Seems that as of late, I’m mostly writing poetry. Kind of because it’s becoming hard to say what I really feel in a straightfoward fashion. Poetry is my therapy. I write some bad poetry, that’s basically asking questions. And then sometime after that, I answer it myself in the form of a poem. Except not really of late. It’s been more about admitting what I am.
Take the last week for example. I sweat to God, it feels like I have PTSD from the week… but it was still a great week. It was extremely productive. Professionally so. But personally, I’m just stuck. The mud is hardening around me, and it’s hard to feel like I have any worth outside of work.
I love what I’m doing right now. I love my job. I love the challenges of it. It’s scary, and it feels amazing to be able to use… the summation of all my skill and experience to tackle big projects, and not panic. I might feel like I’m holding my “professional breath”, but it also feels like I’m really doing something amazing.
I’m still driven by what they did to me as a kid. The proverbial “they” made me feel like I was marginal. I was not exceptional, and would never be exceptional at anything. Because I was made broken. I am deaf, and I am less. It doesn’t matter how much I do at my job, or how many tell me I’m doing such a great job. That… refrain still rings in my ears. And I feel like I always have to work harder than anyone and everyone else just to be their equal, if that.
It’s… I’m accepting that’s a horrible thing and way to live life. That’s where I am in my personal life. I’m accepting that I don’t have to work harder than you just to be your equal. I’m accepting that I’m already your equal. Maybe I’m better. It’s not ego… or maybe it is. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a proper ego.
I’m single for a reason: because who would want to be around a person with no ego on a personal level like me? Giving compliments out is extremely difficult for me because the only reason that ole “proverbial they” gave me compliments was like.. giving candy to a kid to keep them moving. If I give you a compliment, it’s the real thing. It’s not candy. It’s me saying something positive and overcoming this… prejudice I have in my head, because I really really mean it.
I recently had my 20 year anniversary at work. I said to my boss at the time that the greatest part of my job is that I’ve gotten to be a boss. I’ve gotten to hire people, train them, work with them, and maybe even mentor them somewhat. And seeing these young men and women go onto bigger and better things in life is the most amazing part of my life. What gets me about this feeling… is it’s the same feeling I’ve seen mentioned by parents. They get to raise this child or that child from birth, to become a fully formed human being… maybe I’m feeling presumptuous, or just filling the hole in my life as I’ll never be lucky enough to be someone’s dad. But being a boss to all these young people… is the best thing in my life.
And to the “proverbial they”, who made me feel like this… I’m doing my 8th “Cut the Cord” soon. I have 3 more scheduled in the next 3 weeks, in fact. I’m speaking, in front of large groups, and I feel like this effort is the collective middle finger to all their assumptions. You tried to keep me down (you denied me the ability to graduate with honors)… you wouldn’t let me get a job in my chosen major (I interviewed thousands of times). And it worked. Look where I am now: I’m speaking in front of groups. I’m respected by my colleagues. And by golly, I’m really pretty good at my job.
I think I should start charging more.