Being an adult is hard work

Recently I have been having a difficult time at work. Not because I have an evil boss or a terrible job or anything. But because…

Okay, it’s hard to explain so let me start with a little backstory.

This drawing illustrates how it has been for me at work 99% of the time.

Before

I love my coworkers. I have some women there who are true and dear friends and they make my ideal job even more perfect. ((Not to rub it in if you don’t like your job. I’m not saying that giving chemo all day and getting close to patients only to have a lot of them die is all rainbows and cuddly kitties. But I feel like I make a difference in people’s lives and I love that. And anything I can do to give cancer the finger is good in my book.))

But lately, I’ve felt this growing divide between me and my work friends. Like this:
After

And it hurt. And it made me feel like no one would be my friend if I wasn’t happy all the time. And it made me wonder if they had ever truly cared about me.

And while I desperately wanted to sulk off and never talk to them again because that would show them, I couldn’t do that. Oh, I thought about it. I had a pity party or 8 on the DreadBrewer. I sang “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms” on the way home. ((True story. My mom used to sing that at me when I was being particularly childish or immature about my relationships.))

But eventually I realized that these women were too good of friends for me to stomp off without telling them how I felt. I had to be an adult and actually talk to them.

So I did.

And it was really really hard.

But what I realized after the talk was that the above picture doesn’t accurately represent the situation at all.

From their perspective (which is probably far more accurate than mine), this is how the situation was really playing out:
After 2

They knew I was hurting, but they didn’t know what to do about it. And I had closed myself off so much that they didn’t even know if I wanted them to ask me about it. (If they had even been able to summon the courage to face down my “I hate life” death stare. )

So I told them that, when I’m obviously having a bad day, I need them to reach out to me. And I’ve been working on not feeling excluded or deliberately slighted if they’re all joking and laughing together and I’m not a part of it, for whatever reason, be it grief or just an inside joke I’m not in on. They still love me and I still love them.

And I’m glad that I did the responsible adult thing and talked to them, rather than throwing away some good friendships out of childish spite. Even if it was hard.

6 thoughts on “Being an adult is hard work

  1. This is so true. I’m sorry you’re having a rough time but I’m glad you took a moment to reach out and really express what you needed. So many friendships get tossed when people try to read minds. Your post is spot-on. I’m glad you did it and I’m glad you shared with us, as well.

    • I have to remind myself frequently that neither my husband nor my friends are mind readers. It’s much easier to get what you need when you ask for it!

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