Am I Glowing?
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.
People have been staring at me all day. Men. Women. They smile, nod an acknowledgement, avert their eyes. It’s odd. They must see my glow.
Glowing is how I feel today. Some epiphanies have happened recently that have changed the way I feel about…everything! Not that every moment is like this, but for much of the past month, I’ve been feeling calm, confident, and…powerful. Sometimes intensely so. It’s a new elevation of sorts. A rebirth into a new frame of mind that has my head held high and I’m not putting up with crap from anyone (even if I do get grandly pissed at my father’s toxicity and I still hate a certain home repair business).
I don’t know if I could have gotten to this place if I still had all my old friends. I really needed to get here on my own without any helping hands inadvertently pointing me in the wrong directions, or at least, wrong for me.
Being on my own for a couple of years has been good for me. I’ve had a chance to wash out all the muck that’s stuck to me over the years and re-program myself to a large extent so that I’m not a mere reflection of the de- sires of everyone around me. I’m only now realizing how much has changed. After being submissive to my father and then to my ex, my own personality and desires are now taking center stage. And that’s a powerful place to be!
It’s through my day job that I see the changes, even though they’ve happened in all aspects of my life. I’m more objective about my career these days, given all the personnel cuts that are coming, so it’s easier to see things.
I walked into a meeting yesterday and after five minutes, I could no longer stand it. They were just too slow, too inefficient. I couldn’t stop myself. I had to interrupt a few times to get the meeting back on track. Funny, but that’s the third time this week.
A supervisor who outranks me by far came to me for help this week. It felt so odd—and oddly familiar— almost as if I were the supervisor giving her direction and she were the employee. It made me think of all the bosses I’ve ever had. In a few cases, the boss was a very strong woman and what she said went. But with many of my female bosses and just about all of my male bosses, I’ve had that sense of switching places. Technically, they were in charge, yet in office after office, I somehow ended up running things from behind the scenes. As in, an office of 30 people who came to me with their problems and concerns and I formulated the plan, took it to a figurehead boss, and got the official signature on it in about 5 minutes. Geez. That was almost daily in some places, even when I had 3 or 4 people in my office outranking me but never making a decision.
I had no trouble making a decision. So I often ended up getting what I wanted and making vast changes in our work.
I didn’t mean to. I didn’t particularly want to. It just happened. In organization after organization. I didn’t march in and take over. Yet somehow there would always come a time when the boss would toss out an idea or a requirement and I’d offer a suggestion. A good one. And then the boss would be looking at me for direction and my co-workers would be looking at me for direction and even though I was never the extrovert in the limelight, I managed things from behind the curtains. Several bosses pushed me to speak up more in meetings or be the loudmouth extrovert that a superstar was expected to be. I never cared for either. I just did the work and led from off-stage.
Looking back over 20 years, it’s a persistent pattern. I can see some of it from my college days, when I joined an organization and then proceeded to take it over and make it into what I wanted it to be—300% growth in the first year and some major prestige points on campus.
But this epiphany, among others this week, shows me a different side of my personality that I’ve kept tamped down to the point that I didn’t realize it was there. In my post-divorce singledom, I’ve been nurturing that side of myself. I don’t go out of my way to make life comfortable for everyone around me to my own detriment. I don’t jump to return phone calls. I turn up my nose at most men because they can’t offer me anything I want. I don’t tell people it’s okay when it’s not, just so they’ll feel better about behaving badly toward me. I don’t look the other way when people insult me or say something snide. Not anymore.
Being on my own and independent’s been a good thing. It’s given the real me time to surface.
And I when I walk down the street, I can feel the power surge that others are starting to see.