"You don't see what I see."
Today, talking with a woman I've worked with for a while now, but never had the privilege to meet face-to-face, she said this to me as we were talking about how we each aged, and our general sense of self. It was by no means a Meep and Deaningful, but it was certainly an insightful conversation. We were just discussing how we get along well with one another, and sometimes have a harder time with others.
It's easy for me to forget that my apparent personality (it's not a put-on, but it's by no means all there is to me, my general demeanor) gets in other people's way, and this is not what they see ...
See now, for ALL of us - we don't forget our Liddle Kid inside. We scarcely remember we are anything else, some days: but nobody else sees the Liddle Kid. Most of us get taken at face value all day long, day in and day out, to the point where an objective view of how we seem to others is all but impossible - because WE know our own past, our insecurities, those things we don't share, or try not to, all the sausage-making of the daily process of being amongst others (yes, even if only online).
I often have to contend with the fact that people find me "intense" and a very strong personality. From the inside, not only is there that little overexposed tot half hiding behind a shoulder and one knee, but there's also the simple fact that, being comfortable in my apparently-tough skin, the experience of wearing it is pretty chill overall. Being myself didn't come easily, but it's also the only option I've ever entertained, so it's not a hectic feeling, containing my exuberance, my volume, all the "intense" things-and-stuff that go into making Diane. I may joke about faking it till you make it - and I make no bones about how carefully calibrated my visible behavior is - but there's no pretense in the calibration, and whatever manipulation is involved is generally, as I say in all seriousness, the passive-aggression I employ in order to get my job done. When I say "if there is anything I may do or provide" to get X or Y done or delivered at my job, it's both a way of requesting clarity and trying to get balls in play that may not be in my court at some given moment. It also is a highly effective phrase, assuming onus instead of throwing it around. (You'd be amazed how frequently people go, "Oh, look! Some onus! I think I'm going to take that on myself!" - seriously, it's astounding.)
But for all the refined calibration and arch posing, the kid up there is LISTENING to the performance coming out of her own galdarned middle-aged mouth, and just marveling at how totally believable it all sounds. And realizing - you know what, there's reason to believe.
All this is to say ... this week at my job has been pretty great. Not 100% easy, and not without irritations. But a series of events that all seem to underline how grateful I am to *have* said job, to work with those I do - and to have met a wide swath of my team at last.
At moments - that kid came gibbering dangerously toward the fore. But nobody seems to have seen her. Overall, I came off as I usually do - competent, perhaps a bit strong - and, crucially, *competent*.
So, after several days with huge chunks of OT, I'm looking forward to a bit of celebratory fun tomorrow, at my first job ever where apparently Hallowe'en is seriously celebrated. And an afternoon off. I'll take photos of my costume and share them here, if I get a good shot.
Even with half a work day still to go, I'm enjoying the weekend already. Hope you will get to as well!
1 day ago