I lay in bed last night thinking about how I would approach this, my 100th blog post. It’s a significant post, don’t you think? For one thing, I’m a little shocked that I’ve stuck with it for this long, and more than a little shocked that people actually read my crap. I really didn’t know where it was going when I got started, but I knew I needed an outlet for the things that float around in my head and keep me distracted from other often more important things in life.
I’ve spent some time over the last month re-reading some of my earlier posts to get a feel for where I’ve gone with this and I’ve been surprised to see some places where I’ve either grown or somehow developed my thoughts on various issues. It’s taken some time for me to get comfortable in my own skin here. I started out only moderately concerned about who would read this, grew quite concerned and have settled in with a little more abandon. Evidence of which is noted in my last post. A few months back I added the mention of my divorce to my profile and I’m getting more comfortable talking about the things that have contributed to shaping the person who sits at her computer needing so desperately to give a few things a second thought.
As a teacher I would always tell my students that I needed feedback. I never wanted (and never had) a quiet classroom. I wanted learners to be engaged, to have their own opinions, to disagree with me and with each other. I thrive on the tension that is created in the marketplace of ideas. I’ve grown refeshingly detatched from the notion there is an answer to every question and that’s why I write here. I love the diversity of perspective that each reader brings. Even if I think you’re a freakin’ moron, I still want to hear what you have to say. Paying attention to my reactions to even the most annoying of comments challenges me to examine yet another part of this ‘me’ that I’m getting to know. I’ve even sounded off at a couple of comments that have particularly annoyed me but somehow those are the ones that make their way down the Blogger vortex into oblivion– so no one has ever read those. Please don’t think I’m all that diplomatic. Blogger just shuts me up when it feels like it and it’s too annoying to try to remember what I said to try again. You can’t “take two” on a rant, you know?
So, while I was eating lunch this afternoon (at a cool non-Starbies cafe with free wireless) I read a comment by Heartinsanfrancisco:
You sound healthy and strong and burning with pure intent. You’ve been building energy for a long time, and now you will use it to build a new and better life for yourself. You’re about to amaze yourself, but the rest of us won’t be surprised at what you can do.
It really got me thinking about the significance of an interaction with my boss last week. We had a Spanish-speaking client who needed to sign a retainer agreement. I didn’t think she should sign an agreement that she couldn’t read and mentioned that it should be translated. My boss assigned me to the task and I did the work, well. In a staff meeting the next day she asked how things were going. My typical answer is well, even if that’s not the case, but this time somebody took over my mouth. I told her that I felt swamped by the Spanish-speaking client load since I’m now the only bilingual person in the office and that the translation of the retainer agreement was a $400 translation job. I told her that it took up way too much time from my other responsibilities and that she’d need to plan to contract work like that out, since that’s not what she’s paying me to do.
After the meeting, our 23 year old paralegal comes up to me and says, Alexis, how do you do that? I’m like, do what? How do you just come right out and say what you will and won’t do to your boss and stand up for yourself like that? I hadn’t even thought about it. How did I do that? I’m not the one to stand up for myself. I’ll advocate for everyone except me, and I have a BIG mouth. Then it occured to me that maybe, just maybe I’m starting to believe that I am worth fighting for.
The next day, the boss comes to me and acknowledges my talent as an interpreter and a translator (I’ll be happy to explain the difference to anyone who doesn’t know–apparently there are many) and that if I was interested in the extra work, the job would contract out the translation work to me so that I can make extra money at the rate I deserve. Man, I nearly pissed my pants. How did that happen? And why am I so surprised when things fall into place as they should?
I’ve got a lot of un-learning to do. I’ve got a lot more to give a second thought. I’ve got so many more subjects I want to delve into, but I’m still getting my nerve.
Thanks to all of you who’ve read this long. Keep reading and commenting. I do this mostly for the discussion. Here’s to 100 more!
Now, it’s still gray and rainy, so I’m cuddling back up to my pillow now. Nappy time!