On Bleeding

Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.

James Baldwin

It was a long day. A long week. For me, an introvert who craves solitude and quiet, being “on” for hours day after day can be rough. Navigating meetings with 20 or more people at all levels, called to make technically challenging decisions on the fly, and attempting diplomacy while building new work relationships and maintaining the old ones are all draining after the 20th week during a pandemic. Add in physical exhaustion and I have little bandwidth to spare. So when I have a day like today when a truth is said out loud, it’s tough to shake it off.

Relationships are as individual as the people engaged in them. Many types exist, but for me my work relationships have taken center stage and been the most affected in this pandemic. They loom larger than before; today I entrust my coworkers to make smart decisions to protect themselves and me at work from exposure, I am more aware of my performance as the economy becomes increasingly volatile, and I am tasked with asking for and being more understanding as the balance of work-home life is anything like it was 6 months ago.

At times in my work as well as personal life, I tend to feel like I have a target on my back. The one that says “you can be rude, mean, arrogant, hurtful, nasty to her and it’s okay.” If I were a child, I’d be the one that gets picked on. I’m at the point in my life where I let it roll off my back when it happens with random people; with friends and family I care about, I will address it to understand the root cause and ameliorate it. But when it happens at work, I feel in limbo. Not just because of my position, but also because I am responsible for navigating the security of my team. That gray area between “it’s just a job” and “these people I care about.” When I’m in a position where I’m not in power, it’s difficult for me to figure out the best solution. Today being told by my coworker that lately I seem to be a punching bag in meetings, it’s a bit hard to hear as I know the truth and I do not deny the incidences that have happened. But how do I balance it all? Tonight I sit and listen to the waves, knowing that I will have to address it very soon, hoping I can figure it out.

And, I really need a smoked sazerac.