Mom says that when I was born, I had this worried little look on my face. Apparently it was such a good impression of my dead great-grandmother, it earned me the instant nickname, “Little Wilma.” (Wilma was the dead great-grandmother, and apparently was a bit of a worrywart. I felt I should probably clarify that). I didn’t used to think I deserved the nickname. Lately, though, I’m starting to think I do.
A few years ago, I went through the terrifying experience of being unemployed for over a year (after being employed at what I thought was a long term job for 3.5 years). It was at the end of that year that I went back to school for a year and a half. The time from when my last “real” job ended until I was employed at my current job was two and a half years. It was a horrible time in my life, especially the first year when I was job hunting. I came to believe that I was the most worthless waste of space on planet Earth. It didn’t help that there’s was this constant thought in my head that I didn’t even deserve to have a roof over my head. Even now, I’m very aware of the fact that I should have been homeless.
When I got hired at my current job, I was so excited. It was my dream job. Working in a lab. Wearing a lab coat. Being an integral part of the medical community, but not having to actually deal with patients (just, y’know, what comes out of their bodies). Even now, just over a year there, I still get excited that I get to work there. However, with the excitement comes a whole slew of other emotions.
I’m really scared and stressed out. Every day, I’m filled with panic because I love my job so much, and I don’t want to lose it. And the funny thing is, that’s not even something I’m looking at having happen. Everything has been really good. My co-workers are great. My boss is great. The work is fantastic. My last job and those years of unemployment just messed me up so bad, I’m really struggling. I have a co-worker that has told me, more than once, that I need to “lighten up,” and I wish I could tell him how badly I want to be able to.
Not only that, but I wish I could figure out how to lighten up. I’ve basically got six years of baggage hanging over my head that I’m trying to figure out how to deal with. I really want to be able to let down my guard and start letting my co-workers in, because right now I’m not sure I seem to terribly different from the Ice Queen, Lady Mary.