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Proving Myself

Starting college last year was a huge step for me. So I got really upset with myself when I overslept that first day and missed my very first class. Had a huge meltdown over that.

I was eventually able to pull myself together, get in control of my anxiety, remember to take my meds, and move forward. Wasn't easy to do at the time. I felt like my whole world was crumbling.

I went back this past weekend and reread the post where I talked about that day. It was really embarrassing and painful to read what I wrote then. I sounded like some out of control hysterical kindergartner. When I forced myself to read the whole thing, I honestly didn't recognize myself. Did I let someone guest post that day? Who was that person?

I was on some kind of emotional roller coaster, going from one emotional extreme to the other. And believe me it wasn't the first time in my life that I was on that roller coaster.

After thinking I had screwed up my life for missing that first class, to thinking I would never amount to anything, to worrying that Brad would see what a loser I was and leave me, I was able to finally calm myself down and think rationally.

I think I've done some growing up since then. Thank God!

When I finally got to the end of what I had written, I recognized myself again. The person I see myself as today. This sentence stands out for me:

I finally feel like I'm back in my right mind, the one that functions rationally and can actually take the next step(s) to grow up from being some scared little kid to being a capable adult (or at least mini-adult).

I had a day off work this past Friday and in the afternoon I got a call from my boss asking me to come in a little earlier on Monday. He wanted to have a talk with me. My first thought was that he was going to lay me off.

Even though I use to work there full-time before starting college and they seemed to like my work and dedication to the job, you never know how they might be trying to cut corners. Plus, I was a recent rehire so I'm low on the totem pole. And I'm the youngest person in my work crew. I didn't think my very first thought was that unreasonable.

Here's what I wrote about him a long while back:
The guy who is the boss of the home refurbishing unit (which I'm a part of) is a really cool guy. He just turned 62 and is the kind of guy I'd be proud to have as a grandfather or uncle. He's not your typical "macho" cave man construction type, but is actually a really sweet, kind and gentle type of man. Everybody loves him. I mean, he's definitely the boss and you can't walk all over him. When he tells you to do something, you never, ever argue with him. And he definitely will not put up with anybody slacking off. I've seen him angry twice, and he never looses control or is mean, but you definitely know he means business. He's kind of taken me under his wings but he also expects a lot from me.
So I was taken aback when he said he'd like me to come in early on Monday to talk about a promotion! I'm glad he called a little later in the day since my brain can be all over the place first thing in the morning. He's a man of few words anyway so I just asked him what time I should come in.

 When I met with him yesterday he got right to the point. He went down a list of things he liked about my work going back to when I first started there right after high school. Then he started listing some things about my personality he liked. And then said he felt like the other people in my work crew respected me. For just a brief moment I felt like he had gotten me confused with somebody else. For a minute it was hard for me to even recognize myself in what he was saying.

So the specific work unit I'm in specializes in carpentry. This has been my favorite unit so far. And my boss offered me the position of Team Leader or Crew Leader. Those terms are always used interchangeably, but "Leader" is always there.

What this means is that I'll still be doing basic carpentry but then I have to assign specific workers to do specific work, oversee it while it's being done, and then check it on completion. So I'm kind of the work site boss. And then I have a boss who's over me and checks my work and is over the whole Team.

I never mentioned it here in the blog, but when I was rehired this summer, there were two guys on my crew who apparently saw me as an easy target for some ribbing. Not fun ribbing. I can take that. We're talking about cruel ribbing. 

Whenever I'm in a new situation with people I don't know, I always try to find a way to fit in and make myself part of the group. Until I get to know people and figure out how things work, I tend to always try a little too hard. I ought to be hanging back and just observing, but I don't. Plus the ADHD Demon doesn't make it easy. I can be a real motor-mouth and somewhat hyper until I get a good read on the situation.

These two guys thought it was hilarious I was "hyper" at times. They seemed to feel the need to point it out to everyone, laugh about it, and used it in a condescending way, making it sound like I was stupid or an idiot. Like some little kid or an annoying gnat.

I know I can seem hyper sometimes, but there's a way that term can be said that makes it sound like you're damaged. I should say I actually like it when people kid around and poke fun with me IF it's done in an innocently playful way. AND if I already know the people doing the ribbing and know it's done in a good-hearted way. Makes me feel they like me and I honestly enjoy not having to take myself seriously all the time.

My boss noticed these guys one day and had A Talk with both of them. They were put on notice and the ribbing stopped.

Well, guess what? Those two guys are still on my work crew. And guess who their immediate boss is now? There's some kind of irony in knowing these forty-year-old dudes now have a twenty-year-old boss with ADHD who is in charge of organizing the work site, making work assignments, overseeing their job while it's being done, and checking it on completion.

But they're also going to discover their new boss is fair, mature, level-headed, and knows a thing or two about how important it is to respect everyone. And treat everyone fairly. They're going to discover something maybe they've never see before. A twenty-year-old adult.

To say the least, I'm psyched about this. Nervous also. This is a lot of responsibility on my shoulders and my boss is counting on me to come through and do a good job. I'd hate to let him down.

I'm also expecting a lot from myself. To be honest, I think this weighs more heavily on me. Maybe that's what makes me an adult, as opposed to the "mini-adult" I wrote about almost a year ago.

Proving myself.

Proving myself to my boss is important. 

Proving myself to my work crew is important. 

But I think proving myself to myself is even more essential. At least to me it is.
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