I’ve been trying to write this post for a long time, and I’ve been wondering why it’s so hard to get it down. As is, I opened the window half an hour ago then took a break to discover Angry Birds. I knew what it was, but I’d never actually played it until today. It’s remarkably addictive. It had me giggling and clapping in minutes! But again, I digress.

The reason I’ve been putting off this post is that it scares me. I’m in a place where I’m a perfect fit, and I keep feeling something will go wrong. I just got this new job that’s so fun, I’m wondering where it was all my life, and whether it will randomly wake up one day and go back where it came from. The boy that I love has suddenly found a chance to be with me, and all he has to do is decide if he really wants to take it. My little girl is happy at school, and my nephew is thriving as things sort themselves out. In three years, I’ll be completely debt free and insured, and I’ll have my pretty fish tank and some other pretty things. I’m at the edge of a tower where all my dreams could come true, and no matter which way I fall, it will all end up rainbows and unicorns.

But deep inside my head, all I hear is Nickelback.

I’ve heard people say you can be afraid of success, and maybe that’s where I’m at now. I’ve never doubted my ability to write, but I haven’t written for marketting before – not really. So every time I get a new assignment, I do it with trepidation and speed, because I can’t wait for it to be over. I hand it to the boss and close my eyes, waiting to hear him yell or scream or tell me to start over again.

Instead, he pats my back and says, ‘Superb!’ He gives me compliments during board meetings and says how I’m doing such an excellent job, and all I can do is wonder what he’s smoking. Or maybe he’s just really diplomatic. I do a write-up for a website and the designers take it live and I’m thinking, ‘Wait! You guys do realize I have no clue what I’m doing, right? Shouldn’t somebody check that first?’ It’s an unusual feeling for a girl who’s never had a doubt about her words.

An intern comes into the office and is told I’m the expert on word play, that I’m really, really good, and that he should come to me for advice and I’m thinking … erm … boss … I’m barely three days old here! The graphics people gravitate towards me and say they need two paragraphs on XYZ and as soon as I give it, they ship it straight onto the … um … iFrame thingie … while I sit there bumbwazzed and wondering what just happened.

I like this job a lot, and the primary reason is that I got it by being me. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone. I was just doing what I love, and doing it how I knew best. My boss looked at my blog, my chats, my social profile – which it turns out he has been following for years – and decided I was a right fit for the job. He wasn’t bothered by my drama or my inadequacies. He knew this thing would fit me like a glove, and it does.

Every day last week, I’d get home and someone would call or text to ask how the new job was going. I’d always respond that I loved it and that I was having a lot of fun. Then I would disqualify the statement by saying it was probably newbie psyche. I was worried I would sink into depression once the novelty had died and it had started to feel ‘more like a real job.’ This week, things got a bit more hectic, and it felt like work because I woke up in the morning and wished I could just stay in bed. But still, I got here and laughed and had fun, though I wasn’t quite as giddy as I was last week.

Next week, one of my colleagues goes on leave, so the workload will probably double. Maybe when that happens, I will start to feel like the harassed-rat-in-a-maze that my contract says I am. But right now, I’m still happy about this job that lets me spend all day on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Blogger and YouTube, and I even get Alternative Addiction Radio. It’s a bit hard learning to work with people because I’m such a loner. But I’m personable, so I fake it pretty well, and the people here are cool. The boys are mostly pretty and the girls are mostly fun to be around.

I have to learn to multitask, and to be calm about being in town after dark. And sometimes I feel stupid when I realize how creative my bosses are. They unleash these awesome campaign ideas, and I just sit there thinking man, I wouldn’t have come up with that if I was locked in a cave for a thousand years! Makes me feel kind of inadequate, and more than just a little blond. In the meantime, a workmate says he likes talking to me because I never look like I’m under pressure. He said this about ten minutes after I posted this tweet.

No, he doesn't own a Twitter account.


So … if everything is going so perfect … why am I so scared?

I guess it’s because I’m so used to things going wrong that I don’t know how to respond now that things are going right. Or at least, they will be in a few months time. See? I’m doing it again. When I look at the view from this tower, I see myself in six months, able to pay fees comfortably, free of domestic drama, finally having the boy I love, skating with my baby on the weekend, and down to my ideal weight. And even if I don’t get those things, I’m still going to be smiling and cool.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not high, and I’m hardly in la-la-land. I am facing a lot of things, and some people are still worried about me. They’re more worried because I’m so calm about everything, but my life coach has a theory. He says I hit rock bottom last year and I bounced back, so I’ve gained the resilience that I needed. If I hadn’t been through what I went through last October, I might not be able to deal with here and now.

Or maybe I’m just getting wise and old.

Either way, I look in the office mirror and I love the girl that’s looking back at me, so even if I don’t lose the weight, it will be fine because all I have to do is Kimunya the office mirror. And I have such assurance in the boy that I love that even if he doesn’t end up with me, he’s given me just what I need, so I know it will be fine.

But I’m so used to things not being okay that this new calm is such a shock to my system, I’m in some kind of screwed mental daze!

My boss has read my Twitter rants for years, so I’m guessing he knows all my quirks and foibles. He also knows how much I tweet during a coffee high meltdown, so thank heavens the Nescafe vending machine thingie includes [really bad] tea. When he hired me for this job, he said, ‘Everyone is pretty easy, and everything is a team effort. There’s no such things a Fear of Failure here.’ So I take another break to play Angry Birds attend a meeting where people will say things like, ‘What do you think we should do?’ and wait for me to give a concrete answer. And when I say the first thing that pops into my head, they will say, ‘Brilliant, let’s go with that.’ I will sit in a brainstorming session with my bosses, and they will come up with all these amazing ideas while I stare intently and pretend to concentrate so that my jaw won’t drop to the floor.

I will scribble, doodle, and write limericks in my notebook, and since they can’t read my handwriting, they will assume that I’m taking minutes and ask me to forward my notes to everyone else. Then they will ask, ‘Crystal, what do you think?’ And I will give my honest opinion, and they will say, ‘Excellent, go do a write up.’

I will stare blankly at my machine for half an hour, then I will type the first four paragraphs that occur to me, and they will read them and say, ‘She’s a genius!’ And once again, I will wonder what they’re smoking.

They will look at my head and praise my awesome hairdo, and compliment my girly pink headphones, and I will smile and think I really need to find out who supplies them with whatever it is they’re smoking. And then I will go home, hug my princess, cuddle my nephew, collapse into bed, dream of Burgundy Angry Birds, and wait for the shock to wear off and the joy to sink in because now, finally, everything is okay.

18 thoughts on “Fear of failure and Angry Birds

  1. I had absolute fun reading this post. So, what are you smoking again? All the best with the new, is it 9 to 5?

  2. Hey, you inserted a pic of a favorite movie! We must have watched Aladdin about 14 or so times with my nephew!!
    great article…again! All the best in your adventure…

  3. nice, am glad that job worked out so well for you, there are few things better than being paid to do something you love around people you like. enjoy away.

  4. @Mimi Hahah thank you, and no, I’m not smoking yet, though they do drag me along on smoking breaks sometimes. Turns out people have some very interesting conversations in between puffs.

    @Alice Thanks, and I hope you’re having fun with yours.

    @James Danke, and btw, I owe you a burger or something, no? Ntakutafuta, I think I still have your number some where … I hope …

    @Opeach Thank you =)

    @WWF Been watching yours, and I hope you stopped getting lost in your own kitchen and found something new and exciting to enjoy as well 😉

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