Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: job

#30daysofdresses – day 16

The 14 hour work day…

Last week when I pulled this dress out of my closet, I was preparing for a full day of meetings. Higher ups were in town and my colleague planned a tour of LA from breakfast to bedtime.

It was a long, long, long day.

It was productive though. Because I’m a remote employee, I don’t get to experience the conversations that pan out between other people, the information sharing, the collaboration. I learned so much just riding in the car between meetings. It was a nice professional boost to attend these appointments.

At one point, a higher-up was asking me questions, feeling me out about my career goals. I said I believed we needed more leadership and maturity – and she asked about me.

Me?

I said I didn’t feel like I had enough experience yet… again, maturity, etc… and she cut me off, and said in a very direct but gentle way, “That’s a female thing. No man your age would say that.”

Oh.

Hello imposter syndrome: a situation where someone feels like an impostor or fraud because they think that their accomplishments are nowhere near as good as those of the people around them. Usually, their accomplishments are just as good, and the person is applying an unfairly high standard to themselves (and not to others).

The whole day got me thinking about where I’m at, what I want to do next, and circling back over this topic of having the authority over my own life.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to participate.

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This Grateful Season – Distance

Yesterday, I was finally feeling better. Such a relief.

And this morning I felt groggy but comfortable, tired but awake. Like functioning throughout the day wouldn’t be difficult. But then that old dread hit me – I don’t know where it came from, what thought or instance set it off again.

And I thought about how this feeling correlates to the pressure I put on myself, and I thought, “pick one thing… and start”. Ok. I can do that. “Take your time.” Ok, I can do that.

So, I did. I walked the dog, listened to an awesome interview with Andrea Scher (lots of serendipity here), cooked breakfast, took a hot shower, read a few blogs, called my mom while I drove to work, and started organizing and throwing out piles of paper when I got in.

My life is pure luxury because I have a job where I control my schedule, my tasks and even my goals. Of course there are reviews and projects, people to report to (though less lately), but I have more freedom than most. It is a major blessing.

Especially during weeks like this, where it seems everyone who works on site is cranky and uncommunicative, office politics running high. Where they feel resentful and unappreciated. Where the anxiety levels are turned up to 11.

I have the luxury of distance. 3,000 miles lay between me and the person in the next cubicle. So I can just put my head down and do my work.

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For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

Side note: to be honest, I feel like I’m coping out on these posts somehow. I wanted to use them as an review of my year, but instead they seem to be just daily posts. Since I invented this series, there is no “wrong” way to do it, but seriously, I was hoping to get a tad more in-depth by now.

This Grateful Season – Anticipation

My new job has come chock full of challenges and edges for me to stretch beyond. It’s been fun and exhausting. I didn’t realize until today that I’ve been wanting it to be either / or and it just can’t be. *duh* The dichotomy, the push and pull, is exactly where the balance is.

Today was full of nervous energy. Last week I panicked that the RSVPs were too low. Today I’m panicked they’re too high. The thing is though, it’s all good. Whatever happens happens. So as I sit here waiting for my event to start, I find myself grateful that I’ve done the work to be successful and not go insane. That I can put on awesome events that people love, but even if no one shows up tonight, I’m still me and that’s it’s all OK.

The anticipation, the fear, the excitement and the anxiety are all right where they’re supposed to be – coming up to escort me through my life. And when I’m given the chance to stretch like this, my confidence just explodes. There’s no better way.

 

**For the month of November, I’m posting something each day that I’m grateful for. It may be as long as an intricate post, as short as a quote, as simple as a link or as wordless as a photograph. Join me? #gratefulseason

 

Confident Worker Seeks More Down Time

The past two weeks, and actually since my new position began in June, I’m baffled the changes I’ve gone through.

Now when I speak, you can hear my excitement, see me taking charge. Envisioning the big picture and the details at the same time comes faster. There’s less asking for permission, and certainly no more apologizing… for my ideas, my opinion, for anything. I’ve found my place in the work force.

The work is challenging, my skills are being utilized, it’s satisfying, but I need to remember what I learned last year working through a Brene Brown e-course. It’s about my worth, not my work. And I’m worth is presence, time, focus and respect – and so is everyone else’s.

When you’re addicted to the high of feeling important, needed, and successful – the ol’ pat on the back – you’re sucked into a wicked game. Feelings of worthlessness, worry and comparing crop up. You think that pointing out others’ sins makes you less of a sinner. You judge. You’re deluded into thinking that if I just do.it.all.perfectly my life will be pristine.

But no life is spotless. We’re all struggling, laughing, aching, hungry, rested and giggly.

My boss’ boss is in town. A tricky situation, but so far so good. He’s new, I’m new. We’re discussing ideas and he’s seeing first hand the community I over see. I ran an event last night, attending a dinner tonight. It’s satisfying to have someone observe your work and approve.

But this new job is taking a toll on my inner-life, which, in turn eats away at my ability to be there for people.

I find myself exerting control over my work tasks and letting home wither away. I spend randoms hours at the office, escaping. I can’t focus on simple conversations. I tweet a lot.

But I’m noticing, recognizing the grasping at straws, taking responsibility.

“I know I said I’d be home earlier, but I’m still adjusting to this new job and I can’t seem to find a set routine. I’m happy. I’m enjoying it. But it’s a transition. Please bear with me.”

And not just abandoning my responsibilities to my partner or my home, but to myself. Time to blog, write, read, or exercise disappears. I get that itchy feeling that I should be doing something else, something more important, rather than just being.

So, blogging right now, probably making me late for my dinner. Got a massage this week. I make tea and just sit in quiet. I apologize to my fiance and ask for a hug. I scratch my dog behind the ears and I plan a coffee date with a friend. And I know this crazy, fun job is just making me want an artsy, creative life even more.

Letting Go – Work As Worth

As I was frantically vacuuming the entire apartment, my response to today’s #reverb10 post came streaming into my head. This year I’ve let go of the idea that my worth comes from my work.

This may not seem revolutionary, however, having grown up in a family of entrepreneurs, this notion was ingrained in me from a young age. To this day, words like “the office”, “paperwork” and “schedule” pour out of my parents’ mouths as reasons why we can or can’t do something as a family.

Of course, their work, their office, is important to them, but I don’t own my own business right now. It doesn’t matter how hard I work or how much I get done in any given day – my salary stays the same, my responsibilities are level and to make matters worse for my ego, I can’t seem to take on more tasks even as I ask for them.

I was stuck. It was as if life said, “Nope – you’re done. This is all we’ll allow you to work on right now.” I admit I still feel stuck, but what’s changed is my outlook on it all. I’ve let go of my work being my worth. This has allowed me to find more time for writing, reading, and a mental freedom I haven’t experienced before IN MY LIFE.

Work as worth leads back to other panic thoughts, aka “I’m not doing what I should be doing” (which brings in confusion and guilt) and becomes “I am worried I’m not justifying my existence” which really means “I am not enough”.

So what I’m really working on is accepting that I am enough. Working on loving myself as a precious being. To bring new things in, you have to clean up, make room, let go. My work in this area isn’t complete (not sure it ever will be) but I know it’ll continue into 2011 and beyond. I’m grateful I made such a leap this year.

One Blog Post Away

I started posting hours ago and then my draft disappeared. Gone. (Stupid Mercury retrograde) It had something to do with the mental struggles of my day – how on paper my job looks like a precious gift that I keep trying to return. How I have co-dependent tendencies. How today I tried to disconnect from the pressure I put on myself to do something when there is nothing to be done. And I feel a whole lot better.

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