This has been a terrible week. I feel that my body is frail and dying but I have to report for work and perform my motherly duties, every single day. It has not been easy fighting my demons but as always, I succeed in effecting a facade of invincibility.I realize now that I have such high tolerance for pain, physical and emotional. I am almost a masochist without meaning to be one. I am not a doormat but sometimes I ask if I am destined to be drawn to this person who hurts me by his sheer indifference or to circumstances which never fail to test my fortitude and my strength?
My former boss, Ivy, who’s known me for nine years, was more concerned than curious when she texted me a few days ago: “AJ, I read your blog. What decision are you talking about?” I evade the question and tell her my latest work-related crisis. I have uttered a remark which reached an influential colleague and did not please him; as a result, my boss confronts me and says we should do some damage control before things get out of hand. I am suddenly jolted from reality and realize that I hold a responsible position, so I cannot afford to be careless about the things I say or do, especially if it’s amplified by the media. But then again, I am by nature blunt and candid to a fault so I probably don’t deserve to be in public relations. In fairness, my boss has supported me through my worst boo-boos but it is also hard when I have to do the dirty deed for him. For the second time in my career, I tell him that he can pull me out of the department; I am facing job burnout. I tell him it’s a thankless job and a hardship post, nobody would volunteer to be in my place. I am not only the head writer, I also have to massage the delicate egos of the so-called dyornalists; follow-up their requests for assistance for every tragedy in their life – from fires to deaths to medical assistance for their sick kin and even tour buses for their field trips. It’s like being a glorified gofer. As always, my boss has chosen to ignore my appeal and I don’t know until when I can hang on. As always, Ivy gives me my much-needed advice and my problem is solved in due time.
Hurdling these never-ending ordeals, I take comfort in the words of the Desiderata which, I believe, is one of the greatest inspirational works ever made. Written by Max Ehrmann in 1927, it is a classic in itself. Some of my favorite lines:
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world.