Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sneaking Up To The Grownups Table

In 20 minutes I have to leave my cozy, cool little house to go out into the 90 degree heat to meet my boss and one of my coworkers at the hotel up the street where my boss is staying.  The three of us will then drive to the home of the owner of our company to have dinner with the nine top people in our organization (the owner and my boss being two of those nine) and the other six people who work in my office.

I'm nervous.  I've never been to the owner's house before.  I hear it's beautiful and it's right on the lake.  Six of the top nine are in from the east coast and, while I talk to all of them by phone on a regular basis, I still feel very much like a kid trying to sneak unnoticed up to claim a seat at the grownups table on Thanksgiving.

I wonder if I'll ever feel successful?

I am working in my career of choice...well OK never has a six year old said "Mommy, when I grow up I want to be a Payroll Manager"...but the fields of Princess, Ballerina, Country Singer and Freelance Writer are highly competitive so about ten years ago when I fell face first into a Payroll Manager job I made a very conscious decision to make a career out of it.  Prior to that I had job-surfed, wearing the hats of Secretary, Office Manager, Administrative Assistant and Accounting Assistant to name a few.  So when I found myself doing a job where I wasn't primarily responsible for making someone else look good, I decided to stick with it.

And when I lost that job six years later, I agressively searched for another one in the same field.

So there is some success in just the fact that I AM working in my field of choice.  I have worked in this field for a bit over a decade, I have earned professional certification.  I'm a CPP.  Certified Payroll Professional.  It's a real thing.  Honest.  Look it up.  I was hand picked by my former boss to be the first Payroll Manager in their growing company, and I have built a successful one-and-a-half person department from scratch.  I am responsible for making sure 1,700 people get a paycheck every two weeks.  This is no small feat.

And in spite of my ability to toot my own horn, and the fact that my boss makes me look at an amature at it, I still feel like everyone else is all grown up and successful and I'm...I don't know....lucky?  Faking it?  I don't know.  I'm asking!  Is this typical?  Do we all feel this way?

Five years ago I got divorced.  I bought my ex husband out of the house we had built together.  I have kept the house for my son, so that he can reach maturity in the only home he's ever known.  Stubbornly, to my own detrement at times (like now) but successfully I've done this.  But even to this day, when someone says I have a nice house, I think to myself that it's thanks to my ex husband.  It's MY house...I need to start just saying "thanks" and feel some pride in the fact that I am a single mother who owns a four bedroom colonial on an acre and a half of land.  I deal with the headache of it, and there IS plenty of headache that comes with it, I should allow myself to feel the pride.

But why do I do this?  Why do I have such a hard time seeing my successes, when it seems easy for other people to see them.

I need to work on that.  Meanwhile, though, it would be good if I wasn't late.

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