Did I really use the word “awesome” during a business meeting? Um, yes, I did, and as soon as it slipped out of my mouth I wanted to take it back, tuck it away and pretend I never used it. Really, couldn’t I have thought of a better word to describe an idea, especially during a business meeting with a, well, a grown-up?
Like, no, I couldn’t, because the idea was, like, awesome. And since, like, I live amongst teenagers who speak in teenage tongue, I couldn’t, like, pull another adjective from the language bag floating somewhere OUTSIDE of my brain.
This is what happens when you spend more time with sweet, tiny human beings who grow into teenagers than you do with full-grown adults. Your vocabulary shrinks to a tiny pool of silly adjectives. See that? I used the word “tiny” and “silly” to describe my limited vocabulary.
This could be a problem, as I’m slowly inching my way back to working full-time among the real folk, the adults who’ve had years of practice speaking to each other in well thought-out sentences.
I’ve been on hiatus, living among a four-legged canine that barks at me all day long to get what she wants, and three children, two of whom are fleeing (Freudian slip, I mean flying) the nest in less than a month. My kids aren’t around much anymore, because teenagers are only home to eat, sleep and ask for money, but I’ve been living and breathing their worlds 24/7 for the past 18 years.
I’ve been working part-time, yes, but it’s been in a professional bubble called my home office, where the business attire doesn’t get much snazzier than a T-shirt and sweatpants. Make-up? Forget it. You’re more likely to see a dab of ZAPZYT© acne cream lingering in the middle of my forehead than a fresh coat of mascara on my lashes. I munch on bowls of Vanilla Wafers and handfuls of chocolate chips while sitting crisscross applesauce on my office chair. I write, create, strategize and pitch stories. I participate in online meetings and webinars, and communicate via email and social media.
But every so often I must emerge from my bubble and converse with real, live human beings. That can be scary.
Honestly, it’s good to be back in that game again. The need to interact with fellow human beings during the workday is real, and doing so makes me a better professional. Probably a better mother, too.
I can only hope that one day my ability to speak on my feet in front of a real, live person – without sounding like a teenager describing the latest blockbuster movie – will catch up with my enthusiasm to be back in the real working world. Then again, I’m still sitting crisscross applesauce in my office chair, so maybe not.