No, I did not mistakenly add that comma. I am quoting myself (takes a lot of ego to do and admit that, right?) from the other day.
I am at a new job, one that is what I dreamt for myself for years: a professional position working for some professional bosses that will lead me on a professional career (and has me dressed in professional business attire that make me feel like Pretty Woman walking down the street). Yes, there’s a theme there, but anyway…
The point is, the job I do (an assistant position though my job allows my boss’ daily work to run smoothly and efficiently) has a lot of pressure I haven’t felt since my finals for my master’s degree. The pressure doesn’t only stem from the job activities itself but an overall fear of messing up an amazing opportunity that Imposter’s Syndrome loves to taunt me about. This job will allow for me and my husband to look for a house (after years of apartment living) and make some very big steps towards long-awaited life goals. Messing up this far ahead would be like dropping a priceless necklace into the ocean after ages of it being lost (looking at you, Old Rose).
But no matter what the stakes, pressure from work is always going to happen. It happened when I was a cashier clerk, a beauty consultant, and obviously a student and graduate research assistant for two professors. It’s all about handling it.
So I wrote to myself the other day, when a small miscommunication on my part led to a scramble of schedule repairs and last second rearrangements. Yes, I talk to myself alone and sometimes I write myself a letter or email. I am very good at conversating with myself (I am a delight to talk to), and a therapist unfortunately is not waiting at home for every bad day I have, so I composed an email from my personal account to my work email and left it unopened until the next day.
It reads as follows:
“This job has been giving us challenges, but nothing worse than what we’ve been through before. Remember at the vision clinic when you were accused of being lazy while your other coworkers got by with chit chatting with everyone and you felt so bad at being singled out you just went home and cried? Look, that was bad. None of this is that bad, especially since you are still learning and trying. First jobs always have hiccups in the first few months.
This is JUST A HICCUP, not a heart attack like we feel it is.
Even if something doesn’t work out, things overall will be fine. Drink your tea, take your medicine, keep breathing, and take your breaks (your fifteens and your hour lunch, nothing will improve by stressing/exhausting yourself).
You are doing fine! Don’t stop, and if you have to take a moment, take it. You’re doing just fine!
Be patient with yourself. You’re smart, and it’ll all work out.
I’m willing to admit, I need a LOT of reassurance. I’ve been in too many situations where someone’s irritation was obvious but they wouldn’t say anything, completely stonewalling me until the cold and unfriendly wall between us was all but tangible. So I need to know that things are okay, and if met with silence, my brain is constantly going, “no, things are NOT okay.” So sometimes I give myself that assurance, to avoid annoying relatives, friends, and coworkers because no one has time to always pat me on the back or give me a gold star (come on, though, who doesn’t love getting a gold star on their work? I think some jobs should do this but perhaps liveable wages should happen first!).
I read my self-love email more than once the following day, and it did help. I’m moving on from the accidental mistakes, am thankful things ended up working out (because they always DO), and taking my learning moments in stride.
This will work, this will get better, and my past self loves me as much as I love my future self.
Is this inspirational or a tad sad? I want to say “comment below” but maybe I don’t want to invite that into my life.
Whatever. What do you do to help yourself get back up after a stumble? At work, in your social life, or in general life happenings?