My brain is abuzz with all of the things I read and see that I want to share with you. The backlog is getting too huge to ever catch up, though, so I set up a Facebook page where I can post things that don’t make it into a SensitiveType blog post. Check it out (there’s also a link in the right sidebar).
I haven’t written much about my short-lived summer job. I meant to, but it got shuttled to the back burner by the premiere of Sensitive: The Untold Story, and other more time-sensitive topics, and by the time that was over, it was old news.
Two Roads Diverged
I felt a certain empathy for my boss and her issues, but eventually concluded they were impacting my life to an unacceptable degree. I was so proud of myself for figuring out that I needed to make a change before the need became urgent. This time, I’ll find another job first, I thought.
However, she must’ve sensed it, because she blew up out of nowhere over something trivial, and abruptly I was out of a job without a replacement income. The time since has been nerve-wracking. Each month, it has been a miracle that I managed to pay my rent. I’m pretty pissed at her. I was a good employee, and I deserved better.
Then I learned that she was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness two weeks after I left. I was shocked and saddened, of course, and I hope she survives. But I can see how very much that is a part of her path, and I can also see that I don’t need to go down that path with her, which would’ve been a lot harder to avoid if I was still working for her. Interesting timing, isn’t it? Continue reading
I am troubled by the dress code for attendance at the premiere of Sensitive: The Untold Story tonight. Yes, you read right, there’s a “business casual” dress code to attend a movie. We were informed in the same email that audience members might be filmed for the live stream.
Regular readers will remember what a revelation it was when I realized I could dress like myself at a new job. “Business casual” is exactly the standard that had kept my best-loved clothes in the closet (literally). We’re not talking studded g-strings and nipple pasties* here, just a little more color and individuality than “business casual” generally encompasses.
I made something I was particularly proud of recently, and was planning to wear it in celebration as I attended a film about my kind. I still plan to wear it, and being in San Francisco, it will probably be fine, despite the creeping Marinism**. But the unlooked for transformation of my act of self-sharing into an act of defiance takes all the joy out of it.
Coupled with the location that is not friendly to public transit, I am feeling less and less welcome at this event, and am really wondering if it is meant for me at all. I can understand the desire to put the best face on high sensory processing sensitivity at its coming out party. But how are HSPs who don’t fit the definition of “professional” supposed to feel when they are asked to put on a false front for the livestream-viewing public, as if their real selves are somehow too undesireable to be associated with the film? Wasn’t the whole point of this film to promote HSPs being who they are? Or was it?
This will be my first experience in a room full of mostly HSPs. In fact, this will be my first experience interacting in person with anyone who self-identifies as an HSP. Regular readers will know that a previous attempt at virtual interaction with other HSPs did not go so well. I have no idea what to expect, and I’m attending alone. Frankly, I’m scared.
* Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but scanty outfits would obviously be inconsiderate attire for an HSP event, as they would cause everyone else in the room to feel cold.
** Marin County, home to Elaine Aron, is known for being one of the most affluent and least racially diverse counties in the greater San Francisco Bay area.
Elaine Aron, as my HSP readers may know, is the leading researcher on high sensory processing sensitivity. A year or so ago she took a look at the advancement of awareness about HSPS and decided it “wasn’t happening fast enough.” I imagine she would like to retire, but wants to ensure that the research and education is carried on.
The result was a film, Sensitive, The Untold Story, which premieres in San Francisco in September. You can see the trailer here, and buy tickets here.
I initially watched the development of this project with some trepidation, since public perception of me and every other HSP may be shaped by it for years to come. I am deeply grateful to Elaine Aron for the research that changed my life, but media savviness is not her strongest suit. However, many other people, including HSP Alanis Morissette have participated in this project (of course, with HSPs, it would be highly collaborative), so at this point, I am just curious to see what they have come up with.
I was touched by the trailer. Continue reading
Much has happened since I last posted. My first month in my new consulting career was pretty good. My second month was slower, but I figured there would be ups and downs at the beginning. However, when I had zero clients in month three, I realized I’d drastically overestimated demand, or else drastically underestimated how much promotion I’d need to do. Before I had time to figure out which, my tottering finances crashed. Continue reading
3 years ago, I sat down in the middle of my life and refused to budge until I figured out why it wasn’t working.
I have learned a lot about myself since then.
I have learned that I am an introvert
I have learned that I’m an HSP, and what that is. These days, I think of myself as a “deep engager.” I’m not sure how much of that is introvert, how much is HSPS, and how much is my unique personality, but wherever it comes from, it’s a good description.
These days, I think of myself as a “deep engager.”
This improved self-understanding has allowed me to acknowledge without shame or apology that the following characteristics in a job make me miserable:
Good news! I finally hit on something I already have skill in, that I can set up a consulting shingle for immediately. I had my first client yesterday. I was able to solve all of her problems. She was thrilled, and already wants to schedule another appointment for additional consulting.
I never considered consulting on this topic as a profession before because it’s a deep, deep topic, and my knowledge level is intermediate at best. However, as many, many of the create-your-own-worklife blogs I’ve been reading point out, you don’t need to know everything, you only need to know more than your client. I had forgotten how I struggled with the same knowledge when it was all new to me, how arcane and incomprehensible it all seemed. And being both a midwesterner by birth, and a woman, I am the last to see my own expertise in anything.
I am pretty excited, as money is coming in immediately (and not a moment too soon).