"Love, you are one of the most amazing people I have ever met"
This was from one of my lovely commenters, and is especially appreciated because it was from someone who has only met me once or twice. Although... my thou-art-worthless head could say that's WHY she thinks I'm amazing... because she doesn't actually know me properly...
But anyway. I just re-read my "RAH" post and was surprised to find myself describing myself as amazing. Because I don't mostly believe that these days.
It's not just the new career. It's been several years now since I really succeeded at anything. I used to think of myself as a person who could do anything she set her hand to, but that has been disproved several times over now, and in several different spheres.
One of the worst things about my current predicament is that for a while my colleagues were saying, "You're too hard on yourself."
They've stopped saying that. Because people in positions of power and authority, who know what they are talking about, are being just as hard on me as I ever was, and are confirming my own most private and worst suspicions about myself. And I know that other people are thinking, "Oh yeah, come to think of it..." And the more I am criticised, the worse I perform, and the more I worry about being perceived by all as the "drain on resources" I have been described as, and the more I agree with it myself...
The other day there were interviews at my place of work. Such is the nature of the job that some of us got to observe some parts of the selection process. I watched those interviewees and thought back to my own interview. I put on such a good show. Afterwards I said to a small number of colleagues, "I was very confident that I had got this job. I know my interview went well. They were very keen for me to start work here. It must have been such a disappointment when I turned out to be so rubbish." One of the people at the table blushed and hid behind her hair. The image stays with me. And it was my own stupid fault and God, I hate it when people say loudly in public things like "I'm such a waste of space," which puts the listeners in the horrible position of having to either deny or avoid, and is such a needy thing to say.
I joined a gospel choir a couple of weeks ago. It's lovely. It's something I can do, and do well. And it's not about ego and nobody gets the limelight. We just sing together, all concentrating hard on not standing out, on being part of a whole that makes something beautiful. And they're such a great cast of characters. They just accepted me instantly, without asking questions or expecting anything obvious of me other than that I join in and sing, and learn my harmony with the minimum of fuss - which is something I happen to be rather good at. So, there you go: Something I haven't failed at. And which is uplifting and gorgeous.
I'm an atheist. Not everybody in the choir is a Christian. I don't know the proportions - nobody asks or seems to care, although it's clear there are a fair few believers. Personally I'm quite happy to piggyback on the benefits of religion. Spirituality, for me, is about celebrating all the wonderful things we humans are capable of, and - thank God - (haha) that includes music.
So, anyway. Am I amazing? Not so much, not right now. But I tried to do something really difficult, under difficult circumstances. So I'm brave. And I'm still doing it, despite a horrible amount of pressure and some unnecessary unpleasantness. And I'm still trying, and I'm still smiling, some of the time, including at my tormentors (every chance I get, I smile at them. I am bigger than them) (I'm not, I'm smaller, so much smaller, but my smile can be big). And I can sing.