Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with someone I haven’t seen since the 8th grade. Maggie and I weren’t really ever friends in school but we hung out in the same group. Neither of us knows exactly why we never formed a relationship but frankly, it was probably dumb girl stuff and we were never given the opportunity to do so. Now, through the wonders of Facebook, we have reconnected and frankly, she’s one of the coolest chicks I could ever hope to meet. It’s odd to find someone you used to know (though admittedly not well) and to realize that your lives have taken a series of similar turns and that the end result is that they are quite like you. I have very few people in my life that have taken the same path through life and come out to be like me in personality so when we get together it’s kind of a cosmic explosion and constant talking. Thankfully the Mr is used to this and Maggie’s lovely fiance` could hold his own throughout it all. It was a fantastic day and more so, a little inspiring.
It got me thinking a lot about how my own life is progressing and the relationships (both work and personal) that revolve around me. Personal relationships are pretty great right now. I’ve gotten to a point of maturity that I really only have positive, encouraging, friendly faces around me who are strong enough to tell me if I’m off base without being mean. I feel as though I’ve really turned a serious adult corner in the last couple of years and this has also caused me to clash a little bit with other people (women honestly). At first I couldn’t see the cause, I didn’t get the reaction because I am normally a very likable person who will go out of my way to be friendly but lately, this hasn’t been working so awesome for me. Some days are fantastic, some days I just have to rely on my thick skin and a sense of belief that whatever is being hurled at me is not really about me.
Oddly enough I have a friend who seems to be going through the exact same thing right now and we are enough alike in personality that I have to think that it’s not so much about us but about the people that are circling us. See, I’m a strong ass personality type. When I open my mouth it’s because I have something to say. When I tell you something, I’m 99.999% sure I’m completely right. When I do something and don’t ask for assistance it’s because I don’t need it, not because I’m stubborn (I save all this crap for the Mr.), and frankly, it doesn’t go down so well all the time.
See, I’m a pretty confident woman. I’m secure in my knowledge of what I’m doing, in who I am, what I look like, how I speak, what I think, and my own strength. It wasn’t till recently that I learned that this is a pretty intimidating personality type. Maybe even overbearing at times. This confidence though comes from years upon years of experience, knowledge seeking, and fucking hard work. It’s not like I woke up one day and was a complete badass, no people, I earned that merit badge with blood sweat, and copious tears. Imagine how awkward it is for me to learn that by just being me and doing what comes naturally it is making others uncomfortable. That they are so uncomfortable with me in fact that they must revert to teenage girl tactics to bring me down a notch. It’s incredibly unfortunate and frankly, doesn’t work. See, I’ve been amongst the most ruthless of sharks for way to long to be phased by snippy comments, stupid IM’s, or rude emails. I’ve taken worse from way better.
The problem is thus: I make them uncomfortable by being who I am and achieving excellence which shines a light a little too powerfully on those around me and a lot of people are not ready to be so fully in the spotlight. In this glare they see themselves maybe for the first time in real detail. They cope by demanding me to be less and to conform to their standards so as not to feel uncomfortable anymore. I can not be less even if I tried. My own drum beat is so overpowering that I just can’t hear yours. Looking further at it, I have to admit that it’s a little infuriating that someone would try to make me less of who I am because they have not evolved enough in life to be confident in who they are. Me being me and them being them doesn’t make either of us less. How am I the only one to see that?
So yeah, I’ve been dealing with that and just trying to negotiate a peace where I am doing my thing, working my ass off at it, and hopefully not making them feel bad about themselves in the process.
Then Maggie and her wonderful finance` came over and we chatted for like 8 hours straight. Though I have numerous wonderful successful friends this, I have to admit, was the first time I was a little overwhelmed by a persons success. See, I’ve been around people who make money, people who make ridiculous unheard of amounts of money, and it doesn’t phase me. “Oh, that Bently is yours? Good for you.” Money can be power, and money can buy security, but money can’t buy a lot of things. Mr. Fiance` started out by telling us that he used to work for NASA. Yep. At 27 years old this man is probably going to reach for 6 or 7 brass rings I couldn’t even imagine. He now works for Boeing as an Aeronautical Engineer. Seriously. This is the first time I have been a little intimidated by how awesome a person was. Anyone can make money, not everyone can be a fucking badass Aeronautical Engineer. It totally helped that he was completely awesome, reminded me of my Mr, and almost glowed when he looked at my friend Maggie. Seriously, kudos to you chica, nice catch
After he left though I thought about how I felt. Yeah, I was seriously impressed (which doesn’t happen often), but what else did I feel? Then I realized, that I probably felt more badass for meeting him (and being a little intimidated of his accomplishments) than anything else. His accomplishments, knowledge, and awesomeness didn’t make me any less in the least. I’d never be able to do his job but it doesn’t make me less of a person or any less accomplished in my life. I believe this should probably be a normal reaction and thus the reaction I’ve received for my own awesomeness isn’t normal, valid, or warranted. With this knowledge in hand I’m going to continue to follow the advice of my lovely friends and family, and keep doing what I do. There’s no need for me to make myself less to make other people more comfortable. It’s not like I’m wearing a flashing neon sign on my back that rotates between flashing “I’M AWESOME” and “YOU OBVIOUSLY SUCK!” My own awesomeness doesn’t make anyone elses’ less so.
It really makes me remember my Unitarian Principles and reminds me to practice them even if others don’t.
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.