because i say so
In the beginning of most things you have that period of time where you just accept every correction being made around you. As a new employee you accept every single change your boss makes when reading through your texts – even though you think the word you originally chose is way better than what it’s substituted with. And in friendships and relationships you go through a period of trying to fit in and be what others expect you to be instead of who you really are.
Acceptance is always tricky at first. For months at work no one cared who I was. I remember sitting at Friday breakfasts looking for chances to throw in a sentence or two – and when occasions finally arose and I opened my mouth, I would usually hear someone else interrupting and people’s attention were no longer on me. (If it ever was.) At the same time I felt everything I produced was checked forwards and backwards whereas it seemed other people just pressed publish and that was it. (Of course it wasn’t quite like this.)
I don’t remember the exact date, but I remember the feeling of suddenly fitting in. I no longer fought to say things at breakfast, make myself noticed – I was actually asked. And I remember my boss telling me “no, I don’t need to see that before we publish.”
During my first months at work, I had a couple of annoying incidents where I felt as if I was never going to be a capacity of my own, and it made me sad. At my first job they marvelled from day one. I know now that this has to do with the difference between the first and my current job, the difference between my first boss and the current, and the difference between my first colleagues and my current ones. And I know that though I sometimes find myself missing my old colleagues and the great parties my first work place threw, I never find myself missing my actual job, I never wish myself back to that job description.
It’s been coming on gradually, but in recent weeks I’ve become a capacity within my own little field. I’m someone you ask – I’m the one you ask, when you want to know the correct answer. And my boss may suggest changes, but the final word is now mine just as often as it is hers. And it makes me beam a little knowing that I now hold the power of what could be the oldest (and to some extent worst) argument in the world: “Because I say so.”