I have a lot of trouble saying no. Part of it is my freelance background. I never know when the next project will show up so I can't turn anything down. This has created some periods of feasting that were too much too handle. A few winters back I got the green light on 3 Chronicle projects (literally 3 days in a row) all due 4 months later. I ended up in the hospital halfway through, laptop bedside, working the whole time. Another part of me hates disappointing people. There's my need to be liked. And then the hard-to-shake anorexic mindset that I can do everything. With no help.
So saying no last night to an intriguing opportunity was exceedingly hard. My ego is having a field day, in fact I think it hired a cheerleading squad to pound my failure into me. I knew it wasn't a realistic situation to pursue. It would have been a huge time committment working with people I don't know on a project that hadn't been thought out based on a point of view I didn't quite get.
I've learned serious lessons this particular go-round. I have to believe wholeheartedly in what I put my energy into. I have to work with people I like and trust. Professional relationships should stay just that. I don't need everyone to like me. I have a far stronger backbone than anyone gave me credit for, including myself. I fight, hard, for what I think is right.
And my skin is still thin.
I sent a couple of gracious emails to those I declined and they weren't received particularly well. I know I'll be spinning that, along with the thought that this was the last opportunity anyone will ever give me for anything for at least the rest of the day.
Sigh. Day 27 is fraught with self-doubt.