Monday, July 25, 2011

Suck It Up Princess

I’ve never been a glass half full person.  I’m always drawn to the negative.  This has made my life far more difficult than it should be.  It’s been a part of my personality, a sarcastic, criticizing kind of humor.  Always meant to be funny and not mean spirited; unless you’re some dumb bitch who was a jerk to my friend in which case the sting of my words will wound you so deep your unborn children will feel it.
I used to have a strong sense of self, and over the past few years I feel like it has completely dissolved.  In an effort to leave negative situations, a frustrating and poorly run program at school and a failed relationship in particular, I moved to a new city in which I only knew a couple people.  My battered self-esteem has been working hard to build itself back up.  Right now I’m at the point where I’m fine if no one confronts any of my issues.
One of my sore spots is not living up to my expectations of myself (ie: having a job that does not match up with my education and skill level).  I recently went to the East coast to meet Flash’s parents and as his parents asked me about my work I felt myself shrinking.  I hate being asked about my job.  I mumbled something about how it was alright, more of a sideways move and that I was still figuring out what I wanted to do.  His mother nodded and asked if I was happy I’d changed jobs and I could feel that stinging in the back of my eyes.   Danger Will Robinson, if you continue talking about this you will start crying and look like a total nutter.  So I said yes, that’s it was good to be busier and make a bit more money and then made a comment about Flash’s job and the conversation turned to him.
I had another related experience last week.  We have these stupid day timers at work.  We have several client groups that we make them for, every year.  So I was asked a couple weeks before to come up with a couple ideas, nothing formal just bang something out.  I wasn’t hired for my design or graphic skills so I understood this to be a come up with a few ideas to show us you have the skill set to make these.  Turns out the guy who normally does them thought I was making final, present to a client, covers.  When he flipped through the 5 examples I had made his criticisms were harsh.  I could feel the stinging behind my eyes again and thought, SHIT, abort!  Abort!  This guy thinks I’m smart, I know he likes working with me; I know he thought that my covers were meant to be more final than they were and kind of got on a roll with the critiques… but it still struck that nerve.  I felt like, wow, you suck at everything.  You did not properly pursue your design career and now you’re a bottom of the barrel admin person who can’t even design a decent cover for a 2012 day timer.  Epic fail.
I asked him if we could discuss what he wanted later and proceeded to do a power walk around the office and then began filing like a mad woman to distract myself.  I came really close to crying in front of him.  I try not to cry because I am a bad crier.  My face gets red, my eyes swell up, and once I start I cannot stop.  I find crying in public to be mortifying.  Unfortunately, instead of just shaking it off I start crying harder because I’m embarrassed.  I’m crying because I don’t want to be crying.  Then I look ridiculous to be so upset over something dumb when really, I’m just upset that I let myself get upset.
Clearly my self-esteem/sense of self rebuilding is not as far along as I had hoped. 

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