The moments we stand.... or sit on the floor

16 October 2014

The limits of being a human.

Sometimes I think everyone has found the secret to handling intense amounts of sustained pressure far better than I can.  Or the secret to always avoiding it.  I'm also certain that everyone has found the fountain of living waters, gathering in some lush forest every night to drink life away into immortality and get the finest secrets of living.  And the walls of the well are made with flecks of gold that they rub on their face to erase all wrinkles.  And also black babies run wild and free and are up for grabs if anyone wants to bring one home, and buy him a bed, and watch him become a national football star.  Because how else did Blindside come to be??

But anyway, I think that people are probably laughing at me on the side.  Because I don't have gold on my face.  I have dirt.  Oh wait, no, freckles.  And because they can see that I don't share in life's finest secrets. Obviously, because look--

That's me in the corner of a bathroom stall at work.

Which is no place that a person who has found the glorified fountain of harmony would be.

I'm highlighting the watch that my friend Hannah mailed me a couple weeks ago to remind me of my "zen" place - because she knows I like it there.  And also because it's important for me to maintain my stance on never being a product placement blogger, or else I WILL highlight every item on the floor of a bathroom stall.

No actually I'm really here because I needed to water the freckles on my face.  And that's not some code phrase for other bathroom purposes.  It means I needed to CRY.  Because after a long day yesterday, a long week, a loooooong many months of intensely compiled pressure at work, I woke up this morning with my choice yet again to stand and produce a beautiful day.  Putting on this shield watch as a reminder.  And a pretty accessory.

Except then my morning meeting starting drawing water out of my eyeballs.  Because there are no breaks here.  And is my work email being mass distributed somewhere?  And also, tired.  And then people would try to talk to me, and the water would well up more.  So I tried to rectify by smiling reeeeally big so my cheeks would hide my eyes.  But smiling really big for no reason was certainly creeping people out, so instead I just got up, walked really fast passed the looooooooong conference table of people to the exit door.  Finally landing safely on the floor here.  And then I thought, PICTURE TIME!!  And also BLOGGING TIME!!  Because notice how a couple other posts are formed after I've had a bathroom floor moment?  Because I feel inspired after I sit down on people's nasty germs for a moment...  or something. 

The thing is, I have 8,000 posts in my drafts, opening up about what I'm experiencing right now in my professional life.  But details of work?  blegh.  And mostly I just try to be positive and forward-moving about it all.  But in moments more and moreso lately, it really weighs on me.  So I tuck my head, and I work harder.  Go again.  And keep showing up.  And I've gotten a lot better at going easy on myself.  Because I know there's so much we experience that is unknown.  Even as we bustle by each other every day, we don't know just how deep the glacier goes for anybody else.  And "adult" just means we're higher from the ground wo we have more height for layers to build.  And a longer stride for our legs to carry.  And how do you explain all those added stacks and steps with ease?  So take one down and pass it around.

Anyway, then a person enters the bathroom, and I peer through the crack of the stall.  Though I am aware that there is no worse place to make eye contact with someone.  I see the one female director in our department.  She is the calmest, and most composed woman in the entire world.  I wonder, "Did she once have overwhelming moments in her early career like me?  Possibly on the bathroom floor - to make the setting of my "human" moments seem more reasonable.  Did she once peek through the stall at some other, older woman who had already walked the path and found her "zen?"  Also, did she have a pretty watch?"  Then I bust through the doors of the bathroom and grab onto her shrieking, "Show me where the fountain is!  TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!!"

Okay not really.  Instead I come out and wash my hands, going back upstairs to my desk, deciding to smile and show up again.  And then one of my favorite co-workers stops me by the copy machine, gives me a hug, and whispers, "you're up against a lot.  and everyone hits a limit at some point."


And then I check his suit coat for remnants of gold.  Just in case.  I just don't want to be the last mortal left.   But in the meantime, I will be the most freckly mortal who always gets back up and stands again. 

Upward and onward,

Image Source


  1. Oh Chantel! Your work life just sounds crazy sometimes and yet you handle it so well! Honestly, I find myself looking at you and feeling the way you felt about that woman in the bathroom. It's people like you who help me feel like I can pick myself back up again too. You are amazing. Keep being human and sharing those human moments, it's helping you and at least one other person (me!). Also, I'm such a fan of watering those freckles on our faces sometimes :) It's just needed, you know?

  2. AND! On a much more shallow and completely unrelated note because I just thought of it, when we move to SLC in January, I think we should join for a weekly Bachelor watching fest. I'm just saying.

  3. I understand those needs to go hide in a bathroom stall and just let out the "I am so overwhelmed and/or frustrated tears." And I feel like those moments are more difficult when you're in a male-dominated work force, because they certainly don't respond to the pressures by sneaking off to cry, so it can feel weak. But it's not. Everyone has those breaking points where we need to take a few minutes (or days) to take some deep breaths and reassure ourselves that we're going to be okay. You know what the best part about this is? When you got up and went back out there, knowing full well that nothing had changed, all the pressure was still present... And that as long as you can take a few minutes to have an occasional cry in a bathroom stall, you've totally got this!

  4. Man this is so relatable. I have definitely had "crying in the bathroom and/or in my car" moments at work in my day. I even had a boss a few years ago who terrified me and frequently made reference to a previous female employee who she referred to as "Sally cries-in-the-bathroom." Which, was horrible. And, working for that woman, I totally understood why poor "Sally" would want to cry in the bathroom. Anyway! I totally hear you on the 80080erere,0000 (that started out as a number?) blog post drafts that you haven't published. Most of mine are about my dating life, because, I can't just go blabbing that stuff around the Internet too often. And then there are some about work, which don't always get published either because my employer OWNS the Internet and I know if I say anything remotely wrong my a** could be out the door. So, there's that. Is this a positive comment? Where am I going with this? Maybe I'm just trying to validate you. So......validated. Check. You got this. Cry all you want.