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We will be victorious.

I had a real long talk with my manager yesterday. It was good--overdue but grown up. It left me feeling the need to change how I act and treat myself. Shit's gonna get serious, bitches. Or so I hope.

So, after the conversation, I was kinda pissed at myself. Possibly--hopefully--a good kinda pissed. And I think I came away having learned some important shit. I hope I can keep these lessons present in mind as they're as relevant as they are significant.

So, although I'm still frustrated, it's now mostly with myself and how I've behaved than with my store or my manager or my situation.

For one, she was right. If I'd been pushing myself (for consistency, for as much awesomeness as possible) as much I could have been all along and really needed to be, I'd probably have moved on to another store and a better/better paying position.

For two, all this frustration was self propagating. Even when I'd decided to take positive actions, I still took negative ones out of the frustration and anger I was hardly aware was still eating away at me. I let it fester and boil.

If I'd just talked to my manager a month ago as I did yesterday, things would probably have gone better. More productive, less infuriated. Oh well.

As far as what I learned, it mostly boils down to humility. Being right-sized. Being more real with myself and what I chose to do. They're good lessons, man, and though tough to learn I hope they'll help me going forward. That shit pisses me off, too, but ultimately it's always true.

For one, I can be wrong. Or wrong enough about things to warrant more (self-a)wariness. Cuz I was wrong (enough). I was so sure I was so right in thinking about things the way I was, in the way I was even framing the problem. I was wrong to let myself be too scared to seek input and constructive criticism from my manager. I was wrong to not pause and question.

For two, I'm an impatient little bitch. I want to move out of this place. Start being a grown up. I want to actually have money to spend after (actually!) paying my bills. I want to go downtown and meet people and make friends and do things and write and talk and laugh and get the fuck outta my room and outta my head. Do grown up things like other people my age.

But whether it's obvious to you or not, these are largely material things. Their satisfaction, although not inherently bad or unhelpful, isn't what is gonna help me be most happy & whole in the long run. Learning to work with people, learning how to be a worker among workers, learning how to be right-sized, learning how to lead when I need to lead, learning how to true to myself, learing how to honest--those are things that will give me a life I can not only live but love. Those other things are grand and all, but I can, honestly, wait; and who knows, they may come about of their own if I'm just patient and focus on things that really matter.

For three, more than anything else, I'm holding myself back. I mean, that's obvious, right? But really--applied in practice, in real terms, in actual situations & actions--it's much more elusive. I've learned that I can surprise myself when I just push myself even just that little bit harder, but either from lack of awareness or ambient laziness, I usually don't. This is a broad problem for me; I feel like I need to feel like doing everything or that it needs to feel perfect if I'm going to do it.

If I'm feeling really frustrated before I go into work (ahem), instead of swallowing it or telling myself "hey, let's get pumped" and doing my job & doing it as well as I can, I let it snuff my sparkle, my lustre; I let it get me down and keep me angry and distracted and then I just feel even more frustrated because nothing's going well and I hate my job and I hate myself. But if I just check my problems at the door like luggage, be the best I can, I can be totally awesome and deal with those problems later when it's more appropriate. There's a time and a place.

It's all still a bit frustrating. But ultimately I think that conversation and what's come out of it may have been a monumental shift for me. Recently, I've been realizing more and more that I can always try and always try, that the worst that can happen is it doesn't work out and I try something else or try differently.

Frankly, too often I haven't tried. I haven't allowed myself to try; that more than anything holds me back and keeps me miserable. Much more so, even, than if I had tried and it hadn't worked out. Then, at least, even if it didn't work out I'd know to try something else or something differently--I would be closer to getting wherever I'd wanted. Much, much closer than I'd have gotten by not trying at all.

So, going forward....I want to try more. At any opportunity I can, try. Just try and see what happens. I think it'll leave me feel much less stuck, much less angry, much less restless. I think I'll also end up much less bored, which is always good. But I think most of all I'll start moving. Who knows if I'll be headed, but at least I'll be doing something with myself, and more likely than by any other course of (in)action it'll end up something I can be proud of.


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