Ideas and Musings

A Rabid Competence

I woke up this morning feeling great.  Fabulous.  So utterly awesome that I whipped through a third of the Microsoft C# training program, and that was after I spent time on the Liveedge Online documentation.  That’s right.  Karin, right in the Driver’s seat.  Well straddling it actually.  My ass was just not in the mood to sit still, like it has anything to do with programming….  There I was legs spread wide so tht I could still type while standing.  Banging away at the keyboard.  Running exercises.  Watching videos.  Fast forwarding the training liberally while yelling “YES!  I know this!  Tell me something I don’t know!”  And then came the gems of wisdom.  Usually about how to use the IDE Visual Studio Express.  Whoopee!  I am COMPETENT!

‘Course this was after yesterday when I was completely exhausted but totally jazzed about the event on Sunday that I was central to in coordinating.  The project management part of the event was simple.  No way could just that cause this intensity of jazz hands flashing people as I drive by, no way.  No, what jazzed me was that it worked.  It was a community event and like most community events, everyone wants to have a say in it.  I spent 2 months trying to convince people the validity of the form of the event.  Then the event happened and it rocked!

Yesterday I went on a walk with a friend and I was all over the place, I was so jazzed up.  Fierce.  I was a Fierce Creature.  And I enjoyed the feeling, even though I have no idea what she thought about it. 🙂

So fierce that I had to step back and look at the whole thing.  Yes, self-improvement, self-actualization, Karin in her process, took over and had to start poking at the phenomena.  You’d think I could leave it alone…..naw…..fodder for growth.

I realized that the reason I was so jazzed was because I had proved, at least to myself, that I was still competent.  I came to understand that I’d actually been depressed for a while without knowing it or why.  I have been out of work now for 11 months.  I know, I know, a lot of people are in the same boat, but this is me I’m talking about.  The world changed and it seemed like I was not so competent anymore.  This messed with my sense of self and my self-esteem.  I equate my self-worth with my competence.

And I have been competent.  My whole life.  I have to be able to do my job, and do it well.  I have to be able to figure problems out and find solutions.  I have to be able to communicate those problems and solutions to others.  And I’ve been very, very good at it.  I have to be able to do it myself and not depend upon others.  Unless I’m leading the team and I’m directing those others.

Not that a lot of that hasn’t changed.  I now depend greatly of forums and other people for information and solutions.  If there is an open-source solution out there already, I don’t try to re-invent the wheel.  There’s no reason to stand there beating my head on a problem when someone else already knows the answer.  Plus, I get to give them the gift of letting them help me.  They are competent, talented people!

But the fierceness I feel when I feel competent concerns me.  I don’t like it that my self-worth is dependent upon how competent I feel.  I want my self-worth to depend upon nothing other than I exist.  I guess this all comes back to my right to exist, doesn’t it?  Damn it!  Who do I have to screw to have this issue be resolved?  Damn!

I don’t want to return to a life of rabid competence.  I was starting to get used to being just another human being and enjoying it.  (Don’t tell my ego that though).  I want to just know that I am competent and that my situation has nothing to do with that.  That I have self-worth just by virtue of existing.  I would rather have a fierceness of life rather than a fierceness of proving my right to exist.