The good parts about my job are the people, the space, and (because I am, after all, a woman who worships shoes) the money. The bad part about the job is that I started to feel (pretty soon, to be honest) that I was losing tiny bits of my identity that I actually liked (read: loved). Working on a government research project means heels, tightly bound hair and rummaging in a bohemian closet for anything that made me look adult.
Last week, I met an aunt who saw me straight after work and squealed, “You look like such a grownup! No more flip flops and things for you, eh?” She meant it as a compliment filled with love, but a part of my heart cracked a little.
So now, in tiny subtle ways, I’m making an effort to retain my me-ness. Small things like long strings of orange and yellow beads. Like bringing in my bright blue Di-mug instead of the office’s standard white china. Like taking the time to write for myself again; early in the morning, while lights are still being switched on, and colleagues are stumbling into the door. Like sending the S.O haiku’s and fairytales in between spreadsheeting and battling with the printer. Like tying a bright silk scarf to the handle of my sturdy brown bag. Like my insistence on tuning into the retro radio station and playing it all day long. Like refusing to have anyone make me coffee, despite plentiful offers; I dont even ask my mother to do that for me. Like pinning doodles and song lyrics to my message/bulletin board. Like talking to the S.O every night and trying to swallow down the work talk. Instead, focusing on all the other things that make us, us. Like twisting my hair in bands and pins of bright pinks and electric blues. Like scribbling postcards and licking down envelopes in my lunchbreaks. Like meeting friends for lattes and moroccan tea straight after work despite being bone tired – because I refuse to be one of those people who forget how to separate themselves from their 8 to 5. Like writing sweet nothings to the S.O on post-it’s in between designing websites and corporate presentations. Like getting my boss to eat chocolate chip cookies when he’s on a health kick than involves fruit for lunch.
Remembering the favourite parts of you is a good thing. It’s making sure you keep them alive that’s beautiful.