The other day I was told “No, you’ll do it this way.” In my professional life.
And, Ganesha help me, I loved it.
Sure, at first, not so much. But within a few minutes I was strangely pleased. Smoothed out. Dare I say, perky, even.
I had a customer issue I needed to address, and it had been shuttled around for a bit. A number of people had their fingerprints on the e-trail for this problem, but I had to actually respond to the customer. This is something I do well, and I have in fact been given recognition, prizes, plaques and awards for this shit. I fucking RULE at customer service.
Yeah, shocking, I know.
So this fairly standard issue, addressing a customer complaint, was a piece of cake. I dusted off my high-falutin’ CorporateFuckYouHaveALovelyDay approach, dashed out an e-mail, and forwarded to one of the Powers That Be for approval.
And they said “No, I don’t want it this way.”
I sat, a bit frustrated because I am rather proud of my writing ability and my 20+ years working in Customer Service of one kind or another.
Then I realized that I wasn’t angry or even really that frustrated. That what I wanted was to receive the back-patting I felt I deserved for my not-inconsiderable skills.
After some lighthearted banter, I (only partially joking) pulled the “Well if you can do better, bring it! Let’s see whatcha got!” gambit. And then I waited for the re-write.
The new draft of the response to the customer had little to do with my initial response, which was not designed to leave much room for the complainant to continue their diatribe. It was far more personable, friendly, all that shit.
I made one or two tiny adjustments to make it sound at least a BIT like something I MIGHT say, and sent it off.
What the hell does this have to do with kink?
OK, I’m getting to that. STFU. Furthermore, as I work on kink-oriented websites (to get meta on that ass) anything work related IS, technically, kink related.
But that’s not my point.
My point is this: I have shifted my perspective a whole lot in the past 2+ years of sobriety. Things I never noticed before are thrown into sharp razor-slicing relief, and loom large as blue whales. And things that used to be crushing blows to my ego roll off of my back like so much dew on the head of a cygnet. But I only take criticism with calm, unruffled grace in a HANDFUL of situations.
- From a director I respect, while working in theater.
- From a dominant I respect while working in submission
- From a friend I respect when I KNOW they know me well and intimately.
In most other situations, criticism usually had to filter though defensive mechanisms more Byzantine than I am even capable of describing to you now.
So when I realized I’d accepted a criticism in a NEW way, and not had the hackles raised, and in fact feel calmed and pleased that I was able to see the value in the criticism without it having to diminish my self-worth, that is kind of amazing.
To further wonkify it, it felt…submissive. Yah OK so, what’s new? Work IS submission, right? Submission to the clock, to the almighty dolla bill, y’all, dolla bill y’all. But I had an additional little extra frisson in that I actually kind of enjoyed it. It felt good, to me, to be able to take that adjustment in stride, to remain on task. It mirrored other branches of submission.
I let go and managed, somehow in the relinquishing of my ego, just for a little bit there, to see that what I wanted, and my own pride in purpose, was perforce secondary to the larger vision, which wasn’t necessarily mine at the time. That type of release is something I am not often aware that I do when in a submissive mindset, because that IS one of the pillars of my submission. But for me, submitting is dissolving into a larger spiritual lattice. I am losing my focus on submitting to a person, in total and finding that I submit to my life itself. To what I do, and to what I do not do. To people who are in and around and throughout my life.
But not in a way that permits them to abuse me, not by a longshot. In fact, when I take stock, I feel more honored and loved and respected than I have in a long time.
But there is something to submitting to one’s own life.
I hear so many people talking, myself included, about “managing their lives.”
Increasingly this sounds like so much bullshit.
You can’t manage it. You can only ride it. Submit to it.
And in doing so, with the fight between me and destiny and pain slowly grinding to a standstill, the quiet is filled with some really strange and beautiful music.
I’m sure I won’t hit mental subspace each and every time I am smacked down for a decision that is at odds with the position of someone in authority over me, and that is OK.
Because even the occasional emotional smackdown is sufficient to help me to “get it.”
…and frankly, it doesn’t hurt to get the “correction” from someone wearing Engineer style motorcycle boots.