I just started swimming masters. Masters swimming is like a coed swim team. It’s an organized workout with a coach. This was a huge step for me as it has been years, decades almost, since I have trained with a group of people. I grew up swimming competitively and quit swimming at the age of 15 to pursue boys. I can thank my hormones for that.
Swimming masters has brought up a number of interesting topics that affect me both in and out of the pool. One of those is competition. The second is why I like “swimming in the trenches” with others. I was talking to a friend the other day and was telling her about a recent practice during which I was sharing a lane with a guy. Initially I had the lane to myself and was a very happy camper. When the guy dove in and I had company, I wasn’t so happy. But I swallowed my territorial pill and sucked it up. Yes, I am well aware of my immaturity and my not so lovable quirks.
I’m a perfectionist. I never wanted to believe or admit it, but it’s true. There’s no denying it. Being that I am a perfectionist, failure is just not something that I do. While I know failure is not fun for anyone, for me, it can be devastating. It’s not that when I fail I think my life is over. I’d say it’s more like the seven stages of grief.
First there is shock and denial. This is when you tell yourself that everything is ok even when you know it’s not. You acknowledge that the failure happened, you just don’t ACCEPT it. The second stage is pain and guilt. You are physically in pain. You’re embarrassed and ashamed. You’re ego has taken a big hit and you can’t believe that you’ve fallen on your face and you feel as though your failure is public. Everyone knows that you failed and everyone’s laughing at you. Your enemies are feeding off your failure like ticks sinking their teeth into dogs and you just can’t seem to shake off all that negativity.
The first time I heard The Cure, I was in the backseat of Lisa’s car. Heather was riding shotgun. Close To Me was playing loudly on the stereo. Heather and Lisa were both seniors at my high school and I was just a freshman. The memory I have of hanging out with Heather and Lisa that day, is one I hold dearly. There are several reasons why that memory plays in my mind and makes me smile. One is that I was a freshman hanging out with two cool, pretty and popular seniors. The other is that this occurred before there were cell phones, texts, email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Those things had yet to exist. All we had was the radio, the tape player and our personalities to entertain us, and that was enough.
Within the past week, I’ve seen two different articles published in The New York Times about bad bosses and toxic work environments. While I told myself many times that I would wait to write about my boss or rather bosses, I’ve changed my mind. It’s funny, part of me never even wanted to ever write about it. The only reason I contemplated it was because I had heard from so many people how my story is the Entertainment’s version of The Devil Wears Prada. I do not disagree.
In the past, my life left little to be desired. Sucked into the entertainment lifestyle and way of thinking, I believed that people admired, respected and liked me because of where I worked and what position I was in. I was wrong. While that was definitely important to the people within the entertainment bubble I used to play in, outside of the bubble, no one cared. People wanted to know about me, not my work.
I had a bad dream last night. I dreamt that my family wanted nothing to do with me. I woke up whimpering and as I lay there still half asleep and half awake, the first thought that came to mind was, mommy I need a hug. And I did. While that dream could not have been further from the truth, the feelings I had had in the dream of being abandoned and left behind shook me. There was a pain in my stomach. The kind that makes you hunch over. My heart hurt.