Inspiration

Top 10 Mistakes of 2012

I made the worst mistakes of all time.

A year ago I took a job that was beneath me. Not in stature but in experience. I did so because I needed a break from the treacherous manipulations of a third world management style woman who had my financial destiny in her reckless and immature hands. My employment here in Louisiana is tantamount to working for people, who have a clue how to manage nor have any character whatsoever.

My presences of mind was that I could work for a company I’d thought was benevolent and reputable because I identified with the mission statement of providing a community service for the local people. I would take a break. I would be able to excel in ways that I wouldn’t have before because the work itself would be simple. I would finally have some much needed rest.

That was my first mistake. My second mistake was thinking that master’s Degree’s meant that women were more educated and worldly. I remember thinking that the woman at the bank were so beautiful and so capable with their chosen dialog. It was a far cry from the retail industry where slang was not only an option but the norm. My second mistake was thinking that just because a woman has pretty dialog means that she is mature enough to carry on a just and fair conversation.

Even as I write this it seems judgmental to me. However, given that my decided lack of judgment and or action thereof has left me and only me wanting I shall continue.

A Vice President of the company, a woman, tried to friend me immediately. She joined my Facebook page and she invited me to dozens of races, of which I went to one. I became what I thought was good friends with a receptionist. That was mistake number three. Discernment has never been my strong suit. I spent the first few months of the company bestowing gracious remarks about my co-workers. I built a relationship with the receptionist and we were getting close enough for me to spend quite a bit of time with her away from work, on the phone and on Facebook as well.

One day I was helping transfer some ITunes to the receptionist’s IPhone and in the process left my phone in her presence. It was then she read texts from me to my husband containing confidential information. She took that information and shared it with the Marketing Manager and her Assistant. For months the four of us would have breakfast together and we would discuss hot topics. Although their views didn’t match my own, I appreciated the differences.

My fourth mistake was allowing someone to manipulate me with discussion of need. The receptionist told me that she was hurting. That’s my weakness. Poverty and lack of financial support wrapped up in a tumultuous relationship with a spouse; and you have my undivided peaked attention.

The breach was brought to my attention. I was dazed and confused at first until finally I realized what happened. I was hurt. The conversations at the breakfast table stopped. I withdrew. I felt betrayed. I should have had enough courage to call her out and tell her exactly how she hurt me but that was my fifth mistake because the obvious outcome of that non-dialog was months of pure hell. The Marketing girls were offended by my retraction of my attention. They were hissing mad with religious and social outcries. I remained above reproach never settling in for confrontation nor banter about betrayal. I never spoke ill of the receptionist nor of the others for the gossip and talk about what happened. However, the Marketing girls never learned of the Receptionist’s evil ways.

I should have made it public. That was part of my fifth mistake. I did not tell anyone about what the receptionist did; not even my boss, because I felt I was guilty for being stupid enough to lend her my phone.

It does not occur to me that people have the audacity to act evil. Their ways and their manipulations confound me time and time again because I wouldn’t act in such a way. Not for no reason whatsoever. I don’t understand other’s who are so undeniably without conscious.

The receptionist never let on what she’d done either. Her lack of soul managed a steady stream of innuendo and supposition surrounding that day that lead to the Marketing ladies distaste for my every view. I believed that staying above reproach was what God commanded of me. That was my sixth mistake. Believing I knew what God wanted me to do.

Some months passed. The girls showed that they were judgmental and non-Christian like with their words and actions and I didn’t take heed of it. I didn’t react. I didn’t judge. I went in every day and did my job as accepted. I forgave the receptionist and I began to be kinder, more gentle in my greetings. The girls convinced me to cut my hair off and I did hoping that I would finally fit into the group.

I donated over 16 inches and tried to get highlights. In the process the stylist bleached my hair. I thought it looked hideous but the receptionist told me that it was perfect. I believed her. Having chalked up the last betrayal as one evil deed and not a succession; I believed she was telling me the truth. My seventh mistake was not forgiving her but giving her license to tell me how she felt. She took my picture of the new haircut off Facebook and sent it to a co-worker with disparaging remarks in an effort to cause another to regard me as hideous and frightening. When my boss showed it to me I was profoundly hurt again.

Regardless, I came in and went to work every day. My actions still above reproach, I did not tell anyone, I did not gossip about it, I simply went about my business as my boss directed. I was told to remain as far from the 3 of them as possible. I felt at that time that was the best advice. That was my eighth mistake. I should have communicated my distain with what she did, because my lack of explanation for my removal of communication left an open door for the receptionist’s manipulation. I was told it was jealousy. I was told that the comments were because she hadn’t been told that the management knew of her treachery. I was flabbergasted that the drama was spinning out of control and there wasn’t anything I could do to stop it. That was my ninth mistake. I believed there was nothing I could do about it before it escalated.

The final mistake was thinking I could get in the car and ride 35 minutes to and from and event with two Marketing girls who believed that I was the worst kind of person who had manipulated and hurt her friend beyond remorse. The girls used that trip to lie about me and to spread untrue rumor to the personal lifelong friend and CEO. I lost my job over it.

