"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

Archive for February, 2018

Then a Right Hook

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Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

The Hunter broke up with me. Rather he questioned our relationship status, opened the door of breaking up and I stepped through it. Our relationship had not recovered from my coffee with Don Juan. He suspected that I was seeing the guy and his trust evaporated.

Actually the subterfuge that he sensed (and he is a very astute man) is my dissatisfaction with our relationship and my shift to making plans to end the relationship. I went back to my therapist last week to has through things and figure out if I am, in fact, done or if I want to mend things.

Yes, I know that he’s reading this, but I now have no secrets. No secrets of any sort. We have had some long, meaningful discussions of our relationship and how it ran off the rails. There have been quite a few tears shed and they continue to fall from both of us.

I am fragile right now. I feel broken and lost for the most part. Yesterday was hard, today is a bit better, but still tears are below the surface and ready to erupt at any moment.

Here is what I know about the Hunter. He truly loves me. He really does. He accepts me for me. He is profoundly sorry for the pain that he has caused me. He has looked inside and seen how he has contributed to some of the problems in our relationship. He has proven to me that I can talk to him about anything and that I should have been doing this all along. I didn’t open up about the true extent of my work struggles and when I did, it made us both teary. I’m teary just writing all of this.

I don’t know the next step. I do know that big changes will be taking place. Oh and that asshole of a client who was the catalyst for my introspection – he has offered a full apology. He also completely misread the entire situation.

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Sucker Punched

I remember many years ago riding home on the school bus in 6th or 7th grade. I’m in the back of the bus and out of the blue, another kid sucker-punched me in the stomach. It doubled me over and knocked the wind out of me. For the life of me, I had and still have no idea why the hell that little shit did that.

Last week I got sucker-punched by a client. OK, I’m a subcontractor and we were thrown together, but I was moving along doing what Maggie & Co does best and somehow he had a whole different take on the entire situation. I was accused of being unethical, greedy, self-serving, and a host of other nasty things.

I talked to his service provider who told me all of his vitriol. I was dumbfounded and blindsided. At first I thought his misinformation was coming from a vicious third-party, so I was frightfully angry at the third-party (although I didn’t attack them). I sent an explanatory email outlining my take on the situation. It was a well-thought out, carefully crafted message that clearly shows that Maggie & Co has nothing but his best interests at heart.

Then I left for the beach (again), my refuge. I ended up close to a friend’s house and they took me out to dinner and let me vent. I was feeling better, vindicated and I had a clear direction on how I was going to revenge myself with that third-party….until the client responded to my email.

He responded with venom, suspicion, and said that my email confirmed that I was concerned about nothing but myself. That his company was founded on integrity and compassion. He gave me the Mark Cuban quote, “Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I’m just telling you, when you’ve got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That’s rule No. 1 of business.”

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I was slack jawed and felt sucker-punched again. Why? Because I truly thought the root of the problem was the third-party, but apparently this client is batshit crazy. One thing I am not is greedy. I read it again and again. I sent it to Robin who coolly responded that he is not someone we ever want to be associated with and he doesn’t understand Maggie & Co. The service provider has remained silent (which the Hunter says is proof that she is part of the problem). Now I will say that service provider, during our conversation about his complaints, claimed once we finish this assignment she is firing him as a client, but for now….

As for me, I feel unanchored. My reality has been completed upended. I have lost my way. My work is hard and often misunderstood, as clearly evidenced by Mr. Batshit Crazy. One thing I do know for sure is that his ambitious start-up will be belly-up within 5 years because karma is a bitch, but I really don’t care about him. I care about how this has shaken me to the core. I care about how I have now stopped in my tracks and am looking around saying, WTF? I care about how am I going to make a living?

This career I have is a tough one and clients like this make me step back and ask myself if I really, really like what I do. Today, I don’t. I don’t like it one bit. So I am going to take some time, catch my breath and recover from my sucker punch.

 

Oceans

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Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

I think it’s the sound that calms me.  The never-ending crash of waves is a beautiful, relentless wash of white noise.  Add in the salty wind and my soul quiets so I can think and listen to myself.

My anxiety grew yesterday until my skin crawled and my breathing grew short.  The Hunter had gone hiking so I needed to cope on my own.  I grabbed my keys and headed for the beach.

My chest was tight.  I felt tears threatening at the slightest provocation.  Then I stepped onto the sidewalk along the beach and began walking.  The wind was gusty.  As I settled into a rhythm, I began talking to myself.  OK, not too loudly because I don’t need to be Baker Acted on top of everything!  At first I began with:

  • “What am I going to do?”
  • “How am I going to survive?”

But the walking and the waves began working their magic.  The steady cadence turned my self-talk to:

  • I am not a victim.
  • The only way to go is forward.
  • I am a fighter.
  • I am an Amazon.
  • I am relentless.
  • People like me and once they know me, they like working with me.
  • I need to talk to the people who like working with me
  • I can do hard things

I walked two miles through the tourists, the retirees and every step returned my confidence.

I am a warrior.  I am a fighter.  I raised kids who are fearless and fighters and they are who they are because I showed them the way.

Courage is the ability to do something even when I am afraid.  It’s OK to be afraid so long as I’m still fighting and moving forward.  I’ll be fine.  Actually I’ll be better than fine — I’ll be great.

Monday is not a Fun Day

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? I have been feeling that lately. I am sitting at my desk trying to figure out how to eat an elephant and quickly. What should I be doing? What is the most productive use of my time? Why do I feel like I’m simply banging my head against the wall of business development?

I’m busy, thankfully, but these are quick projects that will soon be over. Now is the time I need to double down and focus on finding my next paycheck. Lately I have been having doubts. Should I keep doing this? Should I just fold up Maggie & Co to join a big corporation for the steady paycheck? Am I even employable? My work is hard. I fight for the business, then I fight to execute the business, then I fight (sometimes) to get paid. That’s a whole lot of fighting for someone who is a lover, not a fighter.

I have not been helping myself any because I continue my quest for the Holy Grail of business development. I am not doing myself any favors in this crusade because all I am finding is that old saying, “Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one”. Everybody has their method (often with a price tag attached).

One thing I know for sure – I need to be in front of people. I made the mistake of taking a cool frenemy to some networking events with me. I adore her – she’s fun and a really good friend, BUT…. bringing her means I have brought my competition with me. I had the rude double slap in the face last week of someone that I have been trying to meet being at the event. I knew his company and details of some changes that means he needs my services. I had been trying to reach him (OK, not stalking, but I had reached out several different ways to no avail at this point). Not only had he selected someone 3 weeks ago from a referral source, BUT, then he turns to my GF and says, “too bad because I would love to work with you”. HELLO – I AM STANDING RIGHT HERE AND I’M THE ONE TRYING TO MEET YOU. Ugh. I went back to the bar.

It’s those types of rejections that beat me down. Look, I understand that I have a niche profession. I understand that not everybody needs my services now or sometimes ever. That’s fine. I get it. But when I have a fish swimming around in front of me, I really want it to grab MY damn bait not someone who doesn’t even have bait in the water!!

Back to work….20 more outreaches and I can end this day’s painful business development efforts. I have to be more optimistic and positive—BLEH. That reminds me of the story about the two little boys being tested on their optimism. One little boy was put into a room full of new toys to play with – he sat and cried, refusing to touch any of the toys. He was too afraid he was going to break them. The other little boy was put in a room full of horse poop. When they checked on him, he happily was shoveling it around. They asked him what he was doing, and he replied, “With all this poop in here, there is bound to be a pony somewhere under it all.” I need to be that boy and go find my pony. Giddy-up!

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