I Don’t Want To Be Around This Face Either

25 Aug

A few weeks ago I was working a new job. Everyone around me was really experienced and whether or not it was actually true I was really self conscious that they were judging me, hating me. They were used to working with people who were veterans at this and I was slowing things down.

I don’t like doing things that I don’t feel I can conquer immediately.

But too bad for me.

The guy who was in charge of training me was so accommodating. Sitting right next to me and answering my every question no matter how inane.

I’ll never forget the day I turned to him with tears in my eyes. Facing away from the rest of the group so only he could see. His face melted. “Ok, I know that my face is doing this thing right now but it’s just my face. Ignore it and tell me that this is actually going just fine and I need to relax and just do the job. I know that the fact that I’m crying is written on my face but just ignore it and it’ll go away. It isn’t real.”

And when he ignored the thing my face was doing, it went away. And my gratitude at having him in that situation was immense. For all the things I appreciate about him, that moment was one of my favorites.

Plus, it helped me feel better.

2 Responses to “I Don’t Want To Be Around This Face Either”

  1. Katherine Eboch (@keeboch) August 26, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    Thank you for writing this. I feel the same way as I work my way through grad school. It is so hard having tears well up and crying and not wanting to.

  2. Erin @thebabyelectric September 6, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

    I hate the feedback crying loop (i.e., aw jeez am I crying? Can they see that I’m crying? They can, jesus this is embarrassing, etc) and that the minute your eyes well up or your voice cracks, some people want to stop everything or only talk about why you’re crying. (To be fair, I am definitely also one of those people sometimes.)

    No, I worked hard, I want feedback. I’m frustrated and a notorious crier but I am not trying to get out of anything.

    I met a badass activist / researcher who wrote a great book about the struggles of making a scientific discovery that goes against our conventions. I asked about the editorial process since this book is part autobio, part scientific writing, and she said the biggest change was that that final draft didn’t have her crying. She said crying was just part of what happened when she was frustrated and working hard, especially when it involved causes she believed in, but despite the personal tone and details throughout the book, the crying got cut.

    (The book: https://www.amazon.com/Galileos-Middle-Finger-Heretics-Activists/dp/1594206082)

    For all the Lean In advice, I wish there was some Lay Back advice that went: Sometimes people cry, and women probably more so. I can’t count how many times teachers or coworkers yelled and it was tolerated, but crying is like a serious breakdown.

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