Looking back I can outline what I did wrong. I can outline the actions I didn’t take. I can try to reason why this all happened when I was peaceful. I was someone who didn’t engage. I didn’t gossip. I didn’t hurt anyone and in the end I got hurt. What I know now is I hurt myself. I had plenty of time to stop the madness. I could have brought the gossip to the attention of the President or the boss much sooner. I didn’t do that. My intent was to allow the receptionist to hang herself, but that didn’t happen. She committed two illegal acts and still has a job because I didn’t speak. No one heard the truth and the constant manipulation, gossip and despair of that business continues on. I could have stopped it, but I didn’t because I believed respecting everyone showed more character than dipping them in the grease to save my job.

I suppose that’s why people create the drama. I suppose that is why women say and do what they do because if they don’t others will trample on them. I suppose….

What I hate the most is that this company proved this theory to me. I hate that the business world has come to this. I hate that I have a weakness for people and mercy for their contempt. Often I feel like I live in a world void of any character whatsoever.

I’m not sure how to process through this or what shall become of it, but I am certain that this weighs heavy on my soul. I wish I were the type of person that could put all this into lesson learned but it will forever change the outcome of my future interactions. Part of me wants to become the thing women see in me. I want to provide an element of fear so that they will not try to manipulate and hurt me. Part of me wants to ensure that I remain merciful. The battle of my two intentions will be a guest in my body for quite some time to come.

At this point, I have made sense of it. Now I just have to accept it.

Inspiration

Making a choice to put myself last!

Not that I believe in horoscopes. I just happened to be perusing the yahoo page when I came across mine. Gemini. The ad said, “The role that money plays in your life is going through a transition, and it is beginning to seem like there are a few things in the world that are more important than account balances and shiny new things. Material goods are losing their luster and your eye will be drawn to humbler objects. Other people in your life might be confused by your new focus. This change in your attitude could cause a wrinkle in your social life for a little while, but only until everyone adjusts.” I thought to myself, there has been a change. It was my conscious thought to change recently. A friend reminded me that my actions although crucial in point, were without the best of intensions. I acquiesced and here we are. Modified and humbled by the woman who epitomizes grace and love. Thank you, Mary. Sometimes my actions need to be called into check, because people ruffle my feathers. I cannot for the life of me understand why it doesn’t happen that way for everyone, but that’s my burden.

Last week according to my sister I was in my own little private pity party. It’s something which I do from time to time and usually when something seems a tad unjust. However, given the fact that she lied about her concern fueled a fire I haven’t had in quite some time. Being the extra-introspection guru that I am; I quickly began a dialog with my inner conscious. Was it me? Did I do something again that wasn’t justified? Was I thinking only of myself again? (Admittedly something else I do as well from time to time.) I beat myself about it for about a day and a half when it hit me after receiving the following email from another of my most eloquent of confidants.

Leanna wrote: “You are a deeply introspective soul. Probably the most thought-provocative person I know. In every human interaction, you come away with a deep lake of introspection and probably most everyone else walks away with a puddle. You are rare, Rebecca… and wonderful. Society needs people like you to help keep us from degrading into a culture like “Lord Of The Flies”. Tell yourself often that “this conversation will be a puddle to the other person” … but yours will be something complex and thoughtful. You see human interactions much like a symphony composed by Mozart and thank you, God, for you. I need your introspections to know how others think, and feel, and regard others. But, never forget… most people really don’t care about the subtleties; they just want the “Like” button tapped.”

I thought all weekend about what she said because she gets me. She really truly gets me. I began to read the words, “Don’t define yourself by your family’s opinions.” I know this to be my truth and so I decided to make a list of all the things I’ve done, without hesitation or question or thought to show my family I love them. So from the weddings I went to, and the Christening, and the birthday parties for a father who never acknowledged me, to throwing a surprise 40th that was 1,200 miles away to trips to see children, and sick relatives, and the list goes on and on and on. Then it hit me. In the times when I was either on the phone with them or at their doorstep were the worst or most celebrated moments in their lives. I was there. My actions are pure. My sentiments revealed, and my time was given freely without the benefit of my whole immediate family because of costs. If I needed to go, I showed up.

I looked back on the last 15 years of my life. I’ve been married, had two kids (of who know very little of the extended family). Both of my kids were christened. My son was in critical condition at age 5. I was devastated when I had to have my hysterectomy because I wanted more children, and then I got gravely ill about a year ago. None of which did I get one phone call, or did anyone show up. It hit me. It’s not me. I have engaged, supported, encouraged and dreamt of a union a whole lot stronger than my siblings and I have. What need to accept is that this fantasy of mine is mine and mine alone? They just want to hit the “like” button. They don’t want to create puddles. Okay. Got it.

I think for me and all the waters of my soul, what I have to come to terms with is the unconditional love that I have for my siblings regardless of their actions. Is that being a doormat for their actions or can I freely and wholly accept that they will be someone I speak with or potentially see every decade until I am dead? We won’t really have any more than that. I’ve accepted reluctantly. It’s never what I wanted.

To the gal pals who keep me sure footed in the reality that I am no better or worse than any other girl on this planet thank you. For those who share my daily life, create joy, lift me up, say silly things and have cocktails; you are my support, my life and my love. To those who let me know I’m being self-centered, and focused on the wrong things thank you too, because without you my pity party (unjust or not) would probably continue. I need you too.

Today, I’m going to let all this should I or shouldn’t I feel about what did or didn’t happen affect me. Today my goal is to seek out a better more amiable attitude and force a perspective change to include those who might need me to make their day a little more kooky or crazy or fun. It’s my turn to lift, to elevate, to be there, and to listen. Thank God I get that chance.