When I was a kid, I didn’t understand what movies, books, and adults meant by the whole phrase, “Trust your gut.” I guess most children take things more literally than figuratively. Within the past 7-8 years though, I have learned what that phrase meant through my own life experiences. Here are a couple highlights demonstrating this phrase:
Never Trust Vague Job Postings
One of my first jobs in San Francisco was working in marketing; however, the job posting had been rather cryptic as to what kind of “marketing” we would be doing. I showed up at the office for my interview and I was surprised how quickly they hired me considering my lack of experience at that point (just fresh out of undergrad).
I arrived the following day dressed up and ready to start my work “in the field”. I had no idea what they meant by this, but I liked the mentor I had since she was so enthusiastic about the job. Once we hopped into cars and left the office, though, I quickly discovered what they meant: door-to-door sales. We were selling cable to residences in San Mateo, which wasn’t too bad at first, but we ended up scouting a few sketchy neighborhoods. I felt this gnawing feeling in the bottom of my stomach as we approached each door, wondering if we were going to be safe in our work. Luckily that day ended ok and I went home, still with that gnawing feeling in my stomach but feeling happy that I completed my first day of the new job.
The next day, though, was different: I shadowed another mentor and this time, we stayed within San Francisco and were selling office supplies to all the different businesses downtown. This second mentor was more sarcastic and unamused with her work, and I felt more pain in my stomach as we approached each new office and got rejected or threatened by the administrative assistants. By the end of the day, my stomach hurt so much and I wasn’t sure if I could go out another day doing this kind of work.
So, I emailed them and quit.
Give the Benefit of the Doubt until Your Gut Tells You Otherwise
In my history of crushes, I have been lied to, manipulated, etc. But every time a new crush came along, I kept reminding myself, “Stop projecting the past crushes onto this current crush. He is NOT like them!”
I reminded myself this thought many times when I first started dating my ex: sometimes he wouldn’t answer my texts right away, or he would get defensive about me “texting too much” (even though he texted me a lot at other times anyway). Sometimes a strange text would come through where I wondered, “Was that meant for another woman?” At those times, I felt that pain in my stomach again, but I cried myself out of that pain, telling myself, “TRUST HIM! HE IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER ONES!”
Needless to say, I should have listened to my gut all along, because he was seeing other women besides me; even though he told me many times that I was his only one, he had articles of female clothing at his place that did not belong to me. More strange texts came through during the time we dated, and finally, when I moved out of San Francisco abruptly for personal health reasons, I had to face the truth that he was, indeed, a liar and a cheater. He even had the audacity to tell one of my cousins that he was single (when I was under the impression that we were still in a relationship).
In hindsight, I shake my head at my past self for not seeing all the warning signs and following my gut, but I also understand that I had to go through that experience (and the door-to-door sales experience) to learn and grow from. I would be a very different person today if I hadn’t gone through these two experiences and really learned the meaning of “Trust Your Gut”.