more speechifying. dog have mercy.

Apparently yesterday wasn't my last day. Next Wednesday will be my last day. Stupid jerks and their niceness. Trying to help out a poor bitch who hasn't landed another job yet. Arrgh, I hate some aspects of the public persona I've developed. People all like me, this is true, but I'm also a bit of a doormat or something. All my efforts towards hiding and invisibility and non-confrontation have put me into this mousy sort of mode where people want to help and protect me because they feel sorry for me.

In high school I developed this program, see, of how I wanted to run my personality in order to not have the social problems that gnawed at me at the time.

Step one: Don't be annoying. Which means not blurting out random shit unless it's at least marginally on-topic, not giving people life advice they haven't specifically requested, and pulling myself up short when I realize I'm speechifying.
Step two: Don't make enemies. Which means not getting on anybody's bad side if I can reasonably avoid it, not sticking my nose into fights between other people unless I can help an ally without damaging anybody, and Not Making Waves.
Step three: Don't be alpha dog. Never really thought of this one in those terms, but my intent is pretty clear. Even when I'm in charge of something, my goal is not to be "large and in charge" but to create a sort of little pocket where my influence is strong.

Despite its undeniable success, this program is in need of some alterations and additions. I have to change my perspective on leadership. I also have to change my perspective on what it means to be "annoying."

I was not sufficiently specific in my previous ambition. My desire not to be annoying came mostly from the verbal dysentery of my youth, and the fact that I often came off as a condescending know-it-all. It dovetailed nicely with my desire not to put myself in a leadership role. Those two intentions, combined with the fact that my judgment on matters human was not generally something I could trust, brought me to a general policy of not telling people what they didn't want to hear. Or didn't have terms for in their personal lexicon.

Now, at work, I get to spend lots and lots of time telling people things they don't want to hear. Telling my bosses that vendors need to be paid egregious sums right now. Telling vendors we haven't cut checks for their egregious sums yet, but soon, oh so very soon, and would they please call me back on Thursday (when I won't be in the office, or will no longer be employed here, nyuk nyuk). Telling employees their checks won't be coming in until such-and-such day.

Of course you still can't tell people things for which they don't have terms. You can't tell your bosses how their unconscious expectations of one another exacerbate many of the stresses in their relationship, for example. You can't give people advice about the emotional energy management strategies they're using to run their personalities. That shit, however, all falls under the general prohibition of "don't talk shop about magic with non-practitioners." Personality construction is to magic what learning how not to fall off a horse is to the Kentucky Derby. Basic, basic basic. But then again, how many people actually know how not to fall off an antsy horse? I can just about keep my seat on a placid one when it breaks into a trot. (Not to say anything about enjoying the experience, but I can do it.) It helps to think of myself as a personality construction geek, with all the wide-eyed enthusiasm of true geekiness. I can't expect people to be interested in things that are difficult to think about clearly, and even more difficult to gain skill at, when it's taken me so long and so much effort to make even this much progress.

And I've gotten to a level of advertent interaction where I can usually separate those two things in practice as well as in theory. I can tell someone that certain of their work duties need to be addressed without bending their ear about why they haven't wanted to pay attention to those duties. Which means I can move to grasp the power to be annoying, so long as I hold to a firm line of being annoying only when it is actually desirable and necessary.

So. Overcoming panic and dread. Taking new stock of assertiveness and prettiness. Which means re-evaluating leadership and annoyance, as they relate to assertiveness, prettiness and the power games that are inevitably connected thereunto. Bah!Forgiveness, like hope in the Pandora story, lies at the bottom of a great big box full of bees and rattlesnakes and door-to-door missionaries and other unsavory things. Things that require hard work to integrate or counterbalance.

But it's all good in the service of the communion of saints (Dad's version) and the glory of God (Meg's version). *shivers* Dude, I'm glad I got to hear those stories and relieved in another way that I'm not on the path that led to the experience of them. My little portion is plenty enough!

All that matters (to dog or god or magma or the stars) is the music of the relationships between people, the dance of their actions towards each other, the wild and stately rhythm and harmony which builds the universe. And rips it open and weaves it back together, drains it dry and fills it up again. The little crap we get upset about, the terms and conditions we strive so hard to build and to defend, are only there to get us to a point where we can feel the music, move in it and play with it. All the dogged little crap we build is best honored when it has carried us to the end of itself. Those assumptions and ambitions are small things, really. Made to house the glory, but not made of it. Things to be discarded when it comes time to grasp something solid and real, something we maybe never would have reached without taking the long hard finicky road all the way back around to it.