Today has been a humbling day.

This week has been a washing machine. Spin cycle after spin cycle. I started the week with an awful head cold. On Tuesday I had a brutal, unfair and humiliating meeting where my mentor and boss treated me, my work partner, and another boss with complete disrespect and cruelty. I went home, cried, and told my boyfriend I wanted to quit my job, and I had too much to drink, and I woke up mad at myself. On Wednesday I studied all day and took an exam in a class where the professor is a newbie and the workload is completely overwhelming. I came home, tired and sick, and woke up this morning, tired and sick. I had to go to work because my main project is behind. My plan was to just get through the day, work hard, and come home and curl up and take some Nyquil.

I didn't expect for my work partner to take me aside today for some real talk. The things he had to say were hard to hear. I am 25. He is 44. I hadn't really realized how wise he was before. He was gentle but he was honest. I listened to him. I have grown so much in the last three years at this difficult job, and I am proud of that, but he showed me I still have a lot of growing to do. We really connected for the first time.

I went into my other boss's office โ€” the boss who was also disrespected by my mentor โ€” and I ate humble pie. She is a new hire, too, and you know what: I have been disrespecting her. I've been letting my ego get between us. I was afraid she would mock me or gloat, but I was wrong about her. She was incredbly gracious. She gave me more good advice and we made a plan to move this project forward.

My abusive, brilliant mentor has taught me so many good things, but she has taught me to fear weakness, and I realize that I need to start learning from other people. Being vulnerable, being weak, is necessary. I feel bruised and tired but it's the pain of a good work out. This is how you get stronger. This is how you grow.

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I drove my partner home and we talked on the way. I respect him so much and now, I think he has a reason to respect me.

After he got out of the car I cried a little, but they were good tears.

Tomorrow is going to be a better day.