Tuesday, June 28, 2011
The Three Evil W’s: Worried, Warped and Wasted
It has been too long since I’ve updated my faithful readers. Why? I take full responsibility, as I let a number of past and upcoming travels (Washington DC, Louisiana, Utah, New York and Iowa in a month!) and the Three Evil W’s get to me for the past month.
Three Evil W’s? Yep. Let’s me explain.
With a new job and, if I don’t screw it up, a new relationship, it is an exciting, yet stressful time. Being one to never settle for just meeting expectations, I can’t tell you how many 3 a.m. worries have me waking up to check for international e-mails or to re-read something in preparation for the next day. Obviously, my “no sleeping with the CrackBerry” accomplishment (#6) is null and void. Add to that, someone pretty incredible reentered my life, yet I constantly doubt if I’m everything he deserves, wants and needs. Can the fearless girl who never backed down from achieving her goals become the woman with the same ambition, dedication and sincerity to make her dreams come true?
On that note, this incredible person in my life is a master of positive thinking and tends to put things in perspective. He recently told me to stop worrying so much about what everyone else thinks. Most likely, they aren’t as concerned as I am, and the stress is self-imposed because I care too much. Ironically (or maybe not) my boss echoed a similar sentiment last week, saying that I do a great job, but put too much pressure on myself. My mom constantly told me I worried too much, so obviously this isn’t a new emotion. Maybe this is why I was tested for ulcers in third grade… but I digress.
So why do I feel like the water is up to my nose and my legs are cramping up? Is my perception of myself warped? Am I good enough to be an exceptional vice president? Am I good enough to be a girlfriend vs. a time filler until someone better comes along? Most importantly, can the girl who always feared that she wasn’t “good enough” become the woman who believes in herself enough to be a leader/role model, team member, friend and significant other?
No, I’m not talking about too much Pinot Noir or Coors Light… I’m talking about time. I’m only about 15 years younger that my mom was when she passed away. If this plane I’m currently on crashes or I’m diagnosed with cancer in a decade, can I close my eyes for a final time and truly feel like I made a difference? Will my eulogy reflect a girl with potential who died too young or a woman who did what she could with the time she had to do something meaningful for society?
Bottom line: this 29-almost-30 thing is hard stuff!
Regardless, I must add some extra to my ordinary to see these challenges through, both in the short and long term. Mere hours before my mom died, a hospice worker gave me a pamphlet that reflected a passage I had heard, but never internalized. Now more than ever, it seems to be the answer.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”
What will worrying do? As friends can attest, it usually results in me panicking internally and biting my nails externally; however, I must remember that I can’t change the fact that I’m still learning the ropes at a new company, on a new client and in a new role. What I can change is my ability to overcome the obstacles in a confident, positive, hard working manner. As for him, I can only be myself and hope it is what he wants. If it isn’t, I must accept that it isn’t meant to be, but that I was lucky to have a friend who made such a positive impact on my life.
“Courage to change the things I can”
What can I change? First, my warped sense of pressure; however, I’ll never “not care,” nor do I want to. This flaw is also what makes me want to make a difference. For example, last month I purchased a burger and Fruit ‘n Yogurt parfait for a pregnant homeless girl who may have had the angriest eyes I have ever seen. While I may not have changed her situation, I at least changed her hunger and maybe, just maybe, she’ll tell her baby one day about the random stranger who gave her a meal and a smile.
I can also stop beating myself up at work. Thankfully, I work on a team with some of the most talented and ambitious people in the business. I’m not required to be everything to everyone, but instead, to lead with pride, empower with confidence and do everything I can to make my clients happy, my boss and my four fabulous direct reports shine.
“The wisdom to know the difference”
And, once again, this is where having someone who believes in me has been a blessing. While I refine my ability to be a more calm person in the face of disaster, I’m fortunate that someone is there to also help me understand what is “freak-out-worthy” and what requires a simple combination of deep breaths and hard work. For the first time since I was 13, I’m trying ease up on the reins and truly trust someone. Scary!
In closing, I am striving to work on my 30b430 goals, but am also recognizing that in order to take these baby steps to an Extra+Ordinary life, I must first believe I can.