I made a decision recently to step down from my higher position at work.
It was a long time coming, I've felt from the beginning that the whole leadership thing wasn't for me. I spent just under a year working extremely hard to rise higher, hearing wonderful things about myself from others and being liked by, I think, everybody. Then after getting promoted I spent eleven months trying to be someone I'm not. You can't do these jobs and stay the same. You can't excel in business and be the person you want to. I thought I could adapt and change but it took months of being unhappy for me to realise I actually like who I am. No titles, no honours, just being me.
I know now what my qualities are, because people tell me all the time:
I make others feel good about themselves
I'm honest to the point it makes people re-consider their own opinions and actions
I'm a good time.
and I turn the ordinary into something special
None of these things rate very highly on the authority, leadership, responsibility role I thought I wanted.
I have to admit, my heart was never really in this. How could it be? I paint, I write, I create.
I wanted the position for the wrong reasons. I kept looking at myself through others eyes, thinking I needed to improve. I thought I needed to be in a position of importance, to impress my friends? Jones? To feel like my degree was worth a penny? To feel like Jones saw me as slightly more impressive because I was closer to his level. - Feminist of the year award just sailed on by flipping me the bird.
Yeah it definitely took me a while to figure out, the only person I should have been thinking about, was myself. What I want, and what I see when I look in the mirror. For months I've seen a shadow of my former self, someone who's gone back to a quiet lonely shell, stressed and conflicted all the time. I had to step away from it. It wasn't for me.
Turns out, Jones was so supportive I was thrown off balance, I expected disappointment and there was none. Christine thinks I ought to give Jones more credit, she said I could be a slum kitchen dish washer and he'd still be happy with me. I don't know what my sisters in law saw in Jones when they first caught him looking at me, I don't know what they see now four years later, but it's a million miles away from where I am looking. To hear other people talk, I must be blind in comparison.
Christine thinks whatever I do, wherever I go, Jones will be one step beside me. Why do I doubt this whenever I make a difficult decision? It's as if to some of the outsiders looking in, Jones' is a concrete pillar unmovable, and strong in my life. But all I keep thinking is: Hurricanes and Earthquakes bring down bridges and buildings like flour in the wind every couple of years. The twelve year old who's often in the back of my mind pipes up asking how I grew to be such a cynic.
Well, that's that. I guess the point of this post was that even if you rise through the ranks, even if it's what everybody expects, there's no shame in admitting that you'd rather be yourself and be poorer and happy than change yourself to suit others and feel like a stranger. Even if you went to Uni, and have 3 years of debt built behind you, it's not a failure to decide you don't give a shit about growing a massive successful career. A job's a job and it's better than standing in line at the dole office. Wanting a family and running a home doesn't make you less of a feminist than those who work all hours rubbing shoulders with the big men in suits. To hell with expectations, and impressing anybody else. The only one who matters is me. and I like being me.