"It ain't no thang for you." vs. "You got this!"
Honestly, to some there isn’t a difference, but when you’re in that phase of your life where you’re trying to figure out your baseline needs from people, the subtleties of language become very important. Let me make this clear: I’m not unpacking what could be behind each phrase, I’m unpacking what they mean to me.
So, today was a very stressful day at work. I had to write six 500-800 word articles about things like waterfall devops vs agile devops, how to decide what migrates to the cloud, the top X mistakes businesses make when migrating to the cloud, and on and on. Because my job has been taking on new clients at record rates, our workload has increased at least two-fold since I’ve been here. And, although we hired someone new last week, things haven’t gotten easier yet. Amber, my boss, put it really well. She said, “We’re at the end of the toothpaste tube and for the next two days we have to struggle to squeeze out the last few drops.” So today I struggled, and I squeezed, and right now I’m running Indy Word Lab which is a monthly part of my job and I’m literally down to my very last drops. The very last ones. Seriously, if I hadn’t had a few whiskeys and a beer, I don’t know how many drops I’d be able to find. To put it simply, it was a very very hectic day and when I texted some friends for moral support, I received two different responses.
If I tell you I’m stressed out and worried about my workload today and you say “It ain’t no thang for you, girl,” what I feel is being said is that I shouldn’t stress out? Should I not stress out? Is it really no thing for me? I mean, I don’t think I would have texted you about it if it wasn’t a thing. Right? Like I’m stressed out. I’m dying of stress. I want you to acknowledge how much the workload is. Validate my stress, and the like. Does that make sense? And while I know this person didn’t mean anything but support when he sent his message, I don’t feel supported, I feel undermined. This might be a bitchy, nit-picky thing but honestly, I think that at my age, and at my heart, I feel a deep need to be supported in my career goals. I do work hard. I work very hard for myself and my community and more than anything, I crave recognition. Some people want trophies, I want those that I’ve been able to support and lift up along this journey to one day think to themselves, “hmm, I might not have been able to do this if Elysia hadn’t once pushed me.” Maybe that’s selfish or egotistical—it probably is. One of my big flaws is that I have a mega ego that I tend to hide until it’s too late. But, the point is, I’m trying to determine what works for me in a relationship, be it friendship or be it romantic.
When I mentioned my day to another friend checking in on me, I got the response, “You got this.” The difference to me is that this second person acknowledged my stress somehow. It’s not even that clear how, but I felt validated. Like. Yes. I. DO. GOT. THIS. If I want to. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a hurtle, or a challenge. I’m not even sure if that makes sense. I mean, I definitely felt more validated by this person. One of my greatest struggles in relationships is feeling supported. I don’t think I’ve ever dated someone that truly supported the work that I do, or took the time to understand why and how and how difficult things can get when you’re stretching yourself so thin because one day you know that community you built will be there to help you in return. I used to say to L that I wanted a dance mom. Like a person who’d pick up lunch for me when I don’t have time to eat, or would run to the library to print off flyers and help me hang them, or help me pick out the best outfit to convey my erratic personality while I’m hosting an event.
She made me feel bad about this, that I shouldn’t force a partner to care about things they don’t care about. Well, I’m not trying to force anyone, I’m trying to seek out someone whose inclination is to reach out to me when they see I might need help but am too proud to ask for it. Is that too much to ask of a partner? I want to say no but I’m actually not sure.
Upon talking to Molly Jane about this, I want to revise a little. She pointed out the fact (and Darcy did this earlier too) that basically the two responses are the same. And I know they are. And I know that my history with the first person I explained my day to affects how I read what he wrote. Ultimately, both responses technically mean the same thing but ultimately, what I want is support, consistent, exuberant support. Plus adoration, attentiveness but not obsession--it truly is frustrating when a person views you as the only exciting thing happening for them. Tonight Molly and I discussed our five top traits in a partner. Mine are: leadership, humility, kindness, charm, and humor. And if I get extra lucky, I'd throw in sexually charismatic and a little mischievous. Molly and I often talk about how we want "it" to happen for us, falling in love with the right people for once? Even if we get our hearts broken, knowing that the feeling was real and true and circumstance was the only interference. It's possibly cheesy and definitely vulnerable but you are reading the blog of the girl who kept a journal entitled Letters to my Future Spouse when she was 14. Sorry not sorry.