The purpose of this blog was to be like how I am. In the course of conversation, I can flip between many thoughts and subject – and sometimes, I do so quickly – so quickly that if you are talking to me, then you get a bit of whiplash as you go.
Maybe it is all of the change that has occurred in my life in 2009, but I’ve realized one big thing about myself more recently. I keep people at arms length – and I’ve started doing that with the blog as well.
I laughed the other day as Garbanzo and I were talking about this subject because the analogy of what I’m doing hit me like a ton of bricks – or an 8-month project at work that has been driving me crazy.
One of the things I’ve struggled with personally is trying to make sure that the Emmy I present in situations is the same Emmy I present in other situations. It’s okay if what I say or do not say is different – just as long as the person delivering it is the same. What I have noticed is that I am not necessarily the same. In some cases, it is different enough that people who know me in multiple situations are a bit taken back when they see the other parts emerge.
Why do I bring up the project? I have been lecturing the team handing our integration between us and our partners to attack the situation in two parts – keep the format separate from the data. For two months, I have lectured them that this is the only way you can truly figure out why errors are occurring. And, here I am, realizing the same thing is the problem with myself. Yeah, I’m a geek.
While it is not always inappropriate to have a different face you put on in certain situations, I have found stuck in having to always use that face. Instead of it being situational where it makes sense, it is becoming constant. And, I’m finding I am taking some of those mannerisms into other parts of my life. While not necessarily uncommon, I do not like what I’m allowing to bleed over, if you will.
A few months ago, I got feedback from someone that pointed out my approach in a particular situation was sending the wrong message – a negative message that I was not at all intending to send. Being who I am, I got mad. That was one person’s opinion. But, I’m analytical AND stubborn – so I set out to prove to myself that this person was wrong.
What did I find out? He was fucking right. Hate it when that happens! (Not really.)
I found that in certain situations – personal & professional – I was holding back how I would normally react whether it be emotionally, physically or even verbally. Doing so was censoring myself. Sure, I could justify it all over the place to myself, but in the end, my self-censoring was based on an assumption that was incorrect – and assumption that I never validated. Why not? The assumption kept me safe by keeping the person at arms length.
This “keeping myself emotional safe” with people thing bugs me. I have had a long LONG history of friendships gone wrong. People who just sort of get what they want from me, then walk away because they are “done with me”. Even a simply inquiry to them after this happens, never goes well and serves as validation that they are done with me. So, pretty much, I take a cynical approach with most people in my life – I usually don’t let people in without understanding what they want from me as a way of preparing myself for the inevitable departure when they are done. It usually doesn’t mean I will be a bad friend. It’s not in my blood to do that – I will never not help someone even if they drive me crazy. I can be a bitch, but not in that way. I just usually go in with preparation for the inevitable point where they have moved on. Pathetic, huh?
When I have recently let down my guard a bit and let people see more of who I really am? I am more myself in all situations. And, I am happier and have more fun and am less reserved then normal. And people who see this, they respond positively – very positively. What is tricky though is trying to figure out how to bring that back into all areas of my life. So that the Emmy everyone sees is pretty much the same regardless of situation – the content is just different. In some ways, it has been easy – but in other areas, it is a bit tricky.
But this area of my life (the blog part) is an easy area. As I start morphing back into me, you are going to get to learn more about me and every aspect of my life. Okay – not necessary EVER aspect, but you are going to learn more. Hell, I may even start doing HNT on MY blog. What a wild concept, huh?
I will not go exclusively one direction or another with this thing. It will still be whatever is bouncing around in my head. But, like in all areas of my life, I am going to start showing more of who I am and not being afraid to do it. This is your forewarning.