Yesterday I went to orientation for my new job.
Different people from different departments came to tell us about different policies and procedures. The facilities person talked about safety. The payroll person talked about payroll. The benefits person talked about benefits. Etc. It was a little boring, but it was fine. The organization provided lunch. There weren't many of us new hires. All in all, it was pretty uneventful.
Until HR came to talk about HR stuff.
The guy came in the room, sat down, and introduced himself by saying how many kids he had.
That's what had been missing all day. I hadn't heard anyone talk about their children. How funny that it was a guy that was the one to do so. Anyway, so he went on about his kids, their ages, blah blah blah. It was easy to tune him out.
Maybe I'm sounding callous, but he didn't say anything about himself. He only defined himself through his children. It's just a limited way of thinking. Ok, maybe I sound judgmental. I admittedly have very little patience when someone I just meet talks only about their children.
Then he turned to the rest of us. Asked us to introduce ourselves. But he didn't let us guide our own introductions. He asked us questions individually. He asked us if we had children.
What in the world...
He got to the woman next to me and asked where she was from and what her job was going to be. He asked if she had any kids. She smiled, said yes, and listed off the ages of her sons.
Then he turned to me. The first thing he asked was, "Do you have any family?" I could have easily said that, yes, I moved here with my boyfriend and that we are very happy here. But I didn't want to give him that. So I just answered his question the best I knew how.
Him: "Do you have any family?"
Me: "Yes... I have parents."
(pause, a little awkward)
Me: "And sisters..."
(slightly longer pause,
a little more awkward)
Him: "Do you have any kids?"
(much longer pause,
I didn't say anything else. No explanation. No elaboration.
He didn't say anything either. He seemed uncomfortable. He moved on.
I thought about how far I'd come. I thought about how his questions would have made me sad in the past, how they would have made me mad just a year or two ago, and how I found them absurdly funny in the moment.
I am so thankful for my progress in recovery.
I am so dang thankful for my healing.