The Allure of the Rose-Tinted Iris

“I’ve been around long enough to know what they take for granted and what they consider important. No matter how important you become, your work will be taken for granted because it doesn’t have an immediate impact to the bottom line. Your work takes a long time to pay off. I know you’re looking for a promotion, but I doubt it’s in the cards. Don’t get your hopes up.”

The above quote was told to me((more or less, I may be slightly miswording it five years later)) in the fall of 2009. I was working for a call center in middle-of-nowhere Ohio, and the above quote came from my supervisor’s supervisor. I had just been turned down for a promotion to a supervisory position, despite being the top performer in my entire call center while working our much maligned overnight shift. I’d apply for a similar position three more times over the next year, only to be turned down each time because I was considered to be too valuable in my current position.

There’s a certain beauty to being youthful and enthusiastic. To try over and over again with the mindset that even though you failed ninety-nine times, you’ll succeed on the 100th try — it’s a refreshing way to view life. There’s a certain bliss in ignorance that allows us to be optimistic about the world around us, our current state of affairs, and even our future. It’s the kind of hopeful enthusiasm that allows you to think Red Lobster is a fancy restaurant when apparently it’s not. I’m fully of the mentality that any place that serves cheddar biscuits is a classy establishment, but I’ve been told I’m incorrect.

A small part of me has always believed I can fix anything and everything. In nearly every job I’ve worked in I’ve either made changes to the way things are done to improve how things work, or made suggestions to those in power if I was in no position to do anything myself. Sometimes, my thoughts were taken and acted upon((results were mixed, as is the case with anyone with limited business experience)), other times my input was ignored. Nevertheless, I thought that I could make things better.

I still have those rose-tinted irises((they’re not glasses…I don’t wear glasses)) that I look through on an occasional basis. They’re the eyeballs that give me hope that I can make an impact on the world around me. It’s the excitement of opportunity and the hope that people around me will listen to my advice. My education-heavy words are now becoming impacted by the wisdom that’s formed with years of business experience. I’m getting more gray hairs than I should be at 27((technically 26 at the time of this post, though I’ll be 27 tomorrow)). I’m becoming more and more jaded with the world around me.

And yet…every once in a while I look through those rose-tinted irises and see the world for what it’s full of. It’s full of opportunity. It’s full of hope. It’s full of chances. I encourage you to chase after them.