Monday, April 29, 2002

Sometimes I feel as if I am split in half.

That happened last week when the contracting agency that I registered with called me for a job that would pay over $70,000 a year. I am much wiser now and wouldn't take a job just for the money, but it was a reminder of who the other me is. Not the $7.00 an hour me, but the side of me that knows I can go out into the world and kick ass. Not to be some obnoxious type-A personality, which I am the complete opposite of, but to find a place that suits me where I can use my talents to my best ability and soar. The me that doesn't hide.

I also couldn't help feeling what a difference that money would make in my life. Not to acquire things, but to pay the people back who have helped me during my down time. To contribute again, if that makes sense. My fantasy, the one that makes my heart pound a little faster, was if the job were something that I could do, meaning that the workplace and people were conducive, as well as the paycheck.

The half of me that is getting the most attention is the one who likes the simplicity of my life now. I like the non-corporate work and that there are no meetings, CEO's, annoying sales people or VP's of whatever department. A stark reminder of that was when I went to the interview at the contracting agency, I noticed that there was a difference between me and the other "coifed" women who were there. I had on pants that were not pressed, socks that I'd worn a second day, a blazer, (okay, it was a $1200 Giorgio Armani blazer), and one of the shoes I was wearing had dropped the rubber sole from the heel. (Okay, they were $300 Gucci shoes.) All relics from my past. My hair was kind of out of place, my make-up wasn't perfect, and I just didn't look as put together as those other women. Granted, they were probably applying for corporate positions, and probably administrative ones, but I couldn't help feeling like I was "the one that didn't belong."

What kills me, is how qualified I am. That is the part that does belong, and that's the Anne that I relate the best with. The one who can think up things on the fly and work with the best of them. The one who can rise to the occasion and pull off great stuff without raising my blood pressure a point. Still, I just can't help feeling like a little kid visiting dad at the office when I go into job interviews. I wonder if I'll ever get over that.

My simple half likes my life just the way it is right now. A simple job, and no pressure. A place where I can use my other talents and enjoy all the people who come into the store. Not to mention, to have them enjoy me. What a great experience that is, to meet so many people whom I normally wouldn't get to talk to and help them each in their own way. To leave them better than when they came in and feeling like they have been heard. And, they have. The other day, after I made a woman laugh, she thanked me for the smile. I can't even begin to describe how great that made me feel. A smile is something a lot of us take for granted, but I was thanked for giving someone one.

These two sides of me, the quiet, simple one and the creative, rebellious one have been in a fight my whole life. Kind of like those two Star Trek characters who were doomed to be forever embattled in a struggle against each other. One had a black half of his left face and a white on his right, the other had a white half on his left face and a black on his right. The two remained locked in an embrace, each trying to win ground over the other one. Equally strong, equally determined. It's where I find myself right now.

Unlike them, however, I'm slowly finding that these two sides have a common ground. That common ground is the girl who can come to an interview in non-pressed pants and pull it off because she has a killer resume. The one who gets called for a job opportunity a week later that pays over 70K, and the one who can put her portfolio online using HTML when she doesn't really know what she's doing when she starts out, but finds the resources and teaches herself. And not just puts it up, but makes it look good. That's the common ground. That's the grey in the black and white. And there are so many shades of that grey. Many that I haven't even seen yet.

And that is what helps me accept the "imperfections" about myself. Yes, I'll always have pangs of insecurities about the fact that I'll never be a morning person, or that I'm never going to win any fashion awards at work. I'll always be fighting with that little kid in me that says that I don't belong in the big world with all the adults. And I accept that. Because those are just parts of me. They are not the whole me. There are other parts of me that can kick ass and deal very well in any world.

So, I guess I'm saying that I'm ready to polish off my ass-kicking boots again and place them not in front of, but beside my very cozy and soft slippers.

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