**Sidenote: This post became a very personal piece as I wrote the draft and reflected on it for two full two days….lots of editing and soul-searching going on… a much-needed catharsis. So, if time (or interest) isn’t on your side, feel free to hit delete and visit another day – for a much shorter post.
If you’d like to read on and to see what’s in my head and heart today, maybe find a nugget of a takeaway for yourself (or throw some advice my way), I thank you in advance. By the way, it does end with motivation to consider.
Every day, we are faced with things that make us wonder, Why? Why is this happening? Why did he/she do/say that? What could I have said/done differently?
How we handle those questions can make the difference in what happens next…. Right?
Late last Friday afternoon, while meeting with my new boss on campus, she said something that absolutely stunned me. In fact, I thought she was joking. When I realized she wasn’t, I sat in utter disbelief and bewilderment. It was a good thing I was sitting down, because I was feeling like I was going to pass out. The room began to spin. I hung on to the chair arms and willed myself to stay coherent.
Then, giant tears began to fall. Uncontrollably.
It was horrible.
I hate when that happens. I swear it’s an involuntary reaction with me. No matter how hard I try not to, I cry at the drop of a hat. This meeting was no exception.
The toughest part is – and probably the reason I was so distraught over this information – I’ve known this person professionally for several years. While we didn’t work directly together, we interacted on occasion and were aware of each other’s roles in our department. I’m glad she’s our new Director; she brings experience, energy, passion, and dedication to the role.
To think that what she told me – the opinions of some coworkers – is who she believes I am now, distresses me in ways I cannot articulate. I feel like it’s an attack on my character – personally and professionally, which is painful beyond any measure.
There was no need to say anything. Not only could I not because I was so stunned, but any attempt on my part would have (I’m sure) seemed like excuses or denial. Instead, it was better to stay quiet.
Yes, I internalize things … I’m struggling with this, I won’t lie.
But I also believe in karma. And… I’m deeply reflective (Blogging friend Carrie Rubin recently talked about thinking and ‘overthinking’)…. I’m definitely a thinker. I need lots and lots of time to process things.
Later that evening, I saw this quote.
I’ve always believed this, and I’ve been mulling ‘a reason’ over all weekend.
Now, as you read this post, the new school year has begun in our district. Beginning today, staff and faculty are on campus and preplanning is underway. I’m there, feeling the weight of her words. I hope ‘a reason’ becomes clear and leads in a positive direction…. soon. I also hope that she sees the words of a few are in fact, limited opinion, and not as general as it sounded when we spoke last week.
And if it IS that general and I was living in a fantasy world last spring, then maybe THAT will be A Reason…. but I don’t think that’s the case.
I’ve always had a strong personality. I know that. I’m a classic first-born child. But I’ve also been a ‘cheerleader’ for others for many years, wanting everyone to feel inspired, happy, joyful, grow personally and professionally, and succeed beyond their own expectations. I’m ‘all about the process’ – in everything I do. Being a teacher for 20+ years has allowed me to share that ‘mission’ with soooo many people over the years – kiddos and adults. It’s the foundation of my art/writing studios – finding happiness and joy, and being inspired.
But…. I cannot stand stupidity, laziness, or lack of personal responsibility. When I see that part of people, my straightforward disposition comes out front and center – often seen as harsh. In my younger years, I didn’t hold my tongue (and should have more often), but the older I get, the more I consider my words before they fly out of my mouth. On some occasions, I don’t catch them in time. Hence, I realize after a weekend of reflecting on my new boss’s words, the opinions of some at work.
As I get older, I continue working on watching my words and actions and make it part of my daily life to work on building relationships and community – which can be challenging as I also embrace my introverted disposition becoming more prominent as I get older and my tolerance diminishes. Sometimes, I still step on toes. I often realize it as I’m doing/saying something, and typically apologize as soon as the words come out (or I catch myself and reword as fast as possible, not always successfully).
In other instances, I don’t apologize. THERE it is… there is the issue. There is why I’m often described as aggressive – some even say rude.
I get it. Not accepting others’ lack of personal responsibility is frowned upon. God forbid I mention it(!!!). Hmmmm…. That’s a tough one for me. I guess I need to practice biting my tongue more often and leaving the ‘mentioning’ to others….
After reflecting on this post all weekend, my wonderful husband, who saw me come home Friday night in a state of god-knows-what, has been patiently waiting for me to share, and knows my not-so-patient side, had this comment when I finally told him Sunday afternoon about Friday’s meeting:
“Well, she definitely doesn’t know you and it’s okay that you cried.”
Thank you, dear husband, for always being my rock. I love you.
Have you struggled to find a reason for why someone or something is in your life? How did you handle it?
Wishing you the empowerment to see those around you as your reasons and finding your own understanding.
Have a wonderful Monday and thanks for hanging around through this very long post!