April 15, 2010 – I, Me, Mine and other abstract concepts
“It is very important to embrace the My and I, not in the self-absorbed narcissistic way I’m sure you’ve observed with some people, but in the genuine self-accepting way of the spiritual worker who understands that until she accepts what she has to offer the world as being good and true and of value, the world will not open its arms to her but, instead, will reflect back her self-doubt.” -Melanie Mulhall, Author of the EVVY Award winning book, Living the Dream-A Guidebook for Job Seekers And Career Explorers
I. Me. Mine. In my formative years, “I” was so irrelevant as to be nearly meaningless.The concepts of “Me” and ” Mine” were not to be borne and indeed were tantamount to treason. Self-doubt, self sabotage and subservience were daily lessons for my generation. Children were cautioned to be invisible, quiet, calm, and, as much as possible, ordinary.
I moved quickly from childhood to adulthood. There was no time to develop a sense of self for those of us who sped from daughter, to wife to mother to employee. We were blindsided as the wants and needs of others took precedence over I, Me or Mine.
My own work world revolved around the aspirations of others. As a publicist it was my job to spin, promote, chat, email, and glorify the talents of artists. For a former wife, constant mom and significant other who seldom considered I, Me or Mine, the path of resistance was remarkably clear.
My dire dilemma with personal pronouns came at the beginning of 2010 with the sudden disappearance of 2/3 of my income. For a month, I despaired. I was faced with a huge crisis, monetarily and emotionally. I hid the truth from nearly everyone for weeks. Then, as I finally talked about my financial and personal issues openly instead of making veiled references them, I found support, understanding and motivation among friends and colleagues. Some wondered aloud why I spent so much time nurturing the dreams of others while allowing my own to be so neglected.
I could only tell them the truth. I, Me and Mine were jello words I couldn’t nail to the tree of understanding. I, Me and Mine were mentally abstract and undefinable concepts. I’d practiced being second for so long, I had no idea how to even think of myself as a viable, vital first.
I set my publicity template over my own skills as a writer, entrepreneur and expert in the music business and sought publicity for myself. As uncomfortable as I was with the personal pronoun parade, I had to find a way to work around my initial hesitancy as a matter of income and survival. I began to pitch myself as a music writer, a solo lady entrepreneur, a small business gal with an organized office, and an expert in working from home. I even pitched myself to an author writing about women of small stature in business. People responded. And as the world viewed me as important and valid, I felt my own brightness emerging.
Three months later, I still wince a bit as I pitch my writing and opinions to blogs. I still think it’s a bit narcissistic to dwell upon myself, my talents and my unique take on things. It still feels a little weird to be interviewed, reviewed, quoted and included. But I’m getting accustomed to the idea of self-worth and self-respect.
Lately, I’ve been leaving a small treat on my desk at night as a surprise to myself the next work day. I walk into my office, coffee in hand and am met with a vase of flowers from my yard, a small piece of chocolate or a sticker reminding me, “Life is short. Live, Love, Laugh” or “Reach for the Stars”.
I smile as if someone has given me a sweet blessing. No matter that it is I leaving the treat for ME. I’m learning to like the girl I am. And she deserves a bouquet, a treat, or a sticker or even the proclamation on a note simply saying, “You’re #1”
It’s like the Olympics. The bronze medal is good, the silver is excellent but the gold? Yes. Number One is awesome.