The truth is, I haven’t had a ton to say in my little corner of the internet lately. I want to write about what people come here for but I haven’t been able to partake in many fitness-y activities since February. But now…now I have words and emotions tumbling out of me at rapid speeds, questioning who I am and the impression I give off to those around me. If you’re reading this, it means I fought the urge to tuck this post away for fear of embarrassment, ridicule and just plain feeling like it-shouldn’t-be-a-big-deal-so-why-does-it-feel-that-way, afraid everyone will say I’m not dealing with criticism in a constructive way. Which may be true.
I’ve been interviewing for a job with a fitness-based company I’ve always adored and raved about, in a customer relations position I’m more than qualified for and was incredibly excited about. It felt like a perfect fit. I wanted to grow with them, I could see it in my future. I had a recommendation from a director in the company and they told me I wasn’t competing with other candidates; they just look for the right fit as resumes come in. I was just told, after a phone interview, an online “test”, interviews in person with 3 different people and then another phone interview, that one of the reasons they didn’t think I was the right fit was because, as I understood, they didn’t get the impression that I care about helping and advocating for people.
I talked to 5 employees in total.
They talked to me that many times and got that horrible impression.
This isn’t about not getting a job.
I think that’s one of the most hurtful things said to me about my personality and tears have been spilling since. (#pregnancy) Saying that sounds outrageous, I know. There are SO many more evil things people could say, and I sound like I’m whining. But this cut to the core of who I think I am and how I see myself. Side note: There was one time in college that a personal trainer at my gym insinuated that I “wasn’t skinny” and I’m pretty sure, looking back and knowing him as a person, that he was trying to tell me I was strong. He was immediately apologetic when I burst into tears and dramatically ran away. But for a few years I felt like that was the most horrible thing anyone could say to me. LOLOL.
Pretty much every job I’ve had since college has been customer service based. I pride myself on being able to listen and empathize and take time with people; not brushing people off. I’m not perfect, but I care. I learned a lot about what people do and don’t like when it comes to customer service. I go above and beyond and I love helping make people happy. I have my midwestern roots to thank for that.
Now, this comment has me wracking my brain and questioning the vibe I put out there in the world. I know I shouldn’t base my self-worth on one comment, but that’s a big statement that 5 people essentially agreed on. I feel like a bad person.
I worked for sports teams because I think sports can change lives and I wanted to embrace and celebrate that – especially for children to see the power of sports in building confidence and friendships and of course, a healthy lifestyle. I worked for a non-profit because I wanted to support patients and families fighting cancer and be a bright light of hope for them, as best I could in that hard time. I worked for a yoga studio because at the end of the day, yoga is healing and again, I believe fitness and sports change lives, one life at a time, snowballing until you can’t stop talking about it and write a blog all about it. (Maybe that’s what I should have said instead of telling them how I can use my skills to help the company.)
Do I sound cheesy or like I’m trying too hard to convince you? I feel like I am. That’s exactly why I didn’t spend my time talking about all that in the interview.
But let me back up. Why am I letting this get to me so much?
When I was a kid, I was quiet, submissive and often walked over because I didn’t stand up for myself much. Growing up, people would always say “you’re too nice!”. “You care too much!” “You’re too short!” (Had to throw that last one in there – it was a constant!) I assumed everyone else was smarter than me. Thanks to Susan Cain and her book “Quiet Revolution” I learned about introverts (AKA myself!) and how to use introversion as a positive thing. It’s helped me develop a thicker skin and come out of my childhood “shell”, no longer thinking I had to agree with everyone else. No longer assuming I’m quiet and therefore not valuable.
I have opinions and I like to share them honestly and without much censoring, which you’ve probably noticed as I’ve begun writing a bit about pregnancy. It’s making me wonder if here on the blog, I’m putting a negative impression out in my writing instead of inspiring in an honest way.
If you don’t know me and you’re reading my writing, maybe you mistake my sarcasm for meanness or a lack of empathy. I know I’m sarcastic and sassy sometimes, but that’s not the core of my heart. I write because I want to share with people and help them feel motivated or see another point of view or be inspired to live their best life, if I can have any tiny part in that. I want to make people laugh. I want to make people happy.
With some introspection, I noticed that tough love is what works for me and I guess maybe I’ve been dishing it out a lot here lately. But you know I care, right? Does that make you think I don’t care about people?
I CARE ABOUT YOU! And hey, I’m not looking for you to comment and say “Oh Kara, they suck, you’re great!”. I just want to make sure you know that I CARE.
I’m struggling with the line between being a woman who is “too nice” and a woman who’s “a bitch” because she doesn’t want to get walked all over or torn down…while still wanting people to feel loved and appreciated, no matter who they are. And still wanting to share my honest opinions. I’m starting to feel like I’m missing the point, though.