Friday, April 25, 2014

I Asked for This (or Something Like This).

I left my comfort zone.

Yes, again.

It's terrifying really, to step outside my cozy world into something about which I know absolutely nothing. I don't like change. My body and my mind are creatures of habit. I like knowing what to expect. I like knowing how to handle all the things that come my way. I like being in control.

It's even more terrifying when I make a plan, but, since I have no holding in this new, slippery world, I get pulled off course and get snagged on a crevice I hadn't expected to find and rub elbows with folks I hadn't expected to befriend.

They...the native villagers...the ones who've been here longer...they feel more comfortable with each other. They know each other's idiosyncrasies and each other's habits; they have private jokes. They buy each other sentimental little gifts and have cute little nicknames for each other. They know when to leave each other alone and when to give hugs. They're family.

I'm just one of the distant cousins. We share the bloodline of the company, but I'm that relative who got lost in the woods as a child and had to be raised by wolves. I'm socially awkward, so things come out wrong, or maybe I don't catch on to the tone of the conversation right away. Oh sure, I can fix my hair and iron my shirt. I can strut around with my big red badge that says, "Hey, I belong here. See? It says so right here on my Official Red Badge of Belonging." 

But I still can't help but to cringe when one of the underlings asks for a "real manager." It's hard to smile and remind them that I do not stand on the shoulders of my new-found giant family. I've got my own two legs, shaky as they may be.

Oh...and, of course, I've got my red badge of courage.