Thursday, October 3, 2013

"To Thine Own Self Be True" ~ William Shakespeare


I realized coming off my last post, some people may think me flighty, unfocused, unrealistic or a host of other things, especially as I relayed the interaction between the corporate recruiter and myself that occurred earlier this week.  And from the outside, it certainly may look that way.  But I've come a long way in the past few years in really figuring out who I am and what I want to contribute to this world while I'm here.  Those lessons, as most are, were very hard learned.  Many times it's only through trials and failures (sometimes many times!) that we finally learn the lesson the Universe intended for us.  There is a definite reason why I am being so careful in preparing for my next 'job'; it stems from lessons learned during my previous career and will be the focus of today's post.  It's a very serious question, that I'm sure for many, as it was for me, will be difficult or perhaps embarrassing to answer:
Have you ever felt pressured to, or did you ever, change yourself for a Job/Relationship/Other Circumstance?
I think in today's society, staying true to oneself is a very difficult exercise indeed.  From a very young age, there is pressure to conform, fit in, etc.  Hence all the media focus in recent years on Bullying in schools.  To stand out, to stand up for what you believe in, in many cases is seen as 'different' or 'weird'.  Which is completely preposterous.  Every human being is unique.  Our internal blueprints, our DNA, are unique only to us, well except if you're an identical twin, but even they start to develop environmental differences the moment they exit the womb.  So, why then, are we expected to be like everyone else?! 
In my previous career, I felt a lot of pressure to be and act a certain way and many times, to go along with things I personally did not agree with.  Since I was embedded in that career for almost 9 years, I also saw many colleagues of mine change over time, and not necessarily for the best.  In Corporate American culture, there is a lot of 'dehumanizing' that goes on.  "It's not personal, it's just business."  I've always despised that statement.  Everything you do to another human being is personal to that other person.  This statement aims to justify doing something that is inhumane, unjust, unfair or just plain mean as long as you are making money while doing it??! 
I don't ever want to feel like I need to compromise my personal values, or who I am, in order to succeed.  And I think that's the problem with trying to fit yourself into a 'job'.  I believe we were all put on this earth to be exactly who we are.  Modern society will try everything it can to get you to bend, to sway, to buy the latest whatever, to change who you are, but the reality is, that you are enough just as you are.  And no job, no person, no one should make you feel otherwise.  The path for me seems to be leading me more and more to work for myself one day.  I think as long as you are working for someone else, there will always be a little bit of pressure to conform to what that other person wants you to be. 
I said to a friend the other night that perhaps I wasted 'the best years of my life' in my previous job and she reminded me that everything happens for a reason. Indeed, I learned many good lessons, I have so many good memories, and most of all, I met some AMAZING people (*see below) and lifelong friends.  Life is all about the experiences along the way and the people you share them with, so if I tally up all of those in the last 9 years, I definitely come out on top :)
Mini-reunion that happened this week!

**My self-selected October Challenge was going to be a No Alcohol Month, partially because I wanted my diet to be 'clean' going into the RW Half in 2 weeks, however, this work reunion happened on Tuesday (Oct 1st!).  C'est la vie!  We'll see how the rest of the month goes :)
Your turn, if you'd like to share:
Have you ever felt pressured to change who you are to fit in somewhere or with someone?



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