So my first event went off without a hitch last night. Food was amazing. Service was superb. Decor was dazzling. I even managed to get some flowers for my desk and my home. Hey…they were on the table and we already paid for them soooooo….
After I had assured myself that everything was perfect and I had made my way around to the attendees and had a chance to briefly chat (small talk – ugh) with them, I had a moment to sit quietly and observe. It was nice because not only did I observe what was going on around me but I took a moment to recognize what was going on internally as well.
Here’s what I found.
I am infinitely happy that I am not where these kids are right now. They are young and eager to be hired (they are interns for the summer) and so they have to be “on” all the time. They are ready and willing and oh so happy to be here but oy! I was so glad it wasn’t me.
It also brought back memories of my training days…when I was a “newbie”; trying to impress everyone and let them know just how damn lucky they were to have me. I mean…I was the shit!
Um…not so much. I was actually very cocky and it came off as confidence but I was sure that one day they were all going to figure out that I was a fraud and didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I prayed no one asked me any real financial questions because I was sure I didn’t know the answers and would look like an idiot and they would fire me on the spot. Of course I did know the answers but it would be many, many years before I figured that out and a few more before I realized that it was okay to say, “Gee, I don’t know but I can find out and get back to you.”
I also watched these kids drink and I noticed something else. I was an alcoholic long before I acknowledged it. This is not news to me but every once in awhile I find myself in a situation that reminds me of that fact and I am grateful.
I remember that feeling of being so preoccupied with how much I was going to drink, how much I had already consumed (was I slurring? are my eyes droopy? am I making sense?), and where we could go after the event to continue drinking, that I was barely paying attention to the small talk being made. Maybe that’s why I hate these functions so much, because I’ve conditioned myself to think of them as getting in the way of a good drunk.
My brain has always functioned that way and that’s why I know I was an alcoholic from the time I took my first drink. But since I could hold down a job, show up on time, be a control freak and a type A personality it took me a long time to recognize it for what it was. Only when it began to impact my family did I finally say the words out loud (and then I could only say problem drinker – it was a long time before the word alcoholic left my face). I’m a stubborn, stubborn woman. I’m a Taurus…’nuff said.
I then sat back and decided to take a minute to check in with myself. How was I feeling NOW, in this moment. Here’s the wonderful part…all I felt was peace. A quiet head. No one chattering about how much I was or would be or had been drinking. No thoughts about whether or not I was good enough or had done a good job. No cravings for a glass of Chardonnay (I didn’t even recognize the vineyard…that’s how long I’ve been away). Just peace and quiet in the upstairs room.
It was lovely. I hope it can stay.