07 August 2006

People who Surround You

Monday 10:52am 7Aug06

As I put myself out there more about what I believe in and what inspires me I find that more of those kind of people coming out of the wood work. It's use to be embarrassing to talk about these kind of things. It used to be embarrassing to say that you read self-help books. It still has a level of snobbery, like a literary writer looking at a romance writer, but times are a changin'.

On Friday one of the contractors I deal with told me that he is reading, The Power of Intention, by Wayne Dyer. This guy can be gruff and crude and ill mannered but by the same token, if he likes you and respects you, well, he shows you. I've given this guy shit more often than anyone at work because he'll push you and get you to do things for him that are around the rules which can cause friction. He just wants to get his job done. He's reading the Power of Intention and of all the people to tell, he chose to tell me.

At Caribana men said hi to me. Some hit on me, some said hi with the look like they would take it further if I wanted them to. There's nothing like feeling attractive in my own community. There were possibilities without pressure. It was fun. I always tell heavy set women, "you should check out the black community. Black men love big women. They're not into those waif thin boyish girls, they want someone to hold on to.

Someone I know said recently, "that's why I don't like black women they just don't look good enough. They don't have their shit together..." He didn't mean me of course. No, OTHER black women. Right!

The people you surround yourself with!

Sometimes my environment isn't conducive to feeling my absolute best. Sometimes I have to keep to myself what I truly believe in just to avoid the inevitable ridicule of people who don't believe, who think I should be someone other than who I am, who just haven't found what makes them feel good and want to beat me down in to their way of thinking.

There are people out there who are inspired by me and my small life. They are inspired because I am open about the journey I'm on. I'm feeling the shift. I'm noticing the newer people in my life.

The male acquaintance I was keeping an eye out for this weekend did a couple things last week. He asked me if he could buy me a coffee, something none of the contractors have ever thought to do given how much they deal with me and how much easier I make their work life for them. While having that coffee (I had tea) we talked about animals and how he'd cried when his dog died. The way he admitted it came across as, I don't know why I'm telling you this. We covered a vast variety of subjects given the moments we were together.
He has a lovely Guyanese accent that makes me almost fantasize about what my grandfather (who I never knew and have always been fascinated by) might have sounded like. His accent brings me to a feeling of long lost family that makes me want to devour his attention. He's far too hot physically to remind me of my grandfather, you understand, but that accent makes me want to close my eyes and move in closer and make contact with the man who created my mother, part Judy Garland or Marilyn Monroe with her self destructive dysfunction and part Steven Biko or Ken Saro Wiwa with her need to help others in an almost empathetic activism.

I work closely with a girl who is 16 years younger than me. My job depends on her accuracy and she goes out of her way to help me. She, like me, works with only men and knows the joys and frustrations built into that. She is quickly becoming my close friend. She is shy and confident. She makes me laugh so loud in our phone conversations that it sounds like I'm on a personal call when I'm actually dealing with work. She celebrates me and compliments the things that she likes about me. She is under my wing when she needs it.

Last week, I walked over to her building and got there only to find out that she had walked over to my building. I was cursing because I forgot to bring her the stack of fortune cookies that I'd grabbed for her. I ran back to my building and caught her saying, "come back with me to my office, I have something for you."
Back at my desk, she'd left treats too. "Oh my God! We have a telepathic link!" I said.

The guys in my office just looked at us like, "that's girl stuff. They're having a girl moment."

My work partner, Ado, is one of the kindest people I know. He is the one that told me that falling in love or finding love was like an accident. "You turn the corner and it hits you. You can't force that or will that to happen or think there is something wrong with you because it hasn't happened. " It was reassuring at a time when many people in my life were making me wrong for being single. He has seen me cry and makes me laugh and is the closest to my relationship to my mother than any one has ever come since she passed away: we sing together (he keeps threatening to make me perform in public), we mock others and devastating situations (we have decided that the two of us will have a great party in hell together), we talk about the profound and profane interchangeably. I tell him my dreams and my fears and my crazy behaviours and he makes me feel loved exactly as I am.

His nephew, Air, who also works in Operations, comes into my office and dances like Carlton from the Fresh Prince because it assures my laughter. The nephew and I discuss music and music and more music. He listens to me when I need to talk about girl stuff because as I've told him, "I work with all men and I need a girlfriend. You have a girls name, you must be my honorary girlfriend!" He is beautiful and patient and a hard worker. He is sometimes mocked for how hard he works, the misperception of the brown noser, but he knows like I know that hard work ensures your survival. It pays your mortgage and raises your children and pays for your vacations and gives you your quality of life.

The gooseman is my affection receiver. I kiss his face the same way I kiss my cats and he giggles. I hug him for too long until he screams with laughter. He makes sure I get home safely after we all go out or he hands me money when I'm going out to make sure I have a fun time.

In the book, Making a Living Without a Job: Winning ways for creating work that you love by Barbara J. Winter, a book I give to people considering doing freelance work, she makes a comment about the amount of people who's eyes light up when you enter a room. Those are some of my people.

My eyes light up when they enter...

It doesn't matter how secure your confidence level is if you are around people who stomp on your dreams and critique your life and devalue you it's going to bring you down. There are always good people around when I put myself out there. People who appreciate the capital ME. People who make me feel a sense of family. People who make me see my light in their eyes. What a great gift.

Who's eyes light up when you enter a room?


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