I’m changing jobs…I am going from Vice President of Some Stuff at Company A to Vice President of Some Other Stuff at Company B. It is the same industry, the same type of job, even a lot of the same people I have worked with over the years, but still, it is a change and one that I precipitated and not one that was forced on me. It is easier to handle the change when it is not rammed down your closed throat. The past 4 ½ years have been a relentless series of unwanted changes – city flooding, mother dying, original company being bought out, sisters moving away – but this change, this one I decided to make. And still, I am a little nervous.
I like to be the person who knows everything. I like to say things with authority and help other people feel at ease. I feel off balance when I am the one with all the questions. I know it is my ego and a fear of looking stupid. People always say, “There are no stupid questions,” but they are wrong, oh so wrong. There are indeed stupid questions and there are stupid people who ask them and my fragile ego lives in fear of being one of those people. We are all one of those people at one time or another, so it is ridiculous of me to care about it. I am not inherently stupid, just occasionally stupid.
And, of course, I want everyone to like me. I mean, isn’t that the curse of every good Southern lapsed Catholic woman with a big ego and an inferiority complex? What if I say something stupid? Well, not what if, when I say something stupid, will they scorn me and ostracize me? If I screw up, will they publicly shame me? When I get sick, will the pack turn on me and kill me? So many questions…
The nice thing about this, however, is that I am not 25 anymore. I am a grown-ass woman of 40. I have given birth to another human being. I have lived through the worst natural disaster in the history of America, (ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic) I have logged hundred of nights in hotel rooms away from my family for the sake of my job….there is a big part of me that says, “Pffft, this is child’s play.” But not the whole part of me, you know? There is still that little niggling voice that says, “You are a fraud and a failure. Just wait ‘til they find out.”
My sister’s housekeeper says that voice is Satan. And, there is a part of me that thinks she is crazy. But, then again, maybe she’s not. After all, isn’t every great story basically the battle between Good and Evil? Why shouldn’t the battle in my head be any different? Call it whatever you want, Satan, the devil, low self-esteem, it all falls into the “bad” category. Thus, it seems the only way to fight it, is with “good” stuff – laughter, smiles and nervous eating.
Sometimes, I wish I could be a daily pot smoker. Seriously, I know people who smoke every day. Sure, I hate being around them because they have this kind of aloof detachment to their surroundings and the world around them, but that is also what I want sometimes. I want to care less and feel fewer emotions. Not always, just sometimes when it seems like life is too intense.
I equate my life to a movie. Most days, I am sitting reasonable distance back from the screen and can see the big picture easily. Some days, when things get crazy, I tend to sit in the first row with my nose pressed to the screen and everything moves fast and I catch only glimpses of what is going on. On those days, I tend to freak out and react in ridiculous ways. In reality, I just need to move further away to get the right perspective. But, it’s not that easy and the irrational part of me thinks it would be easier if I smoked pot (which, by the way, I have not done since high school.) Then, however, I might end up sitting in the parking lot of the movie theatre making out with the ticket taker.
I suppose the only thing I can do is suit up, show up, and do my best every day. How beautifully and wonderfully mundane.