What We Find
"She’s blond, well-dressed, athletic, and gorgeous. Uhh." I somehow had found out today that they were trying to hire someone else to do my job, alongside me. Obviously, google was my first beacon of answers. It felt like a kick in the gut when her face materialized. "Fuck she’s pretty" I thought, as I began to list all the flaws that I had that she seamlessly didn’t appear to share. I immediately took a picture of her on my computer and sent it to all my friends explaining the situation and that she could potentially be my new co-worker. And steal my co-worker crush away. And ruin everything.
As you can see, I am mentally deranged, taking pictures of strangers and creating elaborate fantasies in my head about someone I may never meet. But, this really bothered me. This really made me feel inadequate. In moments like this, it’s important to take a step back. What kind of issues do I have to get so easily intimidated by this person.
Well she seems over-qualified for the job. And she’s blond, men love blondes. And she’s petite, ugh why do I have to be tall and over-bearing. And she looks like she has muscular legs and omg my knobby knees are scary. And she’s older, with more job experience, and she looks so sophisticated…like she has her life together, unlike moi.
I blame my mom. I will openly say this because in truth, it stems from my upbringing. Yeah, I can’t blame my choices, my mistakes, my demons completely on my mom. But something compelling happened over the weekend. At my mom’s house looking at childhood photos, I finally realized something. I sat there looking at pictures of my terrible haircuts, funny outfits, and squinty eyes. Meanwhile, all my mom could comment is how fat she was in such and such a picture or how terrible she looked. Normally, I never would’ve noticed, I am so comfortably used to her insecurities and inability to instill self-esteem in me that I didn’t even see it. But, recently, my kids at work have really helped my self-worth. They make me feel needed and worthy.
Meanwhile, while stalking this girl via every form of social media, I began to come to a realization. I am me. I can’t change how wide my hips are, that my eyes aren’t symmetrical, or that I always have dark circles under my eyes. But, I like to think my insides match my outsides, as far as the way I treat others and do what I can with what I am given. I can’t get inside my own head like my mom. I can’t put myself down because this girl is really pretty and has some years on me, a career, and sophistication. I guess I fear that my co-worker who I hold such a torch for will see her and fall in love instantly. And maybe he will. Destiny and the ways of the world are out of my control. I need to accept that things are going to happen in life everyday, unexpectedly, things I have no control over.
I’m not sophisticated. I’m intense and kind of nerdy and very odd. I can say so much in two sentences, then give a person three words if they’ve rubbed the wrong way. I find it hard to be nice to people who I can see don’t deserve it. I see through fake people easily. I like to take the hard road and I don’t ask for a lot of support. I like being mysterious and spontaneous and I love having half an arm of bracelets. I always have to wear something bright. Smiling is contagious, I can always put on a brave face and hide my pain, like an oscar-winner. My knees may be knobby but they have carried me through dozens of cross country battles on a steep hill and protected me when I almost flipped the bench in a 12 passenger van, upon a drunk driver hitting me. I think I am ugly without makeup, but deep down I know someday, whoever it is, will take comfort in my dark circles and imperfect eye symmetry.
It’s not about what we have lost. Who knows if we ever had it. I will never be this girl they’re interviewing tomorrow. Maybe I will never be as good as whatever her best trait is. But as one of my friends told me today “They won’t love her as much unless she’s got the exact same personality as you” And perhaps she will steal the show, but that will just motivate me more to fight harder and to strive for more.
Because, in life, it’s not about what people take away from us or never give us; it’s about what we look inside ourselves, test ourselves, heal ourselves, and find.
It’s about what we find.