Even our heroes dream of being somebody else.
Finding yourself crying on the floor in the toilets does not mean that you made a bad decision.
Let me explain – about 5 months ago I left my old job and started a new one. Since starting, this job has made me cry twice. Twice in five months might sound like a lot, if you don’t know how very little it takes to make my eyes leak. Maybe it actually is a lot. But compare it to the old job, where I went home and cried almost every night.
There seems to be this massive bundle of negativity around the act of crying. People who cry are weak, only babies should cry, crying in public is embarrassing. But actually, crying can be really useful.
The first time I cried at the old job was the day I went on the job sites and started applying for new ones. Getting puffy eyes every night motivated me to keep applying, even after more than a year of nothing except two “thanks but no thanks” emails.
And it paid off! Eventually.
My first weepy session at the new place taught me to never just walk into the meeting rooms, because you never know when the big boss man might be in there with every high heejin in the whole company.
Today’s incident in the toilets has taught that I have got to stop being so timid.
I was crying because the Head of the Alliance (yes, that is his actual job title) was angry because I had not completed a report he wanted yesterday. I could make excuses and say I only had a week to build this report from scratch and populate it. Because I did. But I know the real reason it wasn’t ready on time is because I was too afraid to go and ask for the information.
See, out in the everyday world I am stubborn, outspoken, getting towards being sickeningly confident, and full to the brim with self-esteem. But that’s not me at work. At work I am a little girl playing Secretary, dressing in grown-ups clothes, hoping and praying nobody will figure out that I don’t belong there. I can’t ask these people for figures, they’re far too busy with real, important work. They don’t need silly little me interrupting them!
Finding yourself crying on the floor in the toilets does not mean that you made a bad decision. It was the right decision to apply for this job, and it was the right decision to accept the job offer when it came. Finding myself crying in the toilets showed me that I have to work harder and get over this feeling of inferiority if I want to keep the job. Which I do.
Luckily this is a monthly report, so in just a few weeks I will have chance to do it again and do it right. Next time there will be no crying, because I have already learned my lesson from it.
Today I’m going to get contrary.
Please, try to contain your shock and surprise.
I distinctly remember the first time I ever heard the ‘rule’ about clothes; blue and green should never be seen. Together, that is. You can wear blue, and you can wear green, but both together is sacrilege. Or something.
I was confused. I remained confused when asking why generated the following answers:
“That’s just the rule.”
“Because they don’t go together.”
“They just don’t.”
None of those are actual, logic-based reasons. Which leads me to the conclusion that ‘blue and green should never be seen’ for the same reason that ‘fat people shouldn’t wear crop tops/leggings/animal print/glitter’ – because society isn’t happy unless it has a bunch of arbitrary rules to enforce.
Well nuts to you, society. I can, and will, wear blue and green together whenever I want.
Although with the weather in Glasgow, this one is more likely:
I could go on. Turns out I have even more green and blue clothes than I thought.
But while we’re on the subject…
Seriously, nobody can tell me what colour(s) I can and can’t wear. Ever. I could even wear all of the colours if I want.
But I’m probably not going to.
Limit #8: Fat people can’t wear crop tops.
For years I’ve had an incredible fear (I suppose it’s a phobia) of people seeing my stomach. I don’t know what I expected to happen if anyone ever did see it. Maybe they would explode out of sheer disgust.
But the real reason I have always kept it covered up comes from the part of my mind that has got self-deception down to a fine art. It believed that, as long as my tummy was covered up, nobody could actually know that I was fat. That bulge right there, that could be my clothes, it could be the way I’m sitting, I could have a cushion stuffed down there. You don’t know.
Having decided to accept the fact that I’m fat and it’s okay, even this bizarre logic isn’t a good enough excuse to keep hiding myself away. But this is a long-standing, deep-rooted, powerful phobia. It will not go away overnight.
However, I am determined that it will eventually go away, so I’ve started working on it. With this top:
Seems pretty innocent, right? Even standing up there’s nothing on show.
But here’s the thing – I wore this top to salsa. I have never tried dancing salsa with my arms fixed down by my sides but I can imagine it wouldn’t work too well, and this is what happened when I raised my arms for a move.
And there it is. Nobody’s exploded? Good. Then I’ll continue.
It may not look like much, especially considering most moves involve my arms being raised for a few seconds maximum, but walking up the stairs in Boteco wearing this was terrifying.
I will always remember the first dance in this top because the sensation of air on my midriff was so bizarre I could hardly follow my leader. It’s good practice to keep your free arm at waist height when dancing Cuban salsa, and I spent the whole dance resisting the urge to put it right across my waist to cover up.
But we made it through, still with no disgust-explosions, and I felt a little more relaxed. Then a few people said they liked my outfit, and you should never underestimate the power of a well-timed compliment. I started to think maybe I looked pretty good.
After the next (better) dance and another round of compliments, something fundamental shifted. I won’t say I was ready to run to Primark and clean them out of crop tops. Because that would make me a big snowman liar. But I could definitely see this becoming a regular part of my wardrobe, just another top like all the others.
So I haven’t exactly broken this limit, but I have laid some solid foundations and I know that one day I will.