When I listened to the podcast I recorded with Jody Mack, I started thinking about the scene in Jerry Maguire when Rod Tidwell is being interviewed by the host who makes everybody cry. "I'm not going to cry, Roy," he says. He cries anyway.
I didn't set out to make Jody cry in our podcast, but there were some emotional moments as she talked about letting go of an old dream, the dream of being a tenure track faculty at a primarily undergraduate institution.
On her blog she writes, "This is the path I chose for myself when I was fresh out of college. A 20-something who dreamed of having a small biomedical research lab and teaching wonderful, meaningful and thought-provoking lecture and lab courses."
But then, over the course of years and hard work and lots of time and energy invested in an overcrowded field, her dream shifted. Jody says, "Science became an obligation rather than a passion. In the midst of working as a temporary faculty member, I found myself falling asleep putting lectures together but staying awake to edit photos into the wee hours of the morning; riding into work anticipating the lighting in my next photo shoot instead of thinking about writing my next lecture or what experiment to try next."
For Jody, leaving the classroom is bittersweet, but she's excited about what's happening next: This month is the official launch of Jody Mack Photography.
Up until recently, Jody and I were merely acquaintances. We had met years ago in a moms' group; I went to a book club meeting at her house once. When I heard about her big life change, I knew we had to talk. Jody agreed to the podcast, and she really went there with me, answering my questions and speaking candidly about what it's like to listen to that quiet voice, the one that calls out to you and nudges you to step off the path that you thought was "it".
We talked about the things that hold us back--like our own judgments and the judgments of others. We talked about kids and mom guilt. We talked about success and what that means for us, and how our definition may not be the same as other people's. We talked about money and the big and small things that shape the choices we make.
(We even talked about reading palms, and how that might not be the best way to make choices.)