Tag Archives: community

Hi. My Name is Michelle. I’m Normal.

14 Sep

Hi. My name is Michelle. I’m normal.

And that is absolutely wonderful.

I had a moment today at work at which point I felt at home with this fact. I can’t say how many times I’m either fighting for others to respect me as a professional as well as a human being, or feeling like the expectation is there that I am some God among men who must know everything there is to know.

Neither side is accurate, and I think more people need to understand that about themselves.

I once told a friend never let someone make you question your worth. I think it goes without saying that I am a professional, and I do know what I’m talking about. If I don’t, I will not hesitate to ask questions. I am fully capable of acknowledging my shortcomings. Too many people, myself included, get caught in this place where you don’t feel respected, and instead of acknowledging that is the other persons problem, we internalize that and make it our own.

On the flip side, professionals also get caught up in this power trip that simply because you have an area of specialty, you know everything there is to know. You become that person that doesn’t respect anyone without your specialty. I’m guilty of this, too, but I try to keep it in check as much as possible. I like to do this by empowering those people around me to know the same things I know, and gain the knowledge I can provide. After all, there is no meaning to life without the ability to exchange, teach, and acquire knowledge.  I might liken this to the use of the Oxford comma. If I was to review a paper someone wrote, I would very much like to go through and make sure that every list had the Oxford comma. If I asked a senior staff member to do the same paper, he would undoubtedly want to go through and make sure that every Oxford comma was removed. I would never tell the writer of this paper that the Oxford comma was the right way and leave it at that. I would make sure that I told them the Oxford comma is correct, but the lack of one is also correct, and while my preference is the former, they have the ability to choose which they use.

So here I am. Normal. I have a lot to learn, but I also know a fair amount. I have no reason to expect that I am better or worse than anyone else. Respect me, and I’ll respect you. Show me, teach me, help me. And I’ll return the favor.

I’m quite happy with that.

What makes you normal?