Inferior Imitator

ep·i·gone n. A second-rate imitator or follower, especially of an artist or a philosopher.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I never thought that word would ever be something that would be applied to me, but as of Friday morning, I am unemployed. I'm still in a bit of shock that I won't be going into work tomorrow morning, but overall, I am amazed at how well I am taking this.

Looking back, I can sort of see it coming. Ever since we broke off from CG, it's been a struggle to find the work that would allow me to perform at my experience level. I wasn't yet bringing in the business that would justify my salary, and I was just too expensive to keep. It was so much as dissatisfaction with my performance as a business decision.

I can also see now how dissatisfied I was, which is also helping me cope. I would ask to sit in on the higher-level consulting engagements so I could see that process, and was regularly being left out (not particularly on purpose, but the end result was the same). I asked for more review work, and I would get it for a while, and then they'd forget, or it was just easier to do it themselves.

So I'm seeing this as more of an opportunity to get out of a rut and look for something that's going to be more challenging and fulfilling for me. I'm not particularly worried at the moment, as I have plenty of savings to live on for a while (and they're giving me a rather generous severance package), and I have very marketable skills. A quick search for postings led me to two very good prospects, if that's the direction I decide to go. I could also go out on my own, maybe as a contracted financial director, for people or organizations that can't afford a full-time person, but need someone who can read financial statements and give advice.

Tomorrow I go to the gym, update my resume, file for unemployment, and start thinking about the next step in my life. I'm actually looking forward to it, and being laid off may be the best thing that ever happened to me.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Working My Issues

My sister is doing a series on her blog exploring her issues, which has made me realize that as much progress as I’ve made, I’ve still not dealt with all my underlying issues, because I AM still sabotaging myself by bingeing. I haven’t been talking about it, because it’s shameful, but keeping it a secret hinders my process. Monday I ate an entire quart of Coldstone’s Cake Batter Batter Batter. I only enjoyed the first ½ cup or so, but I ate the whole thing anyway. We don’t even need to talk about how many brownies I ate two weeks before.

The other Something Interesting (SI) going on has me also evaluating what I want and why I want it. That and the day I spent with dread in my stomach when I couldn’t find my keys reminded me of when that feeling was a near constant way of life.

I am socially stunted. Yes, I’ve made progress, and many of you might never know it, but I feel it. I spent so many years seeking the acceptance of my peers and being rebuffed at every turn. In the years when most girls are learning how to develop friendships, having slumber parties, passing notes and giggling in the bathroom, I escaped into books. By the time I got a new chance to start over in high school, I was so paranoid I couldn’t take advantage of it. The only attention I’d ever gotten from my peers was scorn, so being unnoticed was almost a relief.

The relief didn’t last long, though. I went through high school not really experiencing it. Imagine doing all the things you did in high school without the social connections: sports, band, yearbook, class trips, drama. Lunch was the worst. A whole cafeteria full of people and not one to talk to. That was the first time I remember using food to cope with my feelings, except then it was lack of food. I don’t know how my parents didn’t notice I wasn’t eating at school; I never asked for lunch money.

My first friends that weren’t family I made after I graduated from college. I’m still not sure I know how to be a friend, as the deterioration of the friendship that brought me out of isolation ended with the accusation that I was not being a good friend to her when she needed me. Others have drifted away, which may be the nature of some friendships, but just makes me skittish. Part of me doesn’t know why anyone would like me and I tend to harbor suspicion of the intentions of people who do.

I’ve come to embrace isolation. I have specific relationships that fulfill specific needs in specific situations, but most of these relationships are held at arm’s length. I understand that this is probably a coping mechanism for my fundamental insecurity, and I can’t help but believe the bingeing is also, but the connection is not as clear to me.

Fortunately, as much as I’m sabotaging myself, I AM making progress. My trainer said to me a couple weeks ago when she was correcting my technique for clean and jerk that I’m so strong, I’ve been getting away with flaws in form. I think I can translate that to my issues, too.