Tweet Today, I was reading an article and came across someone who said as they were being reflexive on the moment they screamed. I am sure many of you are thinking what the hell does this after do with anything, but to me this statement teaches me a life lesson.
When I first started working on the Hill I was a fairly confident individual, despite my many disappointments in life. In fact, I thank God every day for my ability to bounce back and move on, because as I grow older and meet different people, I have come to understand that not everyone has that capability. But after reading this statement, I was reminded of the times in my life, especially while working on the Hill, which made me feel smaller than I really was/am.
You see about 8 weeks after I started the job, I was having a conversation with a co-worker that I held in high esteem and made the statement, " I always try to be self-reflexive." She promptly corrected me and said self-reflective. Of course, I stood my ground for a while, arguing that it was in fact a term. I even went as far to type the phrase into google where it came up, but it was only in dictionary.com, which cannot always be trusted and she let that be known as well. Of course, slightly embarrassed that I didn't know what I had been talking about I quickly ceased and desisted using the phrase or any form of it. Not to mention, my mind quickly wandered to all the other people who were "smarter" than me that I had used the phrase in front of.
So when I saw the phrase today, I quickly googled it, and, what do you know, it came up, even in the Miriam Webster dictionary. Not surprising, considering each year they add thousands of new words. I guess I was just a trend setter who understood the term before it became popular.
Now the moral of the story is not about how someone talked me out of what I knew was right, but how I allowed them to do it. Looking back, I must have felt really insecure to allow someone to do that to me. In fact, I think many of us let others, consciously or subconsciously, play on our insecurities, which causes us nothing but anguish and misery internally. These people, if you allow them to, will have you thinking something is wrong with you or that you are not as smart as you know you are. Only for you to later look back and realize they weren't as smart you you thought they were.
In fact, when I look back on my entire time on the Hill, although technically it was one of my greatest experiences, it was one of the worst times in my life. I must admit, in all the jobs I have had, I have never felt more out of place then when I worked there. You see the Hill is a place where you aren't rewarded on your ingenuity or hard work. Instead you are rewarded on your personal relationships. This doesn't mean there aren't some really talented people doing great things on the Hill, but I have also ran into a lot of idiots who just got lucky. But hey, we all have different destinies and I have never been a hater that someone's life appears to be easier than mine; keyword in the sentence is appear.
I just know it is fortunate/unfortunate for me that I have never been good at kissing ass or keeping my mouth shut when I think an injustice has been committed, even if it means me not being well liked or promoted. I have also never been good at just being fake in general. Hell I either like you or I don't. There isn't much in between for me. So I guess I was destined to fail, considering many say there are no permanent enemies in politics.
Most importantly, since I left that environment and I am not worried about the scrutiny of co-workers, I enjoy my life more. I don't have to hear anyone talking about how many drinks I had or why I shouldn't be doing something. I don't have to talk to people I don't like and the best thing about it all I get to say what I want when I please.
In the words of Langston Hughes," Life ain't been no crystal stair". I didn't grow up in a wealthy home, surrounded my influential people, who supported my dreams and pushed me forward. No one has ever given me a dime to go to school, to buy my first car or get an apartment. In fact, if I go broke today, there is not a soul in the world I can call on. But I am ok with that, because it has made me who I am.
Every day, I am happy that I am able to be in an environment where I can realize that I know more than I think, instead of being in a place where people spend their days correcting each other, in order to show their superiority- or lack thereof.
So as I try to be more self-reflexive, again, in 2012 I will always remember to never put myself in situations where I am not fully appreciated.
Until Next Time. Smooches.