What’s the worst thing that can happen?


There’s a movie called Butter which came out in 2011. I really love the movie. There is one scene that stuck with me and that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Ethan is talking to Destiny about how to handle something she’s afraid of.

Ethan: Do you want me to go in with you? Don’t tell Jill. She always likes me to think positive. What I like to do is this. I imagine all the bad things that could possibly happen if you enter this contest, like you could die… of a tragic butter overdose. There could be a rabid grizzly bear hiding inside this very Moose Lodge waiting to tear your face off.
Destiny: There could be a python inside.
Ethan: What if this place is full of monkeys with a deadly virus?
Destiny: There could be the ghost of Hitler.
Ethan: What if there’s no gravity in there and you float up and bang your head on the ceiling? And then all the sudden gravity kicks in and then you bang your head on the floor?
Destiny: There could be a black hole and it’d suck me all up.
Ethan: Yes! What if this place is full of good looking British vampires?
Destiny: The worst of all of them.
Ethan: They’re so pale!
Destiny: Or hungry cannibals.
Ethan: It could happen. Or there could be a mass murderer who only kills adorable little girls. Think about it.
Destiny: Or racist ninjas.
Ethan: (laughs) Racist ninjas. Good one. Yes. High five. That was a good one. So, think about all that and ask yourself, really, what’s the worst thing that could happen?
Destiny: I could be terrible and lose.
Ethan: Yeah. Yeah. Could you live with that?
Destiny: I guess so.
Ethan: Ok then. It’s really not such a big deal, is it? Go make us proud. Bring me back some butter.

I’m in the process of applying for jobs. It’s not my favorite thing to do. I had an interview today, though, and it went a little more easily for me than past interviews. I was not as worried as I have been for earlier interviews. Part of the reason is that I’m working very hard to focus on the worst thing that can happen, which sounds somewhat counterproductive.

The worst thing that can happen is that they can say they don’t want to bring me in for another interview. I might not be able to move when my family does, in which case I’d stay here and hang out with the dog and the cat. If that happens, I will definitely miss Xander and Katja. I really enjoy their company. I love who we are as a family, how we play off each other and get silly. We’re good together.

On the other hand, the last few months have been ridiculously stressful. Setting up a place to live from several hundred miles away, making sure Katja gets into the preschool we want her in, and trying to find a job have taken a toll. I am tired. Everything else is sorted out except for my new job, which leaves me feeling like I’m somehow not enough. Once we have an address there, job hunting may get easier, but in the meantime it’s difficult. The thought of having the house to myself, just being responsible for myself and two animals, sounds quite peaceful. I know it will make Xander’s life a bit more stressful for a while, which is unfortunate, but being on my own for a few weeks would not be terrible for me.

So the worst that could happen is that they could say no, Xander and Katja would move ahead of me, and I’d have some down time with limited stress. I would like the job. I think I’d be good at it. If they say no, though, it isn’t a really big deal. I’ll move on to the next one and something will work out eventually.

One thought on “What’s the worst thing that can happen?

  1. There’s a negotiating tactic that I was taught, which is to know what your “best worst alternative” is, and to walk away if what they are offering is less appealing than that alternative. This sounds a lot like that.

    You will get a job, and everything will work out — just maybe not all at once. (We’re sending our best wishes.)

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