“I Hate Working With Her Because She Forces my Evolution”
For love, friendship, and forced growth with C. Befoune.
I like to think of myself as opinionated. Except, I don’t dismiss reasonable views easily. I hold strong opinions and I swing them whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Usually, this opportunity doesn’t. So, I have to create it. And this, my friend, is the story of why I became a writer.
I’m a terrible team player. I’m just too much of an individualist. I love my space. I love the freedom that comes with being able to take a decision and not be accountable to anyone.
As a knowledge worker, unaccountability and freedom of action is a deadly combination. It ensures progress is never achieved and that at the slightest exposure to: boredom, the mundane of any level of [necessary] challenge, I quit.
For someone like me, without self-awareness, feedback from the community and my tribe, it’s almost certain that potential will never be transformed into action. I am painfully aware of this. Daily.
I still don’t like people. I don’t enjoy being accountable. I don’t enjoy explaining myself to anyone. I don’t enjoy being wrong. Remember “no one man is an island” ? Whoever said that didn’t meet me.
It’s not because of “the global village”. It’s not because we’re in an increasingly connected community that I need to fit in, and find my place. My change of heart isn’t a desire to “belong”. I don’t mind not belonging.
But if you spend enough time with yourself, you find that common thread: the intrinsic call to be part of a larger whole. The more I read, the more I delve into my whys, my raison d’etre, the more the inevitability of belonging begets action.
Like Henry David Thoreau, we all have a social conscience wherever we go. Even when we leave our versions of Concord, Massachusetts disdainful of America’s growing commercialism and industrialism.
I cannot not belong.
Even if I cannot stand large groups of people for too long. Even if I need to recharge after every meeting. Even if my level of mental exhaustion reaches alarming lows whenever I engage in conversations that last too long in physical proximity to other homo sapiens.
That’s why the friends I’ve made in the past two years (and a few from decades ago) have been very instrumental in my evolution as a human, and as an opinionated thinker.
Sometimes, I like to consider myself as a hater. I have strong opinions about certain topics, and I do not mind leaving the conversation when the other party gets emotional.
Writing is giving away a piece of one’s soul. It’s a noble act. A gift to mankind. Freezing thoughts and lives…medium.com
One thing I know to be true, is that growth comes with a certain level of discomfort: leaving my room, backing my claims to a naysayer, writing about my ideas even though I could be laughed at, publishing poems which may be misconstrued, saying ‘no’ to hangouts when my human contact threshold is reached.
In order to be the person I want to be, I need to show-up, own up and take action.
I haven’t come to terms with the fact that I need other humans to see myself. I haven’t come to terms with the fact that I am not a machine. That I lose confidence, I despair, I get sad, I find blocks, I lack topics to write about, I write shitty drafts, I say stupid things, I get insensitive, I bear grudges, and I don’t work out as regularly as I’d like.
What can I say? I’m just a guy. You know? *smiles*
Teamwork has been an exceptional pointer for me.
Working with a smart, brilliant, evolving, talented, knowledge hungry woman — on the constant quest for growth and perfection, has a way of keeping you at the edge of your seat.
It’s not just how much empathy you need to muster to listen to a view opposing yours, then, deploy all your salesmanship to communicate your point of view, and in my case, while maintaining your sanity.
It’s also in those moments when silence in the only answer.
When pain transcends networks, when “You’ll be fine” beats all speeches. When “Are you okay?” makes the day worth it.
The worst kind of argument, I’ve come to believe, are those with smart, opinionated people. People with whom I share a lot of similarities: we’re learning from multiple sources, never satisfied with what we know, and constantly testing our ideas with our peers for validation and subsequent implementation into the appropriate direction.
Anne Marie is my teammate on Self-ish. What started as a WhatsApp conversation led to an invaluable friendship, long nights of memorable conversations, 1000+ followers on Medium, improved personal growth, and a compass for the life we want to lead.
We’re very similar (as you might have noticed above). Yet, it’s our differences that make me cherish our bond more. We’ve had fights. Which family doesn’t fight? As cliché as it sounds, I’m more grateful for the times we had intense disagreements, than when things went well. I’m grateful for the openness of spirit she forces me to have. I’m grateful for her grounded perspective on audience development and the strategies around content growth and marketing.
In her “dumbness” she expresses a clarity of mind that makes me reconsider my decisions and hones in on what’s truly important and what isn’t.
I hate working with her because she forces my evolution. She kicks me out of illusions and helps me up from depressive bouts. She’s the elder sister I made by myself.
For a woman who is pleased to say she isn’t a feminist, she doesn’t want to have children, and admits her shortcoming on the interwebs while struggling with her personal growth and the image of the person she wants to be ( Oprah), Anne Marie has a way of endearing you into loving her.
Elle Citoyenne est un média citoyen axé sur l'éducation en matière de participation citoyenne, et la valorisation de l…ellecitoyenne.com
I just can’t help it. I love this woman. There, I said it.
It’s been a long year and a half of collaboration, with ups and downs. Highs and lows. Bad times and good times. Worst times too.
And she’s grown a year older. Which, by the way, was the whole point of this post but I got carried away with my love for Anne Marie.
Happy belated birthday mother of Self-ish. Even though the last time I met you was the first time I met you, I’ll always be grateful for the day we met. It feels like I’ve known you forever.
Go, and be Anne Marie C. Befoune- her, who bleeds.
Your friend (and not-so-secret love),