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September Surrender: Day One

What I’m Letting Go

I’m actually a much more paranoid person that I care to admit. It was made really evident today. We were told we were going to do our post-show meeting on Zoom instead of in-person. I didn’t do the greatest job today, or at least I felt like I didn’t live up to the standards set for me. So I was anticipating yet another talking-to about my performance and why I don’t want to be a “manager.” When we got on the call, the very first thing my boss said was, “HR will be reaching out to some of you about coming into the office, and I’ll leave it at that.” My first thought was that I was being fired. Straight up, no exceptions. I actually felt the anxiety rising from the tips of my fingers, traveling all the way up my arms and setting my head on fire. I looked around briefly to see if anyone else was wondering what he meant by that, but the meeting went on as normal. When all was said and done, I gathered my things and went over to two other co-workers to ask them what our boss meant. They told me another co-worker has Covid, and because New York City mandates and policies are still stupid, someone who is a “close contact” will be forced to work from home for five days.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief and told them I thought I was getting fired. “I’m so paranoid,” I said, to which they both emphatically agreed. But I laughed it off and eventually went home. I texted my friend who’s less than a month away from having her first baby, and I just wanted to see how she was doing. She usually texts me back straight away, but didn’t this time. So where did my mind go? Oh no, something’s wrong. I don’t even want to repeat what I was thinking because it’s so extreme in retrospect. But, of course, everything was fine with her. We’re even going to try and meet up if our schedules align next week. But it disturbs me that my first thoughts about anything I care deeply about just goes right to the doom and gloom. I still don’t know what causes this, but I don’t want it to do that anymore. It’s going to make me sick, which is what I told my mom on the phone today. She agreed.

Clinging on to this maladaptive obsessiveness is not doing me any good. I’ve got to find ways to shift focus and not want to sit around waiting for something bad to happen. Because it won’t. No one’s watching me, no one’s out to get me, no one cares to make the effort, in a good way. We’re all on our own at this point, so why even worry?

What I’ve Discovered

If you’ve been as terminally single as I am, you’ll know how easy it is to just want to give up. Forget everything, make it so that you’ve resigned yourself to a life of solitude. But today felt a little different. I had that spark of liking someone again. Formulating a crush. Knowing that it may not go anywhere, but hoping that it actually might. There was even some soft flirting going on, something I didn’t realize I still had in me. The signals are going out, even if they’re as mundane as eating a banana knowing someone was watching me do so. I haven’t felt any kind of rush like this in a long time, but it felt oddly reassuring. I’m not trying to get ahead of myself either. These are good feelings that still exist, even if I’m not one hundred percent acting upon them. Just knowing they’re still around is discovery enough for me, and maybe I’m not as undesirable as I’ve felt in the past.

What I Hope to Find

A lot of these entries based on this format may take place in the office. It’s where I spend nearly a third of my life anyway, so it does make sense. For a while this year, I became laser-focused on my career and the job I was doing. It was the only thing I cared about, beside the cat. I used to say I was married to my work, and it was just as important to grow with it, and within it. But lately, something inside has most certainly shifted. My heart and my head are elsewhere as I remain tied to my desk. It’s out there, floating, telling me there’s far more out there than what I’ve been cultivating in here. I’ve got a strong sense of self, now it’s time to unleash it. So I hope by writing these entries this month, I’ll be able to find something more than just work life. There’s a lot more things out there for me. And although I’m not leaving the house as much as the twentysomethings I work with do, it doesn’t mean what I do inside is any less valid. It’s just that I could be doing a whole lot more. And I will. That’s the beautiful part. I have upcoming plans that I will write about for you this month. Just give me a chance to keep it going, as coolly and calmly as I can. No muss, no fuss, no stress, just words and stories to take us into the next chapter.

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