The only way I can describe my current state of mind is by comparing it to a sinkhole. I can visually picture my skull - smooth, undisturbed, protecting the most important part of my body - caving in. Giving up. Giving in?
I can't grasp a reasonable thought. My filter (which is normally switched to overly polite) isn't working. I can't communicate a thought clearly in any setting. The words that do come out of my mouth aren't thought through beforehand, leaving me discouraged when I walk out of a room. I'm beating myself up big time...and it's starting to hurt.
There have been several things in my professional life that have gotten into my head over the past few weeks. The workplace is always a sensitive space. Maintaining professionalism while bringing your unique, personal presence to the table. My auto-overly polite psyche normally navigates me through being a grown-up, career woman without issue. But when it doesn't show up to work with me, I start feeling like I do right now. In one hand, it's empowering, because I've probably said some things I normally wouldn't have. On the other hand, that's not something I'm comfortable with. My words are thought out, not spur-of-the-moment. That's just not how I operate. There's always a breath (or a day) before I thoughtfully respond.
Among other things, I've felt intimidated as of late. That's another feeling I'm not used to. "You do you, boo - I'll do me" is how I normally react to others that come at me directly or passive aggressively. I'm not a competitive person...with anyone outside myself anyway. I'm the only person I like to challenge.
This feeling of intimidation has gotten to me, and I believe it is the largest contributor to that figurative sinkhole in my head I mentioned earlier. Instead of walking into a room with my own ideas, I try to predict how I'm going to one-up whatever comes out of someone else's mouth or how I'm going to defend a decision I made. And when I share my original thoughts, and they're disagreed with, that only adds to the weight of the shell I've been curling myself into. It makes me question whether I should be doing what I'm there to do. And it certainly makes me question whether the people around me know or understand ME at all.
I know, as with all things, "This, too, shall pass." It's just that in the present moment, it doesn't feel very good. You know what it's teaching me though? The value of observation - especially of others' tone/body language/presence. Empathy. Open-Mindedness. It doesn't feel good to be the odd woman out. And I don't want anyone else to feel that way.
I have a lot to think about over the weekend. (TGIF!) I think a little music therapy, sunshine, and husband time will do the trick. It's in times like this where you truly need to connect to the things in your life that remind you that you're just having a bad day, not a bad life.