Saying No

I usually work 12:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. writing news for T.V. This afternoon, before going to bed I checked my voice mail. - a message from my direct boss. He was asking me to come in tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. instead. The only problem - I legitimately cannot do it.

Tomorrow is my only day to get a major task done. I can't on Sunday because the place I have to go will be closed and by Monday it will be too late.

My response to the voice mail - anger, anger that he would expect me to change my plans for his at last minute. sadness, sadness because I can't do it. helplessness, because I feel like I'm supposed, like I have to.

I felt so bad that I could not do it. It's not my fault I can't do it - I have things I have to do outside of work. I don't work on-call, I can't be prepared to go into work at any moment of the day. Why do I feel so bad? I feel awful - like I've caused this huge problem because I can't change my entire day.

The only reason I'm blogging about this now is because of Oprah. Of course, Oprah. A couple of weeks ago her show was dedicated to the book Women, Food, and God. During the course of the interview, Oprah admitted to feeling the need to eat after saying 'no' to someone. She connected the feeling to her relationship with her dad as a child, never wanting to disappoint him. I thought nothing of it at the time - not until I had the similar urge to eat today. I felt so guilty for saying no. I felt like I had done something wrong. I hate letting people down (whether or not they care about me).

Unlike Oprah, I don't think my issue with saying no stems from a desire to please my dad. I think it has something to do with the fact that I'm obsessed with being perfect. I want to be some kind of superwoman, flying around fixing everyone's problems and writing their newscasts. If saying no makes me not perfect, how about I do something else that makes me not perfect -- eat.


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