nitty gritty

yesterday I took a mental health day from work. on tuesday, I had a cyber-scuffle with a colleague in my field, and she felt compelled to confront my boss about me instead of contacting me, but that was just the icing on the cake. my day had already begun badly, with me forgetting key things that I always bring to work with me and being late and whatnot.

I am pretty good with dealing with big, bad things. I usually just roll my sleeves up and get shit done and then afterwards, I fall apart, when everything is already resolved and taken care of. sort of like a floodgate opening after the flood has passed. but it's the little things that really seem to take their toll on me.

so. I've been doing alot of soul searching (including a trip to longwood gardens yesterday) and what I've come up with is ugly and embarrassing and difficult for me to admit to.

I'm jealous. I'm jealous and I have a deep, deep need to be needed and for people to think I'm important.

I'm jealous of my boss, who is only a year older than me but in a completely different station in life. buying big houses, having a wife who doesn't have to work, buying cars and taking trips and having an office and not a cubicle. I entered the workforce early, having only gotten an associate degree, and was ahead of the game with many of my peers for a little while. the tide has turned and while other people have moved forward, I have not. my field is a very niche field and there's not alot of room to move up, so I've sort of backed myself into a corner.

and I guess I've been trying really hard to make that corner really seem like it's a great place to be. by getting way too involved with the politics of my field and trying way too hard to sound important and smart. and coming off sounding naive and silly. (though not as silly as the bitch that tried to sell me out.)

the fact that I report to someone my own age gives me pain. physical pain in my chest. I think I might die on the spot if I ever have to report to someone younger than me. I think it's pride, and it's ugly.

but the work issue is just one facet of my life that is giving me trouble. this might make some of my friends who read this blog mad, but understand that I am just getting out my feelings and not trying to pin blame on anyone. this is blog-as-therapy. I am constantly disappointed at not being more important to my friends and family. it's gotten to the point where I don't even want to host parties anymore because I always get so much anxiety over it. over who is coming, who seems excited, who sounds like they're going to bail. today is bella's rsvp date for her birthday party and there were alot of people I hadn't heard from and I just felt like - unimportant. mostly in the face of my own reaction when I get invited to something - I always feel grateful. grateful that someone invited ME, little old me, to their party. I want someone to feel grateful that I thought enough of them to invite them to something.

it's a big pity party in my head right now. which is why I'm ashamed. why is it so important to me to be more successful, more important, more sought out, more right than I am now? than other people?

remember when this happened before? I took the counter off my blog because I couldn't handle it. seeing if my numbers were growing as fast, faster, whatever than other people's. why this incessant need to keep comparing myself to others? and is it selfishness or ego that makes me think that I ought to be the center of attention of my friends and family?

when the going gets tough, I usually get going. I've been known to take off for a few days (to other towns, other states, or other countries) when I feel like I'm coming apart. alone. (and thank god that not only does sean understand me, but he doesn't get upset when I need alone time and is always more than willing to accommodate me.)

while that wasn't an option yesterday, at least getting out of work, out of the role of mommy, and out of the house was good. as I walked through longwood's vast meadow, watching all the crickets jump out of my way, feeling like "at least the crickets notice that I'm around" and feeling totally sorry for myself, I realized that the only thing I have control of in this situation is me.

I can't make my boss be older or less financially stable. I can't make other people think the way I do. I can't demand that I become a higher priority to people. the only thing I can do is to stop comparing, stop worrying about other people, and focus on improving myself. focus on my own happiness, independent of other people. realize that other people have lives that have nothing to do with me and that I shouldn't be the most important thing to them.

and yet...even though I know I will work on this and it will get better, as it always does, and I won't be upset and I won't worry as much...I wish that for a minute, I could feel like I was on top.

if you've even decided to read this far, I'm sorry for all the self-indulgence.