the cherry on top

last week my direct supervisor was out of town, so mike, the operations manager, was sitting in her office, which is just accross from my cube (why am i still in a cube?). the last time he sat in like this, i ended up demoted, kicking off a real shitty time in my work and personal life. to make matters worse, this was my week to break and cover the front desk, my old position. ever since they decided for me that i couldn’t separate my thought life from how i treat people and therefore shouldn’t be working face to face with customers, i have felt super awkward when i break the front desk person and management is around. i know that my direct supervisor trusts me, but i feel judged and self-conscious when i have to do my old job around the people that took it away from me.

so last week. not only can mike hear me on my calls when he’s in his office, but he sees me and works with me when the front desk person goes on break. i was dreading it a little bit. but at the same time lately i’d been thinking about this unique experience in my life. i’ve struggled with this, i’ve rarely gotten in trouble at work, and i’ve certainly never been demoted. being fired would be easier in a way because then you wouldn’t have to face people, you wouldn’t have to interact with the people that reprimanded you and put on an act like everything is ok and pretend you don’t feel humiliated everyday. i’ve only just recently started to get in touch with how deeply this has hurt me, hurt my confidence, to be judged on the ugliest of my personal thoughts by people that don’t really know who i am. it has affected me in complex ways.

on the other hand, this is a challenge. this is an opportunity for me to be resilient. so a couple of people got the wrong idea about me…. so they generalized me and judged me… so they deemed me a bad person. i can believe them and internalize, or i can move on doing the best job that i can. slowing down and connecting with people, listening and being empathetic, being annoyed and irritated at aspects of my job and still being a good person, shaking it off and moving on. and that’s what i’ve been trying to do.

midway through the week i smiled at this challenge i’m receiving. how funny that it turns out my break week comes on the week that mike is sitting in. at first i was too nervous to do my best job. but then i refused to be intimidated and decided to just do what i do. and it was a tough week, super busy. thursday at the end of the day, mike called me into his office. oh shit, i thought. did my mom send me one too many emails and now i’m fired??

“lola. we had a meeting a while back,” he started, a half smile on his face. “we had a meeting a couple of months ago where we asked you to make some changes. and i just want you to know that the way you have reacted to this has been pheomenal. and i want you to know that it hasn’t gone unnoticed. i’m very impressed.”

wow.

i thanked him and told him how much i appreciated that. and then i biked on air all the way home. this has all been such a humbling experience, staying at a place where you feel unwanted and unappreciated, trying to find another job in a time when it’s so difficult. but still finding the small ways to keep your sanity, and beyond that to keep trying. not that i haven’t had my days of fuck this, i don’t even care about this stupid job and this company, why bother? i’m not a saint. but it’s been nice to experience grace through this, to be strong and push myself. for myself. the cherry on top is when people notice the good things.

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rain

even though you capped my night of fitful restlessness with with thunder booms at first subtle and faraway, gradually louder until it felt they were coming from inside my chest…

even though you ruined my plans for my glorious return to biking to work…

even though rainy mornings are dreary…

i love you, rain! i love the smell. i love my walk breaks at work, looking at the phenomenal miracles you bring to the gardens. i like the color change on my favorite tree, the way water colors the bark trails a richer shade of brown. i like sidewalks washed clean, but dirty with displaced mud.

magnificent!

convert!

saturday at work a man i was helping asked me if i wanted to convert to islam. it was the first time i was evangelized by a muslim. he said, “you are so nice, you should be muslim.” i thought it was kinda sweet, i was genuinely touched. if a christian had done that to me i would’ve been kind of offended.

try

i haven’t tried to articulate it yet but my heart is so full with this new idea. actually, my last post – the horoscope – is really what it’s all about. i’m the queen of the warning of that horoscope… beginning to do the work and then just quitting. but what happens when you keep pushing, trucking, trying? i’m finding out.

it’s like i’m in the best and worst points of my life. a crossroads. i’m seeing what i need to do to move forward, but subconsciously so frightened that i’m making old familiar mistakes. but i continue to try, even through the mistakes.

the concrete example right now is sports. laura’s dad took us through some kickball drills last week – catching a pop-up, throwing underhand, fielding, kicking, pitching, running the bases. it was… in a word… amazing. i’ve always had this underlying feeling, this suspicion that i would be good at sports… but i was too embarrassed/self-conscious/scared to try my best. what a funny feeling. what a funny way to live. but i surprised laura with my ability when i actually did my best. even more, i surprised myself and confirmed my own suspicions.

then there was yesterday. the quest for the golden shuttlecock. i had dreams of playing high school badminton but i let my insecurities stop me from even looking into the south high team. since age 13 or so, i’ve only played once – last year’s competition. our team lost the double elimination rather quickly. this year the mixed doubles teams were chosen by random drawing. by fate, i got paired up with one of the most skilled and competitive partners in the tourney. oh travis. my girl’s ex and my worst nightmare of competition. when i found out i was scared shitless, thinking i was going to let him down, thinking i might be assaulted for my lack of skill. but i remembered my passing thought from earlier: what if i were paired up with someone good? what if i had a chance at winning? i moved through the fear and thought to myself, why not just try my best and see what happens? i could be a champion!

i made choices that allowed me to focus and do my best.

out of many teams, we got second place… undefeated throughout the tourney except for the first place winners. and we beat them earlier in the tourney. and it was don, last year’s winner, and virtually a pro-badminton girl player. amazing! and let me tell you… i was not carried… i held my own.

so why not translate this skill into all areas of life? lola do your best. see what happens. i’ll let you know how that goes!

horoscope 2

your strategies are very close to working. the results you’ve generated so far are almost useful, bordering on successful, and on the brink of being beautiful. my question now is: you won’t stop here, will you? you’ve already garnered a measure of recognition. you’ve gotten a taste of victory over your old bugaboos. will you be satisfied with these partial breakthroughs, or will you fight and kick and scratch to strip away the almosts and ascend to utter triumph?

the beginning of today’s purge

it’s been a long time and i’m afraid to just sit down and be still again. things have gotten real fucked up again. is this hitting bottom again? a new bottom that’s not so low, but as low as i wanna go? today definitely feels like the beginning of a rise, and a good rise. i’ve taken some steps, acknowledged a couple of directions i need to move in. it’s time to be amazing again, time to save my own life, give myself butterflies. i’m not there yet but that’s the current path.

i’ve got a lot of work to do.