Friday, September 25, 2009

Is That It?

One of our weekly rituals occurs on Wednesday evening . . . Kevin and I snuggle up to watch "Ghosthunters" -- about two Roto-Rooting plumbers by day, turned paranormal experts by night. I'm really rather obsessed with anything relating to ghosts. I can't get enough of ghost specials such as on Discovery or Travel Channel. It appears as though Jason and Grant (the co-founders of TAPS - The Atlantic Paranormal Society) also have their rituals. Almost every week they split the hour into two separate ghost-busting visits. And as they drive away from the client meeting of the first location they bump fists and Jason says, "On to the next." This always amuses us . . . I'm not completely sure why.

The other repetition that I've noticed lately happens while they are taken on the tour of the location that they are about to investigate. The client relays various stories to TAPS of the types of paranormal experiences that have happened in that particular room or area and Jason invariably says, "Is that it?"
Now, I'm sure that he doesn't mean for this to sound impatient, snotty, or condescending. He's just a to-the-point kind of guy and is most likely wanting to not waste any time. But that specific phrase has a rather touchy connotation for me. It rubs me the wrong way.

A few years ago I was looking for a job and was having a difficult time of it. Not so much in the way of actually finding something, but more in that I was struggling mightily with a bad self-esteem, lack of confidence in my workforce capabilities, social anxiety, and fears beyond what I could even explain. I had just signed up with another one of the temp agencies in town and shortly after they landed me an interview. I will not mention any names, so as to not "burn any bridges." I hadn't honestly done tons of interviews and my anxiety was exploding through the top of my curly head. You must know that job interviews are pretty much what I hate doing most in this world. :) So as you can imagine, I was full of dread.

I tried doing everything I could think of to help. I had already done preparation work -- practiced questions and answers, learned a tiny bit about the company, etc. And now I was trying to take at least one deep breath, pray, and tell myself that it will be just fine, no matter what.

As soon as the lady came out to the lobby to get me I got very bad vibes from her . . . you know, the kind of vibes that say, "Great, another peon to deal with. I'd like to get this over as soon as possible. If she thinks I'm going to go out of my way to make her feel comfortable, she's delusional."
So, let's just say, the lady wasn't terribly nice, or welcoming, or chipper. She looked as though I had already annoyed the hell out of her. Greeeaaaaattt, looking forward to this interview! As she perused through my resume, she asked a couple questions about past work history. I answered. And then she paused briefly, still looking at the paper in her hands, looked up and said, "Is that it?"

Huh? Is what it? Oh, my work history? I realized that my resume was basically a piece of poo on paper . . . and simply said, "Yep." What else could I really say? Oh, I'm sure a lot of people would've come up with a way to turn it around and inform her of the many reasons why they're qualified, but that's not me. I'm not good at advertising myself. I never have been. I hate feeling pushy, aggressive, or like I'm bragging. So I have always gone far, probably too far, in the other direction. I couldn't think of anything else to say at that time. I was still pretty new to all of this and I wasn't savvy, due to a lack of experience. And I felt ridiculously stupid.

I could tell within a couple minutes of the interview that this would be the last place that I'd want to work. I was determined to do the best that I could, however, and just see what would happen. But when this occurred I felt defeated. I felt like a complete loser. I tried to be upbeat and attentive the rest of the interview, but I could tell it wasn't going anywhere. Sometimes you just know. I could tell they wouldn't even consider me. But I sat there, nodding my head, feigning interest, and mustering up a couple questions, hoping that they would just let me go, so that I could go home and have a nice, fat, much-needed cry.

A day or two after, I got a call from the temp agency. "Um . . . they weren't impressed," she said. I just kind of chuckled and said, "yeah . . . I could tell." And the truth is, I wasn't impressed with them either. They were very cold and aloof and didn't ask me very many questions. They instead rambled on about how wonderful their company was and how it's grown so much, etc. Course, maybe they didn't ask many questions because they already knew that they didn't want me. Who knows . . .

Is that it . . . I can't tell you how many times that phrase has come back and haunted my thoughts, spooking away the confidence that I've been building. That's one of my
Ferocious Crap Moments -- the kind of bad moment that changes you and has a powerful effect on you. Yep, that's definitely one of mine! It's taken some work to shrug that one off. And sometimes I still have to let it go when I let myself start to believe that I am nothing more than the little, unimpressive person that they saw. Sometimes I look at myself as the shy, pathetic, nerdy girl that some people view me as being. But I'm not that, at least not entirely. Yes, sometimes parts of me are those qualities that are unimpressive. But that's not all. Sometimes parts of me are the impressive qualities that those who know and love me see. But that's not all either. Sometimes I'm simply in between. In fact, this is probably where I reside most -- not outstanding, not pathetic. Just normal. Just human.

I think our society caters too much to the extremes. Everyone is labeled as either a Rock Star or a Peon. An Admirable Human Being or a Degenerate. Why isn't it okay to be somewhere in the middle? Why isn't it okay for someone to encompass lovely qualities as well as some that are unlovely? None of us are perfect. We all have our strengths and our defects. We are never just one thing or one way.

I have struggled with a beaten down self-esteem since I was 12. It has only been in the last two or three years that I've made significant strides to changing this (I'm almost 29, by the way). I understand what it's like to hate yourself and see yourself as worthless, deserving nothing good. I have seen this in other people too, and I know what pain they feel. In fact, I feel pain
for them.

Do you think God looks at any of us and asks himself, "Hmmm, well that's nice, but . . . is that it?" The God that I love would never have such a limited, finite view of us. (That's what we tend to do to him.) No, I think he looks at us and sees everything that we have been, everything that we are, and everything that we can be. He sees every possibility in us . . . our fullest selves. And he must ache for us to see that in ourselves. It is true: we are our most devilish critics. But know this . . . you are more than your accomplishments, more than your flaws and deficiencies. You are a spirit full of life and love, with the potential for more than you can imagine. So, is that it? . . . not in the least!!

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