend some time together…vacation…do fun stuff around Indy. But then three weeks became a month and each day after started to feel longer and longer. The Indy job market wasn’t like any other market he’d worked in. And Mr. Universe was getting frustrated.
Once we finally started talking about his frustrations, I was able to help shed some light on the situation…offer an outside perspective from a hometown girl. Essentially, I found myself moving from supportive fiancé into life coaching territory with the man I’m planning to marry. Ground that you really aren’t supposed to tread…but we were getting desperate.
While it was helpful for him to finally see what might be holding him back, it was just as helpful for me to be able to share what I was seeing. One of the key tenets of coaching is to not get attached to the outcome. To not get wrapped up in what you think (or in some cases know) your client should do. You have to remain supportive…offering up helpful perspectives and guidance, but each decision has to belong to the client…and you have to let them experience the rewards and mistakes of making their own decisions.
That’s the seat I sat in for almost a month. The passenger’s seat in the life I was both trying to build…be a participant in…and coach from. It might have been harder for me than it was for him. To his credit, he took my advice like a champ! Shining the light internally to see where he might be getting in his own way. To see where his ego might be taking the lead in an interview. To recognize that he needed to be…and wanted to be…humble.
Today he started his new job! But that wasn’t the ultimate result of our work together. The ultimate result was an introspective Mr. Universe…a reflective man…a fiancé whose priorities are based on the needs of his “soon to be” family.
What might have been the biggest blessing in the whole situation was knowing that we can tackle the stress of him being unemployed. Knowing that we really do have each other’s back. Feeling how much we trust and appreciate one another’s perspectives and strengths. Surviving this situation, for me, is something I’m not sure I could have done with Thing 1 or 2. I was different. They were different. This is different. And for all of that, I’m thankful.
Yet another test we can cross off the list.