I’ve come here before to “blog” myself little pep talks. Here we go again!… via
For me, perhaps one of the largest transitions to adulthood has been navigating the world of a full time office job. Getting into the M-F, 9-5 till you die routine is struggle enough, but even moving into my Freshman year dorm didn’t confine me with such a diverse crowd of people than those I have met out in the working world. I never knew that so many intelligent grownups could act like such teenagers – moody, gossipy, resentful, deceitful, cliquey, and just struggling to get through the day. Sometimes just walking into the building feels like walking into highschool – I truly never know what I’m going to get.
When you spend a minimum of 8 of your waking hours with the same people day in and day out, often much more time than you spend with your own spouse, it’s impossible not to let daily emotions slip in and to keep your professional face on all the time. I think friendships made at work are extremely important, and that work can be a place of positive social interaction. Recently however, I feel the “drama” that goes on at my place of work (who doesn’t like who, who thinks who will be fired, who is trying to take over so and so’s job, who messed up that client report and isn’t as smart as the rest, who left the milk out in the break room) has reached epic proportions, where people are spending more time discussing the dynamics of the office, rather than working. The “shit talking” – I promise you, this is absolutely the most accurate, although crass, term to use to describe what has been happening – has gotten so out of control. No one can trust anyone, everyone is discussing things behind other’s backs (including our managers), and I admit it’s extremely hard not to get swept right up in the mix of things and participate. I catch myself acting just as catty and childish as the rest of them, fearful if I don’t join in and make my voice heard, I will become the subject of conversation behind my back. The negative social interactions have completely outweighed the positive in my work environment, and I’m just so, so tired of it.
Does this happen in most work environments? Should I be mentally (and emotionally, and even physically) preparing myself to tolerate this sort of thing no matter where I go? These are not rhetorical questions. At 27 years old, I think it best I know the truth now.
I’ve made a promise to myself, that starting tomorrow, I am going to try to remove myself as much as possible from what has become a seriously black hole in my life. I’m going to forgive myself and my coworkers for past transgressions, stay friendly but also removed and guarded, and just get my work done to the best of my ability. I am making a promise to myself that I will no longer let work gossip and stress carry into other fun and amazing out-of-work aspects of my life, and will not bring negative feelings and anxieties home from the office. I have no one to blame but myself for how much I have let it affect my mood and happiness in life, and I’m sure others don’t come home feeling as down in the dumps as I do.
I am determined to be my own happiness, and to bring as much positivity as I can with me to work. This is something I know I will need to focus on every single day, but I also know it’s necessary so as not to waste away all the wonderful things I have in my life.
Being a grown up is much, much harder than it looks. Stay tuned, everyone! xo