Big two days.
Yesterday- experienced a massive road rage incident with some random guy. I was on my scooter, pulled up at lights (on his side to get in front), he didn’t like it, came up super close to me with the edge of his car and then told me off. Then he proceeded to use his car as a weapon and intimidate me whilst I was riding. I was shaking my head and then I ended up giving him the finger! But problem was, this guy was really nasty and he kept braking in front of me to cut me off and annoy me. It was really dangerous and he shouted at me, (something like), “I hope you fall off” and then I ended up braking as he stopped suddenly again and I fell off my bike! I just lay on the road, stunned, my scooter on top of me and the dude drove off. Anyway, i ended up reporting it to the police, to no avail, and I went to the doctor as I had a massive bruise swelling up on my thigh so thought it best to get it checked out. Doc says it’s fine, just going to turn black and blue! I was pretty shaken, and it was super hard to not blame myself- I shouldn’t have bitten back. I shouldn’t have tried to get in front. I provoked him.
Later that afternoon, I was offered a promotion. Very exciting. Big challenge. Full time. Pay increase, so that feels good. A relief.
Today: I had to present for all faculty staff meeting about progress of big project I lead the charge on last year. Implementation starts this year and roll out next year. It was meant to be a short and sweet 5 minute presentation. I had three questions at the end, the first I answered okay. The second came from within the film school; my department. It was negatively framed, but one that I could answer (just). The third came from within the film school again, a long term staff member, and one of my PhD supervisors. She basically put me on the spot and demanded to know why we were rolling out the new curriculum the way we were and what our rationale was. I know this post lacks context, so bear with me. But I just froze, stumbled and thankfully ended up being able to say, “we want to work with everyone to find the best solution, but i’m not sure why this is being brought up now considering this information was made completely transparent over the last 12 months.” Anyway, I’m on stage and I just want the floor to open up and I want someone to help me, anybody, and I swear I am gonna cry, and I am embarrassed. Finally it’s over, fuck knows how it ends, I think I am just trying to maintain some sort of integrity and I walk off the stage and sit down. And the head of visual art turns to me, and says, “don’t let it rock you. It’s okay” or something like that. And the director of the faculty whispered, “I’ll talk to them this week”. And I know they’ve got my back and that most people in the room, thought this staff members behaviour was not called for. And I know that the feminists in the audience were rooting for me, a young woman, taking on leadership, in a faculty dominated by men, I know they are saying “go girl” and want me to succeed, but by this time my head is eating me alive and I am running bad tapes. “I should have prepared more. I should have said this. Everyone’s watching me. I actually don’t think I can be this leader I keep thinking I’m going to be. It’s okay, it’s okay, these people are antagonising and that’s good. You need that. They help you grow and become stronger. This is a safe environment to get shit thrown at you. You can do this.” And then the staff member who was being argumentative, texted me to apologise! And so she knows she has just been a dick and she says she feels bad. And I don’t know what to say; so later, after debriefing with S, I respond, but i am totally professional and thank her and just let her know I will respond with a more considered answer later when I have all the facts. And she doesn’t respond at all, which I think sucks, but maybe she’s gone into hiding too. Anyway the meeting was finally over and I had to leave fast cos I had a plane to catch and the head of visual art stopped me and said, “that was woeful, coming from your department too. If you need to debrief, let me know. Don’t do your head in over this”, and I am so grateful that she gets it, because she is a strong woman who is passionate and responsive to change and has assumed leadership positions and gets that it can be really hard. And these are my friends now, as in the leadership team, not my fellow staff as such in film and tv. I understand that. I’m okay with that. I don’t want to be friends just to play nice to fit in. I don’t roll like that. But it didn’t stop me from feeling like a ball of crap and the anxiety and depression just settling in. And S took me to the airport and that was lovely, but I was flat and I felt so bad and worthless. And bad for feeling bad you know? And I just thought, she deserves better. Someone who’s stronger and more sophisticated in their thinking. My sister phoned me to have a little rant and that was nice to hear and I rang her back at the airport and told her what happened. And she pepped talked me before she went into her gym class and told me all the things that I say to her when she’s down- that I can do it and sometimes I am just gonna have to fake it, cos that’s what she does, every day, and I know she struggles with the same feelings of low self worth and pointlessness. And then off she ran to her gym session and I talked to S, and she named my depression and anxiety and I was like, “oh, yeah, I have anxiety and depression. And this is it. This is what those feelings are”, and I started to feel a little better. Something about just surrendering to it. I’m not sure if I’ve ever really done that before. So I guess it’s going to be okay and I can do this. I’ve got this. I can get through this. It’s just one little hiccup in a big journey and I’m not going to let nasty f***ing road ragers and negative Nancy employees who blame everyone else for their f***ing existence throw me off balance anymore. If I fall down, get back up. My mother didn’t teach me that. I heard it in an interview today with a professional basketballer. His mum used to tell him that and I’m going to take his mums advice, because she loved him and I want to focus on messages from people who love other people. It’s a simple as that.