In the interests of providing a little contrast to the bleak and bitter here’s me making an effort to recall times that I felt absolutely high on life… Because sometimes this is me, sometimes I am fearless, social, confidant and poised.
It was a huge backyard and that night a pair of DJ’s were tucked into the open garage, fairy lights were draped in all the trees. There was a small bonfire in the middle of the driveway and bench seats/tables dotted the deep green expanse of lawn allowing for moments of seclusion and conversation. Close friends and total strangers were mingling, all friendly, all happy, a sense of positive energy permeated everything. I slipped from group to group chatting, exchanging compliments, anecdotes, and side-hugs, laughing and offering glasses of champagne from the bottles stashed in my over-sized handbag. I must have spoken to every person there. I met so many kind people, and a couple of very friendly small dogs. The air was crisp, the stars were bright, bright, white and it seemed they were sparkling just for me.
He opened the door of the bar, held it wide for me, and the music rushed out at me and filled up my heart, just as the smell of drink and bodies and warmth enveloped me. My head fell back at the rush of sensory data, I inhaled the bar deep into my lungs, and as I stepped across the threshold I sang along to the stereo in drunken abandon, at full volume. I was drunk on the moment and I saw nothing but a film-style blur of faces and bodies as I swayed through the swarm towards the bar, I sang on to the final note of the song, then smiled at the bartender “Hi!” He made me prove my sobriety before he’d serve me, a fair call. As I waited for my drink not one but three strangers approached me to tell me they thought my voice was extraordinary, that I’d just made their night, to ask me if I was in a band. I glowed with the high of the praise all evening, enmeshed in a sense of communal well-being and joy.
The boardroom was over-full, my boss, my bosses boss, his boss, and an array of people on their levels, only a handful of people on mine. A room full of suits, cologne, and styled hair and little ol’ me waiting to step into a spot-light not of my choosing. They all talked, empty vague words betraying their lack of basic comprehension of the topic at hand. I listened and my confidence grew – I know more than them, and my boredom also grew – patience is not a virtue that comes naturally to me. Finally they began to settle and I spoke into the relative quiet with the pep of a high-school gym teacher, “Shall we get started?” I spoke for three hours, an hour and a half of prepared material and an hour and a half of Q&A, I rode high on a wave of confidence as I acted out my very best impression of my very best Consultant. I took questions with a considered ease and backed myself with statistics, I referred questions to my peers for details when required, and credited the work of others when it applied. Everybody walked out on the same page as me, everybody walked out happy. I ran that meeting like a goddamn pro, and I walked out feeling like a queen. I couldn’t remember the details of what I’d said, but the buzz lasted me days temporarily banishing my impostor syndrome and leaving me calm.