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Exposing myself

August 18th, 2009 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Issues | Personal

A year and a half ago, Joe and I were ready to leave the city so that we could both find jobs without worrying about knowing how to speak and write French. Then, through a whirlwind of activity, we both landed in jobs here – his permanent and mine continually extended until I became permanent by default.

I have struggled in my job at times – a lot at the beginning and now only occasionally – but I have been very proud of my ability to push through and figure things out for myself. A lot of the stuff I’ve done in this job was thrust upon me with little or no explanation and I, being me, was too bull-headed or embarrassed to ask how to do something or where to find something, so I just found a way.

Now I’m permanent. Cemented in this position and looking around to see where I might be able to move in this organization – but I still don’t like telling people where I work. When I meet new people I usually tell them where I get my paycheque from generally instead of where I work specifically, because I’m always fearful of that reaction – that look of mocking or disgust that could be there, depending on the crowd I’m in.

Even on Twitter, while I’m becoming more open about where I work and what I do, I’m still not ready for people to know exactly where I work and what I do. I don’t want to be judged and I don’t want people assuming that what I think is what my bosses think (or vice versa). I don’t want to get in trouble for being me and I don’t want anyone else to get in trouble for anything I say. If I could be a bit more vague.

I work in politics. The first day I went to work in January 2008 I stopped myself twice before I hit the elevator button. As far as I’m concerned, working where I do changes everything. It’s something I may be judged for during every job interview in my future (assuming I don’t stay with the party for the rest of my life). It’s weird for me to have my beliefs right our there with my ID badge. It’s weird that people assume that I subscribe to everything the party says or does – which I don’t, I don’t even understand how someone could.

But still…

There are days when I feel so proud. I go to work and something happens and I get to feel as though I’m making a real difference somehow. I’m doing something important. There are days when I feel very lucky to be so close to where things happen in Canada, and there are days when it does nothing but frustrate me. There are days when I feel very lucky to be involved so heavily in something I’m so interested in – something I have cared about for so long. And there are days when I wish I cared a lot less – except that the people who don’t care are the cause of most of my frustration.

And every day I hope that my daughter will find something that makes her as angry and as frustrated, because then I will know that she feels as passionate.

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