Sunday, September 9, 2012

Miami > Email

Ingredients for this My Time: Miami is love, being told you're not enough is hard, and they both still let you drink champagne! Basically the ingredients are widespread frustration and champs. Duh.

Oh Honey, I can't remember the last time I felt so "okay" with myself. I'm in MIAMI! I mean, sure, there's still the debilitating lack of self-esteem yatta yatta from getting emails THAT PEOPLE CC OTHER OFFICIALS ON TO PREVENT YOU FROM...WHAT? when you're trying to be "okay" in Miami, like these:

The first email I got explained why I was not right for a position I was in the best position to get--not because of my incredible excellence, mind you, but because of my seniority and work accomplished--that I did not. This email explained to me that I did not get said position because the other person had a strong background in things that had nothing to do with the position as well as understood a group dynamic and was aware of the needs of others. Turn that sentence into one about me and not the other, and you will see where my head went. It was one of the most confusing emails I've ever gotten because it said, "you didn't get this because another person has _______," and basically neglected saying that the decider just felt uncomfortable around me, but wanted me to know how hard it was for them to decide and transparency is what was trying to be achieved in writing this email and CCing other authority members and they so looked forward to continuing a conversation with me about all the things I'm doing that make me a viable candidate for said position.
(was my reaction)
The next email asks if I am indeed ready to proceed after I sent an email saying I was indeed ready to proceed. Of course I suddenly realized that I was not ready nor would I be if I were asked such questions. I have no self-esteem, Honey, and questions that don't start "would you like as your side ____" are too much for me at this point.
(my before/after reaction)
another email spent articulate, paragraph-form time explaining the most basic mistakes I make that prevented me from success. I don't disagree, Honey, but it does make paranoia about a specific thing match up nicely with someone else coincidentally pointing out said thing as a flaw, and then, voila: YOUR ARE PSYCHIC, BUT NO GOOD.
(was my cliche yet actual reaction)

AND then you are reminded of all the past actually crazy emails you had to save to "protect yourself" and not just the ones where someone points out your inadequacies. Those emails had to be saved because when one is in a system, people would rather not step in and help a problem but keep silent long enough until it goes away. I think the logic is polite silence > lawsuits. These emails, Honey, simply let you know what you've always suspected about yourself--that you're basically a fraud who has made it "this" "far" due to others' bumbling way through submission and acceptance procedures because they don't have a rigorous standard. Well, Honey, the thing is...MON$Y. WHICH I HAVE. WHICH MEANS:

If you don't have a bunch of money, you have to listen to these emails, especially the first one, and think about how you are perceived by brilliant, stable, professional Authority Figures who do terrible things but have learned that true professionalism--true engagement with the world and pushing organizations forward into the next century--is to not talk about IT, whatever the IT happens to be that day. But the second you become w$althy you realize that the emotional and mental stakes are so high for a dedication to this kind of criticism--a kind that presumes you have no awareness about "the needs of others" or an "understanding of a group dynamic" that you realize your world can be completely other. I mean, if you have mon$y you do not need these folks to evaluate you for an excellence achieved at a certain level that they have deemed not uncomfortable for them, and demonstrative of your ability to not make others uncomfortable. Ta-da! Degrees! 

You can choose other things for success--I don't mean emotional, mental success--obviously you have to seek that out at any cost (haha I kid! That's what alcohol's for!)--I mean that your day-to-day life takes on an affirming stability that makes it possible for you to reject seeking out such stability in a field that really, I mean come on Honey, does not think you should be in. It thinks its ideas are better than yours, its discourse is more potent with information and civilization, its globalness promotes a diversity yet a specialization that you do not possess, and its success comes from a standard that you will not elevate to. I mean, I'M NOT SAYING THEY'RE WRONG, as the poor woman inside always acknowledges, 

but let's get real: I got al$mony, Honey. With an amount of money that provides stability and comfort, you wouldn't give a goddamn fuck what people you're striving to demonstrate your specialization in front of think, nor would you think your failings are signs of an overall failure in life. You would spend time getting better at what you want by hiring experts, or moving on to other desires that you've always wanted to pursue but had no means with which to do so. Because with the appropriate amount of stability, one is less anxious, one has the space and time to think about what is happening, one can be bitter sad or whatever before moving on, and one doesn't have to strive to specialize in the art of charity boards, a field more rampant with sexism than the sciences, surprisingly, and really dumb articles saying nothing important about it and personal testimonials encouraging women to deal with it instead of the charity board. You can think it all over with an eccentric activity that helps you get calm.

