At 31 I am still learning to ask for what I want and need in order to survive (let alone thrive), and this morning I finally walked over to the tiny HR department at work to talk about my contract. I was hired as a temporary employee at an organization that usually hires people temp to hire. I have been assured that I “Have nothing to worry about”, when the state of Pennsylvania hasn’t passed their budget and “we are in a fiscal crisis”, according to said HR person. During our short conversation, in which I notified her that I was speaking to the CEO this afternoon about a potential permanent position for me here, she told me several times to be “less stern”. This is not new to me, as I spent about a year in unemployment, and the stress weighed heavily, people like to comment. but it really pissed me off. The movie “inside out” came to mind, when the father tells the daughter to smile despite her clear misery. (FYI, we have no right to tell others how to experience their feelings). I don’t think that men are told to be “less stern” about their health benefits. I want a contract.
I left her office with a smile on my face and walked to my car to cry. This is what I’ve come to:
- Life is uncertain. That is its magic. Its ok to be scared. Its not ok to allow fear to prevent you from asking for what you need. Advocate persistently. Do not be deterred.
- Setting an intention before I have an important conversation is imperative for me. It allows me to choose a powerful stand in my life. It makes me less emotive and more centered. It supports me in seeing the other person as an ally. It helps me not cry in the car afterwards.
- I will always be. That is my religion. The God that resides in me, and resides in you and resides in every other human on this beautiful Earth holds us in well-being. Trust.
- I am slowly releasing my need to please others. It is a slow and sometimes painful process and I may never be done because there is an overlap for me between giving generously, being in relationship, being professional, etc. and being attached to a particular outcome. Also, we live in communities and our lives affect the lives of others. I understand that. I respect that. I will not allow my deference for others dim my light.
- I’ve been taking a siesta the last 2 months. Siesta is over. I am on a mission to figure out “what I want to do when I grow up”. I have found my mentor, Maya Angelou. I’ve chosen Maya because she is a soul sister (like, we understand one another) and because she owned herself and courageously loved herself despite the ideals of others. I used to find this very difficult, but no longer. (I am going to get my first tat this weekend and also put a blue streak in my hair. Just to rock the boat. And maybe pierce my lip. Still thinking about that one). The great thing about having Maya as my mentor is that she changed her mind. She allowed herself to make mistakes, to fail. To reinvent herself.