Where in the world have I been hiding? I've forgotten to prioritize based on what's really important. I've allowed others' expectations dictate how I've been spending my time. Not important people. Not people that can ever be satisfied. People who are miserable and validate themselves in nonconstructive ways. I fell into a hole.
It's been all about work. I kept believing things would ease up, it would get easier, better, or whatever. But for reasons I couldn't understand, I gave my all and then stretched further than I could and still could not satisfy or please. I had a particularly clarifying moment in the past week.
I had a huge project that was originally assigned to two people. Somehow it was whittled down to just me. I've spent hour upon hour upon hour hammering the details, arranging, organizing, and getting things ready. Every time I sought help from the one that used to be in charge of this project, she evaded me. The big day arrived. I had planned for most contingencies. Under normal circumstances, it would go utterly flawlessly. I knew it wouldn't but I had enough faith in my preparation to believe the kinks could be worked out. There were two big contingencies I didn't factor into the equation. The first was my belief that my colleagues had my back. That they wouldn't let me sink. That they would pick up the slack. I'd done all the heavy lifting. All they had to do was be support. That was the first kink. The second kink was sabotage in the form of one of the people from my previous sentence.
I won't get into the details of what was done and what happened. The bottom line was my moment of clarity as I was recounting the experience to my husband. I was livid but knew I didn't have solid proof that it was sabotage. The red clouds parted for a moment and I had a few epiphanies. The first was pointed out by Scott. Yes, there were hiccups, yet despite all of her efforts to sabotage my hard work, it was a success. She created a situation where chaos was invoked throughout the school then had a secretary radio me to let me know there was chaos and it was my fault. I knew she wanted to teach me a lesson, although I still don't understand why. She wanted me to know how hard her life is and how hard she has worked. Because she is a miserable woman who thrives on her victimhood. She's bitter that I am supposedly working part-time when she "has" to work full time. So she is punishing me.
In retrospect, I had some realizations of small but meaningful miracles. I stumbled across her invoking a riot with a particular teacher. I completely owned her faux pas of causing chaos. I apologized to him profusely. I sent an email shortly after the event apologizing for the interruption and requesting feedback. What I received was a few people who provided feedback - some meaningful and useful, others too specific to not be scripted by someone else, and praise. Praise. Was it a screaming success? Absolutely not. But I pulled it off. It was not a catastrophe. It wasn't even a mild catastrophe. It was a successful event that was supposed to be doomed. Since I didn't doom it, it was sabotaged. And it still worked.
It would be so fun to just be smug about the entire experience and turn the page. I really want to but I had some other moments of clarity when I was humble and teachable. I realized that Someone had my back. There were too many coincidences to call them that. The event itself is not career making or shattering. The fact that I had to do it myself and had a colleague actively sabotaging it taught me some very life changing lessons.
- I realized how insecure this woman really is. How fragile her ego is. In the past year, I have handed her power over me by seeking her out as a mentor in a new environment. She abused that power and revealed herself. She is a gifted woman in many areas but lacks confidence in her intellect. The truth is that she is not intellectually gifted. Now I see how deeply her insecurities go and how far she will extend herself to hide them; purposely hurting others to validate herself, she lost my respect and she lost the power she held. Because of my new knowledge, I realize how much power I have to harm her. I am so very grateful to say, with complete confidence, that I would not do that to another person. Not even one who did it to me.
- I now know my enemy. There will be moments when I will be angry at her again. But I pity her.
- I have given far too much time, attention, and anxiety to a game I call work. It wasn't a game I could win. Nobody will give me a medal because of all my sacrifices. What I can't finish during my work hours won't get done. When I pull into my garage at the end of work, I need to be the woman who is a mother to four children, a wife to a man that needs him, a daughter to my parents, and a servant of whoever the Lord inspires me to serve. Outside of work.
- I have been ignoring other aspects of myself. In the past few days, since I had the clarity of seeing my work environment differently, I've allowed myself to seek the Spirit. It came in the way I best understand, through reading a book on someone I admire then reflecting on the lessons I could learn. I am reading I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring. He is exactly what I need at this moment in time; pragmatic and grounded. "I remember to this day the feeling of insight. It is a sure thing that the process of insight into patterns is one that the Spirit of God can illuminate and lead." I am allowing myself to stop, reflect, and look for the illumination. It's been there all along.
- I need to write. It is a visceral need. It is the way I think and reflect. It is the way I find perspective and I learn. In a personal revelation to Elder Eyring that he recorded and used daily, he heard a voice in his mind say clearly, "I'm not giving you these experiences just for yourself. Write them down." God blessed me to be tongue tied. I will never be a great public speaker due to my stutter. But God blessed me with an active mind, a love of vocabulary and the English language, and the need to communicate. I am meant to write.
- My blog posts became boring when I worried too much about my reader. My best writings have always been to my best friend, Heidi. She knows me. She loves me. She gets me. I expect her to enjoy whatever I write. I anticipate her reactions when she reads what I write. Sometimes I type an email, read it over and think, "Wow. That needs to be public." So I cut and paste and publish it on my blog. What if someone knows someone I'm writing about? What if someone doesn't agree with me and chooses to argue my points? That's what happened a few years ago when my neighbor discovered my blog. She hijacked it in the comments section. Ever since that time, I have guarded my words. Which is stupid. I have too much to say. Which brings me to my original epiphany =
- Consider the source. Why should I fear man? Fear and self-doubt often make people do and say things they oughtn't. Weakness is rooted largely in fear and self doubt. I don't have to see through those lenses. Everyone has worth. Nobody is destined to fail. Not you. Not me. Why not stretch ourselves and explore our purpose in life? I write. I am.
Sometimes it's great to be faced with a challenge that, in retrospect, was destined to be a huge failure. Yet, in spite of it all, it wasn't. It wasn't anything at all but a speed bump. I thought it was a huge, monstrous, boulder of epic proportions. But then I drove over it and didn't even knock myself out of alignment. That's when I know I need to get myself a new perspective. The lenses in my glasses make objects appear larger than they really are. The lenses I love include a laugh track and narration. It includes children, a husband, a cat that walks across the keyboard while I type and a dog with jealousy issues. It includes quiet moments of reflection, prayer, good books, and following my inner compass.
Hello, speed bump. You are now in my rearview mirror. You are an object I distorted. I'll see you again. I'll try not to be afraid next time.