Spent, but strengthened

I was typing with an old friend recently, as I’ve been on this “rekindling relationships I’ve all but abandoned” kick, and something I said holds more truth than a mere sentence can ever tell.

I told him that I’m very different from when he knew me just a few years ago — that I’ve become so much stronger, more decisive and so much less afraid. I think when we became friends, I was just so resigned to taking life as it came and not fighting the good fight. Inadvertently, I found myself just taking unnecessary crap because it was easier than protecting my own best interests.

I wasn’t always that way; it was a phase better left forgotten, yet one that kicked my ass enough to know that settling just isn’t for me.

It’s been a challenging week at Ye Olde Employment Establishment. Not in a bad way, but one in which I was able to emerge triumphant. My friend D. paid me the highest compliment, that of everyone, I’ve come the farthest in the shortest amount of time. Not just in title/workload, but also in a leadership capacity.

I don’t complain much (although I did a lot of it during that troublesome period of my life that I mentioned before), because I don’t have a lot that gets stuck in my craw anymore. That’s the joy of being busy — you learn really quickly how to prioritize and to disperse your energy as needed, so you can keep on going and make your energy last for as long as you need.

Being easygoing is a good thing, because when you really get passionate about something, you are apt to pick your battles more wisely. And this week, something important to me could have slipped away, or else it could have gone so very NOT the way I wanted it to. But I drank a big cup of, “This is how I want it to turn out,” and I went to the mat for it. And guess what? I WON! Woo hoo!

I was kind of worried about any potential fallout from it, because to say there will be some is probably an understatement. But as far as I’m concerned, the hardest part is over. And what my friend suggested is that I took a huge leap that resulted in me establishing a new level of leadership, one that will likely come with an elevated level of respect.

It was funny, because someone did comment that they were surprised by the amount of attitude that my normally meek-and-mild self exhibited. But it was because of my conviction that everyone said, “OK, let’s do this one your way.” And “attitude” really wasn’t the right word for it — it was more or less my declaration that I was going to do what I was going to do, and while obtaining others’ blessing was important, it wasn’t going to hold me back if it didn’t come, either.

I’ve written a lot in past blog incarnations about wanting so very much to be heard, that as a mere young’n, your ideas don’t always get taken seriously and even if you fight for them, you might just end up being branded for life as a pain in someone else’s butt. But maybe it’s that I’m getting older/more respected in my “old age,” or maybe that I’ve shown on myriad occasions that I care very much and that my decisions are clearly made in everyone’s best interests, but it was exhilarating to be supported throughout the journey.

And the lesson I learned is that people don’t purposely stand in your way. They may make it challenging for you to achieve your end goals sometimes, but if you really examine their motives, they are actually giving you the opportunity to stand up for what you believe in. If you retreat at the slightest sign of resistance, not only does it convey that you didn’t want/care about it enough, but also that you’re not ready to sit at the big kids’ table.

I think it’s a decidedly feminine trait, to not want to make waves. I did mention that if I were a guy, no one would have been surprised at my balls-out approach to the situation. 🙂 But throughout all of this, I had a very remarkable opportunity to exhibit brilliant decision-making as well as the ability to say, “This is what I need in order to be a better asset to you.” And who can argue with that kind of logic? 😉

The latest adventure has taken up a lot of time and energy, but I believe in front-loading — a solid investment made now is going to reap amazing dividends over time. Everyone is trusting me to deliver on this. And because they gave me what I wanted, I am more than happy to pay them back, with interest, for helping me to assert the power they wanted me to have in the first place.

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