Ahem-Ahem-attention, please…lol, is anyone listening?
Recently, I was asked to tell my story. My story?
For a writing exercise, I encourage everyone to sit and examine this subject. Questions arise, many, dizzying questions, circling until paralyzed for those of us who not used to talking about themselves. I have never lavished a good yarn about me, never as an individual. I am a unique middle-aged woman described as quite boring, I honor that.
In this life of mine, the definition of me was always defined by another. I was so and so’s sister, daughter, friend, later to become mother and wife. The single character living inside of me has always been the same but lived by the adage of don’t speak unless spoken to, seen and not heard, humble, not a braggart. I am a helper, a giver, a feeler, growing up—a crier. In this stage of my life, I have moved forward throwing away the Kleenex to step forward.
(I swear this is not my house.)
My good friend and I used to joke about Vicki Gufflestan’s “love tank” analogy. We worked within the customer service industry and turned her fun adage into a “shit tank.” Every person working in this field has a large capacity, oversized, reservoir to take on other people’s crap. We feel compelled and empowered when we have the ability to take on a customer’s upset and turn the situation around. To earn a smile is pure splendor.
(in case you don’t know who Vicki is, “Housewives of Orange County.”)
After 28 years of extending the golden rule of the customer is always right, my tank corroded and burst. I was finished. Consumers often have a way of feeling entitled when they walk into a store and issue no qualms when demeaning employees. Individuals, who are there to earn a pay-check, not be a punching bag. This past time has become a sport. I would imagine the same thrill a bully feels when on the playground smashing faces because no one stops them. We know it, bullies raise bullies, and the cyclical nature is devastating.
I quit. For the first time in my life, I stood up and said, “I don’t want to do this anymore.”
Why? I could tell you the story about how an angry person, who walked in the door that way, stood in front of one of my employee’s counter. I could tell you how they called her an idiot because she asked how to spell their name. I could tell you how she stood there with a waning smile in her gentle nature and genuine goodness, a beautiful woman who only gave. The scene was a character bashing of epic proportion for no reason and as an employee, she could do nothing.
But the nitty-gritty of the story is who is responsible? We are all responsible. We have endured and accepted such outlandish behavior for all of ever. We live in a cesspool of negativity and industry profits off every ounce sold. Bad behavior rewarded, victims further shamed, innocence—acceptance sacrificed every second to rot.
From television shows, ad campaigns, all of media, industry leaders of commodities, the list is endless and as a society, we absorb what they sell. They, these power-houses are making money off our insecurities from which we feed and continue to buy into. Brainwashing.
Enough, I implore, enough.
If we could take an inkling of this ugliness and spin it into an enriching, nourishing, supporting communities, imagine what we could be. Encourage love; friendliness, compassion—eliminate even a few words of negative energy from your vocabulary and transformation begins.
So back to me…where do I fit into all of this? I have this life. One. No longer bound by a corporation, I have found my voice to speak out, to let you know regardless of whom you are or where you have been there is an endless supply of acceptance spinning in your universe. It may be a speck of dust in that dark little room we sometimes hide, but it is there, waiting for you. You are waiting for you.
Not only have I learned to speak my name, but I also wade amongst those less inclined to happiness. I refuse to be deterred. Some love me and some not so much, and that is okay, because what they do not understand they have never known.
We have become plants harbored in a dark room, refused proper nourishment, struggling to survive, until given light. Nobody owns us. Empowerment comes from within, I extend my hand, open the door and shine.
My name is Jessica Edouard and I—Send Sunshine.