Have you ever had a moment where you’re like “eff this, I’m going to move into a hobbit hole & cut off communication with the outside world forever?”
Because that’s me right now (well, not really. I don’t eat enough to be a hobbit & I like human interaction too much. Also, living in a hole would freak me out because claustrophobic).
I feel like I’m failing in my professional life. My rep sent me the most disrespectful email, complete with claims that I’m irresponsible because I didn’t come in on my days off & explain something. The other quit because I am “mean.” It’s impossible to work when your team respects you so little that they feel comfortable calling you names in the body of a corporate email. But I feel like quitting will seem like I can’t hack it. So, I cry because I had to leave my kid’s birthday party to deal with something that I’m not 100% sure means I’m a bad manager. But two weeks in & my team says I’m a bad manager. I’m too hard on them. I expect too much. I don’t really know what to do. But, maybe I’m too sensitive because I actually take it personally. It’s reached a point where I loathe my job. And the logical part of my brain says, “if you hate it, quit!” But I don’t want to be a bad person & leave my company in flux. Sigh.
However, my week of stupid has helped me realize something (actually, I realized it last night after I met Seth Rollins. None of this has anything to do with anything, I just wanted to point out that I met Seth Rollins, because I am a giant child);
Maybe it’s because I’m a woman & we’re taught to apologize at work a lot, but I struggle to accept my feelings, or my difficult days as valid.
I would like to stress that this is not a learned behaviour from my inner circle. I have great people in my life & they love me. This is just a weird quirk I’ve noticed. As my professional life continues to challenge me & I continue to struggle to settle into a routine here, I find I don’t talk to my friends or love as I should. In fact, I’ll do everything but; I’ll make small talk, I’ll crack wise, anything but express fear that I’ve made a mistake, or my writing career isn’t going well & my professional life is a mess & I feel like a Mighty Morphin Failure Ranger. I always make an excuse. Today, while talking to one of my best friends who finally demanded I talk about why I haven’t been texting much or talking much or whatever, he asked if I had called my beau to express why I’m so frustrated with my job & that I’m lonely & homesick & I basically said he’s working & busy & felt badly enough about his schedule & I shouldn’t bother him. This isn’t something he does to make me feel that way; If anything; he’s the MHC whisperer. He loves me even when I’m being overly dramatic & whiny. He gets me when I’m in a tizzy & knows how to make me feel better without being a condescending dickbag. He’s the one person on this planet who knows how to deal with bitchy, frustrated me in a way that makes me feel loved & respected. But I simply said “he’s so busy & he works so hard & I’m not going to bother him with my overreacting to my professional annoyances & my missing my friends. These things are stupid.”
This applies to all of my friends. Damanda is busy at the law office, Melissa is swamped with work & her own life. Sarah is working with her husband to get her business going. Gleason Table has a family & a power plant. I can’t bother them with my petty annoyances at my non-important job. They have important stuff to deal with! All of my friends are amazing. They would totally listen to me rant. As would my brother. I’d do the same for them. But instead, I’m like “Nah, I got this,” and then cry.
Maybe it’s because for years I felt I had to cultivate an image of someone who never gets angry or upset. Maybe it’s because my alleged best friends stopped talking to me when I went through a weird phase a few years ago where I was so dissatisfied with my professional & personal life that I just became a huge downer. They basically told me had I faked it & just kept my feelings to myself, we’d still be friends. Maybe I just need to feel like I can handle everything myself, like no one can kick you while you’re down if no one knows you’re down. Or somewhere, I just decided that everything I feel that isn’t happy is actually stupid & unimportant & therefore isn’t worth discussing. People love positive MHC. I love her too & I strive to be that person, but because I like who I am; the rest of y’all can deal. I am awesome. But pretending that I don’t have weeks where I feel scared, lonely, inadequate or insecure isn’t good for me. These emotions are actually normal. It’s okay to feel them. They are valid. It’s okay to talk to someone you love about why you hate everything & let them help you figure out your next move. It doesn’t make you less bad ass, I swear.
Now, you’re probably thinking “MHC, this was a terrible life lesson, you’re just writing, you’ll never actually give up on the idea that you’re the eternal optimist or actually build a support system!”
But, admitting you need to work on something is step one. I need to recognize that being grumpy does not detract from my eternal optimist, happy sunshine shines from my behind personality. Not to mention walls that one has put up aren’t so easily torn down. They come down slowly, a few bricks at a time. And I’ve done fairly well in letting people in past them, but there’s always a couple of bricks we hide behind. And those who love me will understand that I’ll probably write about my feelings before I’m ready to talk to them. They get it. They’ll let me sort out my frustrations on my own & let me decide when I need someone to talk to & help me figure out how to get through & that I need to muddle on my own for a bit. But they respect that this is my way & to let me figure out for myself what I need.
So, I’m going to sort out my professional life while also learning how to sort out that it’s okay to be mad, sad, or just plain bitchy. Maybe I’ll watch Inside Out with the littles & learn what happens when feelings have feelings, because feelings have feelings too.