Yesterday was a working lunch. In other words, my work provides lunch and we eat while we continue our meeting. I hate working lunches. I despise them. Yesterday had me desiring to run away, to cry, to swear. Thankfully I was at a table of people I'm fairly comfortable with which eased my tension a little. I always feel like people are watching me eat and it makes me really uncomfortable. Which really, especially here where no one knows about my past, probably isn't happening.
At least this meal was Panera so it was sandwiches and salad rather than pizza or bbq. Having healthy options should have made it easier but for some reason yesterday's lunch was still harder than usual. My friend now works with me. She sits in the cubicle next to me. I really like having her there. I was scared at first to have her there because having her there crosses the line of keeping work and personal separate.
It means that someone in my office knows that some days I don't eat. It means that someone in my office not only knows about it but was the one to get the text saying that I was in the hospital under 72 hour watch nearly two years ago. It means that someone at work knows about things I don't want to share at work about my past.
It also means yesterday when I was staring at my food contemplating for a few moments running away, that I got a quick touch on the knee and a concerned, "You ok?" Wow. That was a life giving moment. I still excused myself to my cubicle to cry for a minute or two but I came back to my meeting and was able to eat the lunch. That simple gesture helped me bring my head back in the game.
Maybe I still feel like everyone noticed my plate because I noticed someone else's. I noticed the woman who ate only half of her sandwich (which they were half sandwiches to begin with) and gave her salad away and never ate dessert. Maybe I feel it because I couldn't stop my leg from shaking violently once the food time arrived. That was probably more of a tell than my plate.
I feel vulnerable. Not necessarily in a bad way but still vulnerable. I feel like there will come a point that my story is going to be asked about and as I've said before, if you ask, I don't lie. I am a little afraid of that but I'm learning that I trust majority of the people in my office. I want to be known and at the same time I want to be invisible. It is a scary spot.
I also yesterday realized that I think God brought me here to prepare me for what is next in my life. I hope to work with this organization for a very long time. I love it, I'm passionate about it, I feel called to be where I am. I also feel like the stretching and growing that will happen here is to prepare me for the next step. I don't know if that step will be within this organization or outside of it but I feel fairly convinced that this is training ground. That is exciting and terrifying all in one breath.
And today I can eat lunch alone if I wish, with no one watching me. Even if I do eat with others, knowing I don't have to eases the anxiety a hundred times over.