Sometimes I struggle with living in my truth, asserting myself and being scared that I have articulated myself in a manner that has offended someone. My family is extremely forward. We say what we see (When I share some family conversations with my friends they actually look horrified but I laugh like a hostage who has grown accustomed to their captive – sorry family, if you’re reading this).
“Reds, your hair looks a fucking mess”
“Yo, didn’t you wear those trousers 5 times last week? Is your washing machine broken?”
“Go and brush your teeth, your breath smells like old boots”
Most of the time we have a fairly straight-forward (polite society would call it rude) way of communicating with each other. I mean my God father once greeted me by asking (before he said hello) “either you are pregnant or you got really, really FAT (with the emphasis of PERIODTTTTTT)” He actually sounded and looked quite disgusted. (I wonder what he would think if saw me now because I look like the woman who swallowed the Reds he knew. My fatness might give him a heart attack and kill him instantly. Oops, back to the post)
So when I am at work advocating for myself, I have no sense of how I come across. I’ve been told that I am articulate and clear in delivery of my messaging but in my head this is how I sound:
“YO!!!!! I SAID WHAT I SAID!!!! I WANT TO IMPLEMENT THIS WAY AND I WILL JUMP ON THIS TABLE IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW MY PLAN TO THAT MISSPELLED WORD ON ROW 9656 OF THIS PROJECT PLAN THAT I JUST DISTRIBUTED”
I can’t reconcile the internal voice with my professional persona.
Today I thought about this and wondered if this was something that I exclusively struggled with.
Is Bob sitting opposite me in his head saying
“LISTEN BITCH, I AM JUST AS ANNOYED AS YOU. I DIDN’T READ YOUR DETAILED ASS PLAN BECAUSE THERE’S ONLY 10 HOURS IN MY FUCKING WORK DAY AND ID RATHER SHRED MY TOENAILS DURING THAT TIME THAN READ THAT DETAIL AD NASEUM!!”
while he actually responds “Totally understand where you are coming from Reds. I reviewed your plan and think this is something we can implement but may need to re-cast the dates based on the resources that are available.”
My real fear is that one day, inadvertently, my family/street voice will seep out at work and I will find myself putting someone in a verbal headlock and everyone around me will me wondering who the hell is this woman who just turned into the Tasmanian Devil before our eyes.
Anyway, Happy Monday!
This piece was inspired by Old Dirty Bastard’s Brooklyn Zoo (my brother in my head – R.I.P!)