So, lucky me, I have all this money, thus I don't need to worry about seeking affirmation or maligning myself a failure in the world I've chosen to pretend to be a part of for some-odd years. 




But wait--YOU ARE IN MIAMI! YOU ARE NOT IN AN EMAIL! Oh, I forgot! I was INVITED to a very special hotel in South Beach to give a very well-received talk about "things"  to do with all the m$ney I have! It was fantastic, and I got so much work done of my own choosing.

I worked out/thought about killing myself
I made new friends who taught me some valuable lessons
"One must uphold the spandex quota for Miami, Dagmar!"
I got SO MUCH work done
And I managed to feel a beautiful kind of hazy while allowing myself to gain a sense of humor about getting emails that help me/remind my of my inability to achieve

There's always the fear. Will they think I'm bitter? Mentally unstable? Unprofessional in a "professional" cultural climate? Unintelligent? Incapable of grace? Fill in the blank? Well, Honey, the thing is, women are those things. So are men. I am right now. But I never was before moving to my Midwestern charity board. What is it about the systems we have in place that make women cause more discomfort to others in the system when they are these things? The women who achieve in the system and positions I am in are silent, private, phobic of conflict or engagement until they feel safe to speak. Then they speak about their past experiences with sexism in the charity board. More women charity interns are in the Humanities, but the boards are run more by men. Once that famous male board member stops touching slender women on the smalls of their backs and telling them how good they look, once famous board dude gets to stop hiring mini versions of himself in a well-known charity publication who hires female interns to fuck them (rejecting better qualified but less desirable women on his part), once I'm not told my voice has become "a problem" in me securing a position I'm right for, when a candidate who gets it only does because she is calmer, because I speak to injustice in the system to officials, then, Honey, I'll shut the fuck up. Really, and remember, I'm TALKING ABOUT A CHARITY BOARD OBVS, if one official admitted the sexism inherent in our "charity board," I would finally forever be silent.
"but I do expect that lady interns teach us about men in the charity board canon to get their degrees :)"

Before I came to this charity board I never once spoke up, or "complained," about the departments (of charity functions!) I was in. Not once. Hard to believe? Well I also used to be too scared of losing control to consume alcohol. We all grow the fuck up. So why shouldn't the charity board system?

Ah, that felt good. Back to being an insecure mess who thinks her only problem is herself. But that's what marriage and charity boards are for, Honey. Avoiding the problem of oneself.
(champagne, EXTRA LETTUCE taco bell, a hard line on oneself and the board in a blog, and letting it all go)

When this EMAIL JOURNEY is all over in May, that is, if I secure the charity board title I've been vying for for so long and doing twice the work to try and learn from, it will all even out. Because remember, I have so much money, which means, that only the poor have to be in positions to consider how others are evaluating them for success. Blink. Blink. Blink. In the end, it's important for all of us to be able to consider how being given opportunities that come with financial accolades make being alive, accomplishing work, specializing or not, easier. Miami gave me champs, filet, and the ability to share my work while completing it, all on its dime. Whatta town.
my self-esteem was dependent on this pool. alas! it is gone from me

And when I'm feeling my own kind of safe (read: xanax floater in my champs) I love my Midwestern charity board. I learn a lot from it, and I believe in everyone a part of it. They are my community--I chose them even if it feels like no one chose me. I am here, I will get my charity board certification, and I will make my life happy with or without a position that my certification presumes I will try to get. We all try to make ourselves happy in our own ways. I vent the worst parts of myself
to maybe someday find the best.

champers and self-loathing on me! I always have a credit card to get you drunk, Honey.

No comments:

Post a Comment