Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In Over My Head

A couple weeks ago when I got my energy boost, I started perusing the internet for volunteer opportunities.  I've served many different volunteer roles throughout my life, and it was always very fulfilling and I felt my heart really in it - like, this is what I love to do.

Well, I stumbled upon a local non-profit in need of marketing/PR help, and a light bulb went off.  Why don't I step it up a notch with my volunteer efforts and apply my degree and marketing experience to help an organization in need?  It would be a great resume booster, give me more experience in the sector I want to move into, and I am serving a purpose greater than myself.  I immediately emailed the director, we had a meeting the next week, and she really wanted me to attend the next (informal) board meeting.  Which was tonight.  Which is why this post is titled what it is.  

The (informal) meeting was anything but informal, and what started as excitement quickly turned into feeling like "what am I even doing here?" The conversation was so large: strategic planning, long-range goals, board expectations.  I felt like a little girl all dressed up in high heels and a dress without any clue as to the significance of the happenings around me.  

Which brings me to my next mortification.  Informal = casual...right?  Nope.  I should have gone in a completely different direction with my outfit.  Gladiator sandals are not board meeting material.  I felt so silly as I looked around the room at the dress shoes and color-coordinated knee high socks of the two men sitting next to me.

Which brings me back to playing dress up.  I thought I'd brainstorm and come up with some fun creative ideas...which I have a knack for.  Talk about the layout and color scheme and copy of the upcoming direct mail piece.  Fun stuff.  Little girl in big high heels stuff.  As with the gladiator sandals, I should have gone in a completely different direction.

My questions and thought process were so small in comparison to the topics around me.  I had trouble keeping up, figuring out where my ideas and expertise could possibly fit in.  I didn't have the answers they were looking for.  I'm not even sure if I fully understand what they are looking for.

I'm questioning my abilities, my degree choice, thinking back on all of my missed opportunities for excellence in high school and college, the excellence that prepares you for a Tuesday night board meeting.

I left the meeting with a handful of notes, a forced smile on my face, and the gut feeling that I don't know what the hell I am doing.

In over my head, unsure of where to go.

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