Who are we all, anyway?

5 Jul

Alaska, two gray wolves at the forests edge.

Yesterday was our company conference.

This means that my day started super early at a hotel in central London, making small talk and eating stupidly small croissants. We then had a whole day of “exploratory” exercises that were meant to help us decipher who we are as individuals, and as a business. The day was run by an external company. I (and most other people) took an instant dislike to the man running it. Ugh. He made my skin crawl. He was a fat man on a massive ego trip, and also a man incapable of referencing any success story (business or otherwise) that featured a woman. He also misquoted Steve Jobs. Repeatedly.

It has to be said – the feedback from most people was that the highlight of the day was a five-minute presentation I gave in the afternoon which compared our important marketing work to the work of Dr Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy, and then went on to assign “animal spirits” that illustrate our company culture. In case you’re wondering, we are penguins, wolves and cats.

I’m just showing off, but the point is, the rest of the day felt simulated, manipulated and very, very inauthentic.

What was authentic, was sitting in a pub sixteen hours later, drinking wine and talking about life and love and – essentially – who we are with two of my colleagues. One, a man, married, in his early 50s, once divorced already. The other a girl, around my age, very recently married. And then me. Single as a hungry mole.

We were discussing our own love lives. I was telling them more about the pizza of doom. The guy was discussing his first marriage. The girl was talking about how different she and her husband are, and how that helps them to fit. It was deep, dude. And we were all agreeing that life and love take all kinds of different shapes, but none is less relevant than the rest. Nobody is less important because of their circumstances. What is important is that you’re happy.

In the past few weeks, I feel happy again. My heart feels glad. I’m sure you’ve noticed a change in my posts. I’ve certainly noticed a change in my ability to keep mascara on my face.

Now, this brings me back to the wolf animal spirit. You might be wondering what that was all about. Perhaps it sounds ferocious or brave. But, no, the wolves are a symbol of support. We have a fiercely supportive culture in my company. Just like a pack of wolves, in which everyone has a role. In a pack of wolves, there are hunters, protectors, there are even wolves who play the clown to keep everyone’s spirits up. They all do their thing well, and I’ll bet that their wolfy self-esteem is all hooked up in that. They don’t need to aspire to be anyone else because the other wolves value them for being exactly who they are. And that’s got to feel good. Everyone wants to be loved for being themselves, right?

Likewise, in my company we all have our own roles to play. Our niches. Whether we’re creative, or best at strategy, or building client relationships, or project management, we find what we’re good at and we do that. To the very best of our abilities.

Which is kind of how it is in life, right? Clearly, I have missed the boat on being one of those girls with the perfect love story. But that doesn’t mean I’m not perfect (imperfections and all) just the way I am.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Who are we all, anyway?”

  1. halfpastthirty July 6, 2014 at 1:48 am #

    You haven’t missed the boat, honey. You’re just waiting for your love story to begin 🙂

    • aprileb July 6, 2014 at 8:58 am #

      Awww, thank you! Best comment ever. x

  2. elizabethhiggins July 6, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

    Hahaha you make me laugh April. I wouldn’t focus on the boring fat man, I would instead focus on the fact that you are important enough to give a presentation in front of a bunch of people in a hotel in LONDON. I am so jealous. See how important you are?

    • aprileb July 7, 2014 at 6:32 am #

      Thank you, lovely. Ugh. You would have hated that boring, fat men too, though. What an ego. What a pervert! Anyway, any opportunity I have to give a presentation that I can manipulate to be about animals and Grey’s Anatomy is all good in my book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: