On a recent vacation to DC with my BFF Kathleen (yes, we’re that geeky about history that we take holidays in the nation’s capitol), we swung by the Jefferson Memorial for a visit with our friend Tom.
Kathleen and I are both fans of this complicated and multi-faceted man; however that’s not the point of this blog. One of his quotes, written in bronze on an interior wall, really hit home about something I’ve been marinating on for a while – change.
The quote reads, in part: “As [man] becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, [man] must advance also to keep pace with the times.” I feel like this captures the journey I’ve been on for the past couple of years. As I’ve become more enlightened and my circumstances have changed, I have advanced and evolved as well. Or at least I’ve really tried to advance and evolve.
I’m starting to feel more comfortable in my new mental awareness. I know that when I get frustrated I will say things that push people’s buttons. This has been happening with my new boss. I perceive some of her weaknesses, which I think happen to be areas of strength for me, so I offer up some advice or a way of doing something in an attempt to be helpful.
However, this can be perceived as trying to “one-up” her or make her look incompetent. This is where I often get blindsided with a kick in the ass, so I have to constantly check my frustration and bite my tongue. Call it job security. Luckily our deputy director is very approachable and has been a good sounding board for me.
As I’ve changed and started to refine or divest myself of my old faults, I’ve become acutely aware of similar faults in other people. One colleague is forever blaming things on other people and trying to get her way. She had the balls to tell her accountant to call the IRS and try to get a rule changed in her favor. Yes, she was trying to get IRS tax code over-ruled – that’s the kind of entitlement she had (At age 45! Although I have a feeling she was raise this way and has been thus all her life).
Now, I’ve never tried to get laws altered in my favor, but I did have a hard time accepting responsibility for my faults and knowing when it was time to move on. I just want to grab her, shake her, slap her, and say, “Get over yourself!”
Another colleague is a bit of a “negative Nellie” – he’s always casting doubt on suggestions and tattling to his boss when he perceives that someone has stepped out of line. Again, I want to say, “Get over yourself.” Focus on your own work and how you can support your colleagues.
I used to be very selfish with work ideas and get personally offended if someone didn’t want to do things my way. I would undercut colleagues’ ideas and tattle about the most absurd things (telling on a co-worker who was texting in a board meeting was my all-time favorite ‘tattle’). Doing these types of things only creates animosity in the work environment and are remembered by your boss when the annual review comes around.
I’m also trying to apply Mr. Jefferson’s logic of change to my love life. I’m trying to be more open and receptive in my relationship with Frank, but so many unanswered questions float around in my head. If he “lied by omission” to me about being married before, what else has he lied about? Not having leave during his year-long deployment, how much he claims to be in love with me yet has only phoned me once during his year away, how honorable really are his intentions because after knowing me for over a year he ‘Facebook friends’ a bottle-blond/fake-boobed flight attendant instead of ‘friending’ me?
Okay, so, the old bitter me returns every once and a while. In this case it was my friend the ‘green monster’ – no not the one in Fenway Park, I’m referring to ‘jealousy.’ My past relationships have been f*cked-up with so many trust issues that it’s going to be hard for me to change that one.
So I guess we all have our Achilles’ heels.
Frank returns home this week and will move in with me. In all honesty, I’m scared shitless. I have no idea what’s going to happen. I don’t want to be played for the fool, yet how do I go about trusting him when there are so many unanswered questions? How many questions can I pepper him with in the first 24 hours of his return? Oh, and I suppose if I’m on this truth and honesty kick, at some point I’m going to have to tell him about this blog that I’ve been writing for nearly three years, of which he’s taken up a good deal of real estate in for the past fourteen months.
My head his spinning … this change thing is hard … I think I need to make an appointment with my therapist PDQ!
Change photo available from Shutterstock.
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Last reviewed: 8 Feb 2012