"You're just so hard to work with!"
Harsh words to hear. Especially given the fact that I'm not hard to work with. Yes, I am proud and confident and I can be domineering. But, I also listen well and 99% of the time try to see things from the other person's viewpoint.
The incident causing this statement arose from an event that had happened several weeks prior. The person making the statement had worked with a competitor, a big competitor, to devise some online content that she now wanted ME to share.
I was surprised. I was confused. I was ... slowly, a bit angry.
"I'm here, I'm focused on this also, as you know," I wrote to her. "It confuses me why you would work with <competing brand> when we have an on-going relationship and I am always at your beck and call to create content."
The answer to that statement was, "That makes me feel bad. Is that what you wanted...to make me feel bad? This wasn't my doing. It was <someone else>. I just participated."
I had to let it go because, after all, I don't own anyone and relationships are open for interpretation. This person obviously felt it was okay to not only create content with a competitor, but to then ask me to share said content.
I chose not to share. I chose to make note of the insult - yes, it was an insult - and move on.
Fast forward to the opening sentence of this post. I was being told how hard I am to work with because I had made a stance weeks earlier, defending myself and my work.
Interesting? More than that, it goes to intent on the other person's part. The intent was... all hers. She wanted to "have her cake and eat it too"...if you will.
For a few moments, that comment stung. It caused me a high level of consternation. It made me catch my breath. Until the next morning... when, I rose to see... the sun.
Since then, I look out the window in my office and the sun shines brighter than ever. It reminds me that relationships, certainly business ones, come and go. It reminds me that smiles gender more and better attention than tears. It reminds me that I am in charge of how much sun shines into my office, thereby into my world.
Early morning sun can be brutal. It flows through the blinds like sharp knives, cutting my vision into random pieces. I find myself forced to close the blinds and turn the lights on. Oh that sad artificial light so many of us live with, day to day, in stark offices across the country. I hate it. I use it sparingly, only when the sun, the real light of the world, prevents me from accomplishing my good work.
Each day, I rise here in Colorado, and I thank the good Lord and the Power of Light, for the sun. I often stand at my back door and marvel in the beauty of my grass, my trees, my simple but small yard, where the dogs cavort and chase squirrels. Am I really here? I sometimes ask myself. Is this my world?
What luck, if that is true. If, indeed, I do not live in an alternate universe where I am only dreaming or imagining the beautiful yard out back, the stunning yard out front, the wondrous walking paths we take the dogs down almost daily... then I am blessed, am I not?
Though I am still seething a bit over the comment that I am hard to work with - born of the result of my standing up for myself - I realize more and more that I have sunshine all about me. I embrace the warmth and light of this marvelous orb as it serves to show me the way forward. My way is to move on and not allow foolish comments to dictate my happiness.
I am reminded of this old song of my youth, "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying"... by Gerry and the Pacemakers. "We know that cryin's not a bad thing -But stop your cryin' when the birds sing," they told us.
And yes, I see birds out my backdoor. I hear them singing each morning. I hear the soft and soothing sounds of a breeze in the trees. I can't help but smile, each and every day...
The trials and tribulations of owning your life, of accepting the bad with the good, and of knowing yourself as intimately as you know ... your pets, your kids, your own mother... dictates the truth of Gerry and the Pacemaker's words... Don't let the sun catch you crying. Crying is for solitude and shadows.
Believe in the sun and the smiles it brings. Believe in you.
“A diamond doesn't start out polished and shining. It once was nothing special, but with enough pressure and time, becomes spectacular. I'm that diamond.” ― Solange nicole