Sunday, September 23, 2007

Growin' up. It's about fucking time.

So. I s'pose it's been awhile. Too long, in my opinion, but shit's been happening.

As I may have mentioned about a bazillion times, I hated my job (and most other things) in New Hampshire, so MonkeyPants got a new job and we up and moved to New York. I secured a job as a residence hall director and am now fully immersed in a type of prison wardenry for over 200 freshmen. I'm responsible for leading a team of seven RAs to some sort of residence hall glory and, most importantly 'round here, for busting the shit out of the douchebags who do stupid stuff to the physical structure and the living beings in my hall.

That's right, folks. The girl who just wants to be liked has a job that virtually requires her to be unliked by at least some of the people some of the time. Hell, some of the people won't like me all of the time. But if I bend to please them, then a whole other crop of people won't like me. Catch-22. Nature of the beast. Blah, blah, blah.

I spent the entire month of training crying and asking myself why in the world I thought I could do this job. I, one of the world's biggest introverts, spent a month forcing a smile and an enthusiasm that didn't exist, and my ass was tired and depressed at the end of each and every day. I pretty much gave myself a year at best. 'Cause I wanted a job where I could deal with people one-on-one, not one where I had to get up in front of 200 people at once and talk about all the shit they aren't allowed to do in the place I live. I wanted a job where I could talk about ideas and books, not lobby decorations and dining halls. Things were looking pretty grim.

But then the strangest thing happened. The night before we opened the hall to all the 18-year-olds and their parents, I was overcome with an extreme sense of calm. I thought, all of a suddenlike, "I think I can do this." And then I just started doing it. I knocked off all my scary events (like that all-hall meeting) one by one, and I started being able to breathe again. And I found that I wasn't all that scared to confront students when they were out of bounds. Even when they were only slightly out of bounds, which is pretty good for me. I pegged myself as the type (based on prior experience) who would look the other way for as long as I possibly could, hoping the douchebags would just knock off whatever it was they were doing, just so I wouldn't have to deal with it. Or, more importantly, so I wouldn't make anyone mad at me. As it turns out, I don't give a shit if some 18-year-olds are mad at me. Huh.

I also thought I would hate, hate, hate having to have difficult conversations with my staff members when they were being immature or irresponsible. But I had to do that pretty early on, and that wasn't so bad either. In fact, it turns out that I'm pretty good at it. I broke my wildest mustang in no time flat, just by being direct and genuine. He is by no means perfect, but he is manageable and responsive. To me, at least. Other people will have to break him on their own. I can't save the whole fucking world.

In the midst of this inner transformation, I started carrying a professional bag. It doesn't ride as well or carry as much as my trusty backpack, but I feel that I earned it. How fucked up is that? I didn't not carry a professional bag before because I couldn't find one good enough for me; I didn't carry a professional bag before because I didn't feel I was good enough for one of them. I felt fraudy. Like everyone could tell that I'd rather be carrying a backpack. Like people could sense that I had no idea what the hell I wanted to be when I grew up.

Well. I still can't say with certainty that I know what I want to be when I grow up, but for the first time I feel I'm on the right path to find out. Gender Blank is growin' up, folks. It's about fucking time.

4 comments:

Phydeaux Speaks said...

Glad to see ya post again, GB! And especially glad to see your job is not only working out, but helping you in your life's journey!

Amy said...

A#1. I am so glad you are alive.
B#2. That is awesome that you are starting to groove with your j-o-b.
C#3. Really? you gave a shit in the first place if 18 year olds liked you?

PortlyDyke said...

Welcome back -- and congratulations on breaking your mustang, etc.!

Gender Blank said...

Geez, I've missed all of you.