I tend to get a bit anxious about interviews and other events in my life – probably undue stress, but stress nonetheless.
A man who served as a mentor for me a few years back, as I was discussing how I get flustered and stressed over interviews and other interactions, told me that having served in the military – he’s been in far more stressful situations where the worst that could happen was his own death. With that in perspective, his dealings with others weren’t really that big of a deal. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You don’t get the job?
I live in Taunton, Massachusetts. Around the corner from my house is a two story brick building housing the 772nd Military Police Company of the Massachusetts Army National Guard. It’s a fairly small building, with a large parking lot, and a vehicle yard that’s usually filled with Humvees, Trucks, and other equipment. There’s always been a couple cars there throughout the week – and on the appointed weekends, the lot is crammed with cars.
They’re one of the oldest National Guard units in the United States – having been created even before our own country existed. They have a proud tradition – and have earned it on the battlefield of every major conflict our country has ever had.
This summer, without much warning, my local community discovered that their local guard unit, more than four hundred members strong, was deploying to Afghanistan for a year of duty.
Now I drive by the Armory and the parking lot is always empty. The vehicle yard vacant as well. No one comes and goes.
I often drive by and wonder what they’re doing, half a world away, as I sit on an aircraft flying to Minneapolis. I’m worried about my interviews.
They’re worried about staying alive. Protecting their brethren. Fulfilling their duties.
It’s all a matter of perspective. Because of them, I can go to these interviews.