I walked in to work this morning and found Dory on safari
This morning, Jan and I BOTH showed up to work on time. I simply cannot express how much of a miracle this is. I work in a very small office – just her, me and our boss, who is only here two weeks (or less) out of every month. While we do have actual work hours, we’re salaried and no one really cares about strictly adhering to those hours so long as everything gets done. When the boss is out of town, we both tend to come in closer to 8:30, but when he’s here we try to make it in closer to our actual start time of 8:00. Last month, he was here for two weeks and she and I both showed up on time exactly once… but he had gotten ill the night before, so he didn’t make it in that day.
Today, I pulled up with Jan right behind me, both of us all smiles because the clock showed 7:58 and we weren’t going to be late. My smile faded quickly, though, when I saw that, once again, boss-man wasn’t here to witness this miracle. He’s been here five months now and I don’t think he’s seen us both in on time once.
Even though I’m not going to get penalized for coming in closer to 8:15 than 8:00 every day, I still like to show that I am responsible enough to actually show up on time. I was more or less always on time at my last job and I don’t seem to have any problems when we’re at our big meetings and I have to be up sometimes as early as 5:00 a.m. Why then, is it so difficult for me to punch that clock at 8:00 every morning? And why am I so disappointed when no one is here to witness the times that I do?
Isn’t it what we do when no one watches that defines our character? Who am I when I don’t have to answer to anyone? And what does it say about how I view myself when I am upset that I can’t fool others into believing I’m something other than what I am? This isn’t to say that I shouldn’t strive to be better; to overcome my character defects and present my best face to the world. Rather, if these changes are important to me, if they are things I want to adopt as everyday behaviors, then why don’t I practice them when no one is around to pat me on the head and tell me I’m a good girl? Do I truly wish to adopt the new behavior or do I just want the approval afforded to those who live this way?
Recovery, to me, is this constant struggle to become genuine. It’s like safari in the dark recesses of my brain, ever seeking the elusive Laurie. Except the leader of my safari is Dory from Finding Nemo, constantly distracted by shiny things and forgetting the whole point of the expedition. I lived so much of my life trying to be this way with this person, that way with that one, trying to fit in, trying to measure up, trying to fool you into thinking I am more than I am, less than I am. By the time it all fell apart, I woke up at the bottom of a deep pit with no idea who I was or how I got there. In my efforts to rebuild and right my wrongs along the way, it’s easy for me to get distracted by what I think others expect of me or how I want to present myself, neither of which is going to get me any closer to 42 Wallaby Way.
Wait, what was I saying? Crap, this isn’t how this post was supposed to go. What will everyone think of me if I post this rambling nonsense online? Maybe they’ll think I’m human. Maybe they’ll think I’m a little bit crazy. Who cares? The important thing is reminding myself I’ll never find the real me by looking to others for approval. No, I have to sit quietly and let the elusive Laurie approach and talk to her about what SHE feels is most important, then gently encourage her to let others see her.