adulthood · commitment · growth · honesty · integrity · progress · recovery · responsibility · work

Bollocks.

Through a series of work I’m doing right now, I sent out a
stack of three letters to former employers yesterday, each with a variation on the theme – I was an
unprofessional employee, I am sorry for how I behaved, and I aim to be more responsible in my
jobs now and going forward.
The messed up, fucked up, I-don’t-want-to-do-this part of all
that is… that now I have to stick to my word – the word about being a better
employee going forward. This means, fewer endless hours on facebook while at
work (if any at all); it means taking my breaks so I’m refreshed to actually do
work instead of sit and stare at whatever I’m doing; it means being efficient in
my work. I means, basically, doing what I’m paid to be doing.
I don’t like that. And, yet, I know how completely necessary
it is. I’ve been talking here about responsibility lately, how I don’t want it, but that I do want the things that come to people who are responsible – in their
work, extracurricular, and home lives. So, if I want what they have, then I
must do what they do.
I don’t have to.
Sure, I can say one thing and do another, but in truth, that feels, obviously,
worse. Better to not say anything at all, and continue to slide along on
half-steam, than to say that I’m making changes so that I don’t slide along on
half-steam and then not do it.
Most recently, having the (rated G) dalliance with the
married man, I got to see very acutely where I was either going to stick to the
letter of my word or not. I’ve had to make many an amends to women whose
boyfriends, and, once, a fiancé, with whom I’ve dallied. I told them each,
specifically, that I was making changes in my life so that I don’t act like
that anymore – that I was sorry for how I behaved, and that I wouldn’t do it
again.

So, when I began talking in the flirtatious way with this man about a month
ago, I knew – I felt – how off this was.
How against everything that I’d set up over the last few years this was. How,
basically, I was breaking my promise to each of them, and indeed to myself –
having promised myself that I wouldn’t behave in ways around men
that would make me feel bad about myself, or guilty, or ashamed.
And so, I stopped the dalliance with the man, and am now newly engaged in a body of work to help extricate and sever and lay to rest the last
of the beliefs and behaviors that influence me to believe that this is all that
is available to me, or what I deserve.
So, here I am, now, about work. About telling these folks
that I fucked up in the past, and I’m trying to do better. That, specifically,
I will be more responsible and work with more integrity. And, I know, now, that
I’ll have to stick to it. I know how it feels from that recent experience to
come right up against something I said I wouldn’t do – I know how icky it
feels, and against my morals. And so, now, I must take that same self-line into the professional world.
And I hate it.
I know it’s good for me. I know it’ll open doors for me, and
duh, it’s the right thing to do. But, Oh! My Beautiful Wickedness!, I don’t “want” to. Luckily, it doesn’t quite matter
whether I want to or not. Pain will always push me in the direction forward. I
don’t want to feel the pain of being a hypocrite, so I will work better. I
don’t want to feel ashamed that I’m not living to my word, so I’ll stop
accepting jobs that I know I’ll work half-steam at.
I don’t like it. It feels like an entirely new level of
adulthood to go toward this direction of integrity. But it’s necessary, and
it’s time.
I have no doubt that the opening up of this line of vision
will amount to something more in my professional life. I have no doubt that by working to a better standard of duty that I’ll feel better about myself and
less like a fraud. I know that this will take me somewhere different internally
and externally. But, still, it sucks.
It’s like this is what teenagers experience when they get
into their 20s maybe. Or, these days, 20somethings into their 30s. I’d love to learn this
now. It’s late, but it is certainly a better late than never.
I also wrote an email last night to a recent former employer to
apologize for how I ended my employment there, and to ask for clarity around
some money they gave me to pay off the last of my braces when I had them a
few years ago. He said that they had dental, so it was covered, and no
liability to me. He said that he did think I “handled the separation badly.”
And he said that if I ever needed a reference that he has “[my] back.” I’m glad
to know that the money is clear. I agree that I could have handled things
differently. And for fuck’s sake, I promise that I will handle them differently
in the future.
Change sucks. Especially when it’s good for me. 

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