Where have I gone?? I used to be so ambitious. Driven. Focused. Strong. Crazy and fearless. Stupid. All the things necessary to get ahead and survive in this world. I used to be willing to drive over an hour commute to work in the city because it was better, new, or good on my resume. I would work 16 hour days 6 days a week without batting an eye. I moved across country and lived in insane social settings to have the experience at the job, put in the time, have the name on my resume. I worked full-out, all heart and soul in a male dominated and driven environment, to cut my niche in at least a small part of the world and life. And I knew that was the way it worked. That was the way it was done and some day it would be different if I worked hard enough and long enough. I did it because you’re supposed to. I did it because I was good at it. Maybe some day I would be doing it long enough to love it. Maybe at a different job, something more challenging, more exotic, I would learn to love it.
Bit by bit, the job starting slipping away and I starting slipping away. I worked my ass off in a position where the guy standing next to me, doing my same job, my same age with my same title and less experience, made 50% more than me and had the insurance “they just didn’t have to offer me right now”. I let myself be reprimanded on my permanent work record for mistakes I hadn’t made because my boss wasn’t comfortable with a girl as his go-to guy, second in command. I stopped cooking. For me or for others. I wore pantyhose and heels! I became really good at the new me. Table settings, proper etiquette, name recognition, menu descriptions, billing, ordering, making schedules…keeping my head above water. I allowed people to call me the wrong name and treat me like shit because they had money, the same money that signed my paycheck.
I started a NEW me somewhere else that didn’t even care where I went to school, or how hard I had worked til now or even know what Johnson & Wales University is…and I was really good at the new me. Worked really hard, excelled at this new thing, did the right thing, offered to take the extra shift, started creeping up the ranks when I didn’t really want to. But that’s what you do. That’s the next step. I was going to be the best new me you had ever seen. And I was. I now excelled at mediocrity and the mundane and still took pride in it!! Go figure.
Then, I broke. Have you seen me?? Do you know where I can find me?
I cringe at the idea of driving even 15 mins some day to get to a job. I can’t fathom how I might work a 5-8 hour day even a couple of days a week. I can’t think of almost any job that doesn’t include flourescent lighting and computer/register screens with crappy resolution and refresh rates. I pack for an illness Armageddon to go to someones house for even a couple of hours. I psyche myself with chanting words of encouragement in order to just leave the house. I contribute next to nothing. I produce little to nothing. I achieve almost nothing. I hide in my AC wishing I felt human so I could even care that I’m missing. This is not me. This is not who I am to be.
If you find me, can you let me know??