I went to an old former workplace the other day – I started my time there a little over 16 years ago when I was a 20 year old baby, and I haven’t worked there in over 11 years…
I ran into a few of my favorite coworkers, one whom hadn’t seen me in years, and she was just gobsmacked (and gushing, because she’s the sweetest little lady EVER) that I look exactly the same and when I said something sassy, she remarked that I am just the same as I ever was… and it alarmed me a little how quick I was to correct her and say “oh no, I have grown, I have evolved, I am no longer anyone’s doormat, and if the shit this place – customers, contractors and coworkers alike – put me through then were to happen now, there would be a lot more hurt feelings out there courtesy of ME.”
And she was just stunned. And so proud, she got tears in her eyes and she was just so blown away by how I found my voice, my confidence, my self esteem, and my sense of self worth. The two of them were A L W A Y S trying to instill my sense of self worth, they were ALWAYS trying to coax my confidence out of me.
And I don’t mean to sound rude or self righteous, but there were MANY, many years where I just did not stand up for myself; I tolerated mental and emotional abuse, and it was often my coworkers who stood up for me and got hell raisers on their way.
So it’s freakin’ empowering to see how I have grown!
I don’t love that there was a period in my life where I felt it was causing conflict to stand up for myself… but it just means I can look back now and realize how truly far I have come – it inspires me, and I won’t be going back to that shy, meek person who never was sure of her own worth.
Growth is freakin’ radical as eff, feel me?