When I went back to work the next day everyone marvelled at my tan. They told me how great it looked against my dark hair. My friend who told me, “Get a tan xxBonzexx!” Now replaced that with, “I told you so!”. I had no comeback for her because she was so right! I loved it. I had a whole new look and a whole new life experience to now carry with me. Not only that but work had transitioned my role and I had a whole new job description to take on as well. One that I could see, would cause an issue with my personality and that of my peers. I didn’t know exactly how introspective that observation would be. More on that in later posts!
As I sat at my desk and looked around at my peers (who too went away on vacation and came back the same day I did) I began thinking to myself that if I could get through Miami and all the stress that went with it then do I really need to be around people as much as I thought I did? Did I really need their friendship or was it their validation that I craved and why did I need validation from these people? Can I go to lunch by myself? The mall by myself? Get my nails done by myself? Do I constantly need company to do these things? Can I come home and un wind without looking at my phone wondering why it’s not ringing or who I could call now? Why did I need such constant validation? Wasn’t I enough? And if not, where do I begin to validate myself so I AM enough?
I realized I had a lot of work to do to begin getting to the root of why I felt like I needed this validation and where and how I could give it to myself. One thing I knew was I had this sinking feeling about my new role, I felt anxiety and stress and I also knew I didn’t like it either. I was afraid of what was to come. My fear was right. Insert new manager Tessa. Tessa never managed people before let alone a team of 12 HR people and 1 Business Analyst. As a result she was horribly incompetent at her job. She was used to being domineering when confronted, winging it and flying by the seat of her pants when she was faced with a situation she didn’t know how to handle and worst of all she lied about everything. She wasn’t even good at that because the people she lied about us too came straight to us and told us every word. It could be manageable if that was it but she was lying about information we need to do our job. You’d think she’d learn but she kept on lying even after getting caught.
Not only that but we kept her accountable and thus clipped her wings whenever she tried to fly by the seat of her pants in a situation she didn’t know. She didn’t like it so she’d run crying to the director to tell on all the “mean” HR people who reported to her. After a while she was known around the office as the cry baby. Oh Tessa isn’t at her desk? She’s probably crying somewhere and 9/10 times you’d be right. But even he couldn’t save her from us. It was going to be a long summer. Tessa knew it, we knew it and so did the Regional Managers that we worked with. They too strongly disliked Tessa for the same reasons. It wasn’t looking good for her.
One thing I did know was, I had this new sense of independence that I didn’t have before. If I wanted to go to the mall I went. I didn’t pick up the phone and ask anyone to come with me. It didn’t even cross my mind and when I did remember the fact that I didn’t desire to have anyone with me, it made me both smile and scared at the same time. It was foreign but it was good. I got home and put my phone aside and didn’t think about it again till it was time to plug it in and go to bed. But I still needed to figure out a way to give myself validation so I didn’t seek it from anyone else. I decided to turn to God for my comfort because at my lowest point he was there for me. To some it sounds hokey but it’s not. I felt like He was the only one I could trust. So I spoke to Him like He was a person in front of me. It felt comforting.
I sat many days and looked introspectively asking myself key questions and examining my past for clues as to how I got here. It wasn’t long till I realized the top 3 things that were common threads in the demise and or lack lustre results in all my friendships and relationships:
- I talk to much; I over share
- I was lonely
- I wanted acceptance
Number 1 ties into number 3, which temporarily eases number 2 until number 2 is no longer satisfied and then the cycle continues. The root of all these things was loneliness. I needed to find a way to manage my loneliness and I had no idea how to do it.
I spoke to my friend who bailed on me when I got back but it didn’t feel the same. I didn’t dislike her and I understood her reason for bailing but I found it interesting that she made sure her birthday trip was secure regardless of what that did to me having to go on my trip alone. It didn’t quite matter that it caused me great anxiety. For her, it would be a learning experience for me so in that way it was fine. I was a big girl right? It wasn’t about me; my happiness or “doing right” by me wasn’t even a factor. Instead of resenting her I decided to study her for a second. I firmly believe that a persons reaction to you is a direct result of how they feel about themselves inside. It’s a reflection of them and not you. I noted that she put herself first regardless of how that affected anyone else. Right or wrong in anyone’s eyes it was her own opinion that mattered. No one else. Interesting I thought to myself. I didn’t share the same heart as her; I just couldn’t do that to someone but I knew that she wouldn’t be the 1st or last person to enter my life who lived their life that way. So why stay hurt about it? Learn and adjust my perspective on expectations of people so this doesn’t happen again. Never again will I ever get caught out like that. Never.
Study the rules of the game then learn how to play it.
Figuring her out wasn’t my job; that I knew but observing her was. So I did, took what I needed from it then moved on. No time for anger. Now that I had figured out what my triggers were and their root causes, I needed to pray about it and ask God to either take that feeling of loneliness away or help me manage it so it doesn’t control and drive my decisions. I prayed then quickly forgot about my new plan of attack because things at work were about to hit the fan and the powder keg that was Tessa, her manipulations and lies was about to cause a major war. You see, while I was home doing all this introspective thinking, work was becoming a serious war zone. I was oblivious because I was in this bubble of peace where nothing bothered me. That was the eye of the storm. We were working under circumstances that was a set up for real and serious failure and considering all that was at stake and how accountable we would be (i.e a National scandal if the media caught wind of it) tensions were at an all time high.
Then just like that they exploded and who knew that I would be the match to start the fire.
Because at the end of the day there is only so much someone can take.
Next post Nov 11th!
Till next time guys!