Recently I’ve found myself in scenarios where I’ve had to question what is truly important to me and I’m going to share them with you. Because I have work that needs doing but these thoughts are distracting me.
The First incident occurred while the dude and I were watching “What If” (if you want to see Daniel Radcliffe as a love sick drop out who could teach Harry Potter a thing or two and are a fan of quippy dialogue and have at least one romantic bone in your body then you should definitely check it out). I hate the title and don’t think it does the movie any justice but anywho, while watching it I was rooting for the female lead to go to Taiwan very strongly. So strongly it was actually impairing my ability to simply enjoy the movie because I was pushing my own agenda. She had a choice between going to Taiwan to develop her career OR stay in Toronto and have a stagnant career but stay with the potential (but as yet uncertain) love of her life OR maybe (and this was a distant third) pursue a relationship with someone she has been with for eons and go to Dublin because his career had taken him there but start from scratch with no prospects.
The Second Incident was going to a corporate function where I had a chance to meet a rather senior female executive that should have inspired me to believe that my own career could end at CEO level of a multinational and not that I don’t think this could happen but I spotted someone I was on campus with. I can’t remember if she was in my year or earlier than me but she was significantly further in her career than I was and I remember being impressed by the fact that she gets to travel as part of a senior executive entourage and has an opinion that commands attention. I never confirmed if she was at university with me because we didn’t have much in common. I was aware of her but we weren’t friends and it would have been a waste of both our time to start a conversation that I couldn’t hold simply because I was feeling sorry for myself at not being “at her level”.
The Third Incident of discovery was hearing of a former colleague of mine who is being considered for a position that would catapult his career at least three shots ahead of where it is now (and by default ahead of me). I really do hope he makes the move because not only would he be an ace at the role but his mind is bored where it is and this could be a chance to wake up the parts of him that his current role has deadened.
Now, why did these three things cause me self introspection (other than the fact that I must be some mega self absorbed individual to make all these things about myself)? I really am not that self involved but I do think there are lessons all around us if we are willing to see them.
So, with the “What If” sitch, it’s for me to see what I sought in my own life. It is so easy for women to lose their identities in their relationships and then convince themselves that what their partner wants is what they want even when they know it isn’t. I am not yet at a point where I have lost my sense of self but I am fearful that it has dulled a bit and will continue to slowly dull till in a few years I wont recognise myself.
Now, like most people I wear multiple faces. The most basic of these are the “work” and “home” faces. At work, no one can contest that I am dedicated to my job and am more than just “fairly competent”. At home I am the dutiful daughter and responsible sister. Both these faces aren’t me though, somewhere behind being dedicated and responsible, is a girl who decided to go to Japan for two weeks because it was a dream that she didn’t want to lose. A girl who wants to sit in a welcoming office dissecting how minds work both by telling stories that answer my own questions and speaking to people to get to their own. On a daily basis I do things to feed the work and home faces but nothing to feed the girl and she is beginning to scratch at me (again), warn me that if I don’t feed her she will climb into a cave, roll a large rock behind her and refuse to ever come out. And I am not sure I want to lose her.
Here’s the thing with the campus-mate scenario. I hate public speaking… or rather I am so fearful of judgement/embarrassment/failure that even though I’ve been told I am not terrible at it I cannot enjoy it or see my good points. What I wanted out of this campus-mate’s life was to go somewhere where no one knows you and command attention firstly because the company you keep gives your presence weight and then when you open your mouth you can carry your own because you know your sh#*. I’m not the greatest “public” person either. I am terrible at small talk, suck at jokes and crowds irk me. I don’t think I have a disorder or a severe anxiety but I definitely have a “healthy fear of ridicule” but that doesn’t stop me wanting to have a certain gravitas in public situations.
The third scenario was a little trickier to sort out because not even I understood it at the time. When I was telling The Fella about this person’s potential career projection I said I didn’t want “that”. He asked what I meant and I didn’t have a ready answer and then something more interesting on Buzzfeed took our attention but later on I thought about it. What was the “that” that I didn’t want?
It came to me on coming out of a nightmare of a ghost of a woman who eats children by licking them (because she ate her own babies slowly while they were still alive… I’m pretty sure I fleshed that out on waking up but it’s a compelling idea that has nestled itself in the folds of my brain because I don’t know why she did it), anyway I digress. The “that” was me not wanting to lose myself in the pursuit of an external measure of success that wasn’t part of my personal goal. This person’s personal ambitions are very far removed from this opportunity and if he chooses to take it, it will be even harder to go back onto his personal path because material rewards can be VERY gratifying and his personal ambition doesn’t guarantee that. The promotion does.
I don’t want to lose myself to fulfilling the campus-mate recognition by ANY means, I want to do it by MY means. You know the saying, by hook or by crook? I want all hook baby! No crook here.
But that is at odds of what I ACTUALLY do. I know the girl is screaming to get out so I shove a cupcake in her face and go read a book, play the xbox or watch TV, heck I even delude myself that I am a gardener and prune a rose bush! I know she needs to feed but I am scared of indulging her because its easier to focus on other distractions and its nice not to feel like a failure. If I get promotions I cant be that bad career wise. If I’m getting married then its proof I am not such a deplorable person because someone wants to spend the rest of their lives with me. But these things do not make the me that I am left alone with on either side of my nightmares feel any better. These things are great but they aren’t enough. I ran away from NaNoWriMo this year because I’ve failed it both years I actively tried it out. I don’t “write” because I think my words are garbage but I entertain ideas and then tell myself everyone has them so I’m not a genius for dreaming things up. That isn’t hard, doing something about the dream is and I’m killing mine.
So, after that lengthy post, how are you starving that inner girl/boy and more importantly what are you doing about it? If you aren’t, tell me about how you’re doing it. I am shelving up a bunch of emotions for a huge ass ugly cry tonight for all my failures (real and hocus pocus) and then I am starting again from scratch. I’m not going to lay down my plan here right now (because I haven’t the foggiest what it is yet) but I need to figure things out.
And then actually do the work, which can suck balls.