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The Truth About Social Self-Concept

08 May

This is not an easy post for me.  My last little post was optimistic, but it was not really how I was feeling.  Yes, I have been having an interesting week, and yes I have  had many great ideas, however, I have not been able to act on many of those ideas.

The truth is, I have not been liking myself this past week.

I am in a new place where I don’t know anybody.  I have never really had that  many ‘friends’ per se, but I usually have people who know me and who accept my eccentricity, despite the nature of eccentricity, mine is rather consistent.  That is no longer the case.  I find myself having to explain myself once again.  There is nothing quite as disheartening as justifying why I am the way that I am.  And, no, I can’t just ‘be normal’, it is far too late for that.

For all that I have learned so far in my life, I am still frozen in fear when faced with a job application.  Somehow I find it difficult to fill those darn things out.  How do you explain gaps in employment in three lines of ‘additional information’?  How do you explain that you haven’t known someone for two years but that  you know more about them after two hours of real conversation.  How do you ask that person to be a reference?

How do you explain that you have a phone number from one state, a mailing address in another and a driver’s licence from yet another.  These have been the circumstances of my life for as long as I can remember.  In fact, I  have never lived at the address on my driver’s licence, but I needed a stable street address, I had to give the DMV my mother’s address.  Why can’t I stop moving?

I have no reason to stay other than to stay.

The jobs that I have had in the past – well, since the Navy – have been dissatisfying.  When I am hired, I am told the guiding mission statement for a company – and I believe it.  It all seems to make sense, yet as the month’s go by, a corner is cut, a shortcut is taken, the bottom line comes to light.  I find that I no longer respect the company I am working for… I move on.

Does that make me a runner?  I guess so.  Perhaps I have held on to the dream of purpose and of pride in accomplishment.  I like to think that it is more important to lose a sale and keep the customer than the other way around.  I like to think that people are more important than  profit margins…. this does not make me a team  player.

I have hidden in academics, a way to avoid disappointment in the working world, but more and  more, the lines are blurring.  Textbook costs are through the roof, teachers are disenfranchised by limitations on what they can teach, they are stressed about how to stretch their  paycheck a little further because number crunchers say that it is more important to buy the new computer thn it is to invest in creative minds.  Frustration rolls down hill and students seek a piece of paper rather than information and education.  Conversation and curiosity dies.

I fill out applications for jobs that minimize my exposure to hu,man beings, not because I don’t like people, but because I don’t want to have to explain why I am the way that I am.  I don’t want to be asked why, if I am so smart, why am I doing this job or that job when the answer is very simple.  I need to eat.

I think about applications, and then job interviews and I wonder where I missed the lesson on the ‘right answer’.  Is there such a thing.  What do  they want to hear?  What do you want to hear?  What do I want to hear?  It all gets so complicated… I want to hear silence.

I have tried to stop apologizing for myself, but in this case I am sorry to be so morose.  Normally I am pretty good with me, but on paper it is difficult to see much that is redeeming.  I guess that is what happens when you only look at the bottom line.

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7 responses to “The Truth About Social Self-Concept

  1. Cindy

    May 8, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    Great points! I will be checking back here often!

     
  2. katejohnson77

    May 8, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    This blog entry really hit home for me. I know it doesn’t ease the pain, but I wanted you to know it was like I was reading about the first person ever who may just understand me!! I love people as well, but seek employment that allows me my own space…I just hate explaining myself to people about how I am and who I am…

    But anyway, I’m sorry things aren’t going well at this moment, but there is one thing I still have and you do to. There is always still that hope that what we are looking for we will eventually find or stumble upon or whatever…

    I am in education. We have two weeks till summer break. I have only been teaching two years and I’ve decided that what I spent five years of school striving for and thousands of dollars paying for isn’t at all my cup of tea.

    I’m pretty sure I won’t be signing another contract to teach ever again. It just isn’t what I thought it was.

    You aren’t alone. You can contact me anytime. I’ll visit your blog and try and keep in touch.

    You look young! You have so much to offer, so don’t give up knocking on doors until you find where you feel you really, truly belong!

    Kate.

     
    • Fionna Larcom

      May 10, 2010 at 12:45 PM

      Kate,
      thank you so much for your kind words. I admire that you chose teaching at all. Personally, I love tutoring, I like the one on one time and getting to know a student, how they learn and how they approach the world.
      One of the reasons I keep going back to school is the search for a school that takes the time to understand how I learn, and works around that. I have not found that school, but if I ever finish a degree, I hope to start that school myself. I would love to get your insight into the education world. Your time and money have not gone to waste, that I can guarantee. This comment alone has made a difference to me, I can only imagine the difference you have made in the lives of your students.
      I look forward to getting to know you better.
      Fionna

       
  3. nrhatch

    May 8, 2010 at 7:26 PM

    I generally encourage people to be authentic, and “discard their masks,” but I’m going to suggest something slightly different to you.

    In your first post, you said that your first love was acting. So Act! When you fill out applications and go on job interviews . . . ACT THE PART of a confident candidate who has all your special skills, abilities, likes and dislikes.

    Don’t be Fionna Larson (eccentric individual who doesn’t like to explain herself) . . . be Fionna (a unique individual who’s led an exciting life ~ in Scotland and America ~ who is perfectly comfortable being interviewed and answering questions about her background).

    Maybe if you are playing a “part” you’ll find the confidence you need to ask the right questions ~ because you should be interviewing them (while they are interviewing you) to make sure that the company will be a good fit for who your really are.

    Be yourself . . . but be the most confident version of yourself by stepping into a role scripted JUST FOR YOU!

    Good Luck!

     
  4. Richard W Scott

    May 8, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    Fionna
    There is no way to really convey this, other than to say, that what you are going through is normal and transitory. That it will pass is a certainty, but then, so it the current pain.

    The trick is to stay in communication. There are people who care for you.

    -r

     
  5. knichole84

    May 8, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    Hello! I stumbled across your blog and have to say I enjoy your writing. I can understand where you’re coming from in this post, having worked unsatisfying jobs to support myself before. Hang in there, eventually you will find your niche. Keep writing!

     
    • Fionna Larcom

      May 10, 2010 at 12:37 PM

      I am so glad you stopped by and thank you so much for your encouragement. I am feeling somewhat better today… making the temp agency rounds. The good thing about temp work is there is less time to become disappointed or disillusioned. Gosh I am optimistic, aren’t I? Seriously, thank you for your comment.
      Fionna

       
 
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