A few of my superiors are the most statuesque and charming women I have ever met. They seem to have a sparkling watch for everyday of the week, toenails that match their lipsticks dreamily, unwavering tans and exquisite taste. To meet with one of them in her office, feels like walking in a garden. There might be a burning candle, a bejeweled paper weight or not more than one file on the glossy desk. However, their most impressive traits stem from social behaviors such as etiquette and emotional control.
There are times during meetings or happenstances at work when I relentlessly overanalyze my public or social responses. Why did I stutter? I said “wording” instead of “working?!” Why did I pick this dress? Of all the millions of outfits I tried on this morning, I settled on these old rags? Needless to say, my afternoon self might hate my morning self’s choices, or the self that wrote that ineloquent email yesterday before my coffee kicked in. Today’s self has no idea what the heck I was thinking when I wore those green jeans to an evening event two years ago.
How do they do it? I wonder. How do these fully composed, full-time career women sport such lovely shoes in the midst of intense conflict resolution, scrutiny and deadlines? Aside from my neurotic self-criticisms, which my mother says will dissolve with experience, I do attain the goals I aim for. And every season I always crave a new wardrobe I can’t afford. This craving I think comes from an innate desire to professionally self-improve. It seems clothes, word choice and smiles are superficial elements of success, but evidently, the more collected I look, act and sound, the more calm, capable and confident I feel. As I aspire to “seem” or “look” a certain way, am I actually becoming this way, experienced, focused, mature, beautiful?
For now, I can only hope my mother is right, and it seems she is, according to my professional patterns and ambitions. In the meantime, I look to my lady bosses for guidance. What would she do?