I could have been on a flight to Adelaide tonight. All expenses paid and probably staying in the Hilton or some swanky place. Tomorrow I would have been taken to a place in the Adelaide Hills for a corporate team building activity surrounding cooking. Fun!
But I said no.
I don’t think many people will understand why. It’s not because I don’t like cooking (I do!) or travel (love it & desperately miss it).
It’s because it’s not the right type of offer for me.
Let me explain.
I will happily talk to strangers & make friends when traveling or just going about my daily business. But it’s about getting to connect with who you identify with.
I wasn’t nervous walking up to a bunch of strangers for the Blog Power Events High Tea. Why? We’re all bloggers. We have the same values …or at least a few core interests. Differences that might otherwise set us aside (myself being the only non-mum there for one!) are easily overcome by common interests.
It didn’t bother me being 19 and going around Europe by myself. Why? We were all there for the same thing – to see Europe.
So why did I turn down free flights, free accommodation & lovely sounding free cooking class? Especially when I haven’t had so much as a weekend away in over two years?
Because I have nothing in common with the people who are going. Sure, there’s always the chance you could click with someone. But I’m not on a career fighting/networking/sucking up path.
I don’t like working in a corporate job. I’d rather put in the hard yards working for myself & then my husband & I could go to a cooking class in the hills together if & when we choose. Then we will be more likely to enjoy it, having each others company. And if we’re doing it in a group of strangers/tourists, we’ll be more likely to be with others who share the same values as us – also making it more enjoyable.
Beyond that, I have practical reasons such as job interviews at the moment. I’ve had a pretty crappy week filled with hayfever so far and my tendon injury has been making walking a bitch all week. And I’m stupid and forget to just wear sneakers to work for the extra support on my ankle.
It’s a challenge to learn your values. Ironically, just before this was offered I had seen a tweet from @MojitoMother about saying no. I’d thought “Hey, I’m pretty awesome at that, I know what I want and don’t want, I’ve never had much trouble saying no. Score one for me!” Then this phone call comes at work asking me to fly to Adelaide in a day’s time… ah, universe, you like to challenge us all, don’t you!?
I’m happy with my decision, even more so now that I’ve typed it out. Yes, free is awesome & free is good, but not when it conflicts with your needs/ideals/goals (or anything else important to you).