After all you put me through,
you think I'd despise you.
But, in the end, I wanna thank you,
'cause you've made me that much stronger.
I think Christina Aguilera--er, excuse me, Xtina--is probably a Slytherin.
Perhaps not these days, but definitely in the late 90s and early 2000s. She's a yellow python at the VMAs away from certainty.
Between her overt sexual nature, diva drive, and resourceful, ambitious spirit, I think she might be a pop star straight outta my house, plucked from the same tree, cut from the same (green and silver) cloth. I had this particular revelation during my run this afternoon around Lake Harriet.
Specifically, it happened during this song.
Don't worry, take a listen/watch, what you're about to read can wait.
Ignoring the fact that this video is a hot mess of, ahem, interesting outfit choices and a cesspool of egomania, this is probably one of my very favorite songs from the most influential songstress of my adolescence. (That's not an exaggeration. I can literally pinpoint four different moments of middle and high school that her albums warped my world. Alas, that's a story for another day.)
Let me quickly tell you about my day. An early one, into the office before eight, ready to get a good head start on the new summer hours at Scarletta.
Half-day Fridays? Fine by me!
And the office was lovely, almost all day. I felt productive and on top of my game; I felt efficient and ahead of the curve. We are currently prepping for the biggest trade show we attend all year, and I feel like everything might actually be coming together, and that is a lovely change from last year's nail-biting, nerve-wracking countdown. The rain, though beautiful, was dissipating, making room for some sunshine to burn through the clouds. The wind was subsiding, barely, and the city was beginning to regain some of the warmth from the weekend. Lunch was spectacular. Progress was palpable. Books were selling. Books were printing. Submissions were flying out the doors.
Because isn't there always?
It crashed. And, I swear, the rain started back up, the wind actually howled, and the city froze over. (Well, okay, fine, the city didn't freeze over. But I swear the rest happened just as I've written.)
It was a frustrating interaction with another person at work. Opinions were exchanged, one-sidedly respected and heard, and, then, condescended and ignored from the other.
I'll give one golden dollar coin to whoever can guess which side I was on!
It's a frustrating thing to work alongside someone you don't feel respects what you have to say or holds your thoughts and opinions in any sort of regard. I sincerely do my best to be understanding and fair and empathetic to whatever it is I hear from others. And when those same sort of sentiments are not returned, even remotely, I tend to feel particularly agitated. Add that to my severe distaste for conflict, and it's more or less a recipe for one exceedingly uncomfortable hour.
Basically: I've asserted something is going to work and be beneficial. The other party has rebuked that notion right out. I have always been open to try new ideas or listen to other thoughts or engage in different experiences with whatever this person has brought to the plate. Period. I've tried and learned and given in and grown. The lack of reciprocity is just exceptionally hard to deal with.
So when I left work, I was feeling understandably frustrated.
And then, during my run, Fighter came on over Spotify.
And all I could think, with every foot that hit the asphalt, ever imprint my shoes made in the dirt, was "thank you" 'cause it...
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Made me that much smarter.
So thanks for making me a fighter.
I don't know if Christina Aguilera is actually a Slytherin, even if her fashion sense and 90s sex appeal would have me believe it is so.
But I do know that I am.
And if that is indication of how this interaction is going to pan out over the next few days, you can chalk me up to for three points of resolve, two points of sarcasm, and another four in the category of ambition.
I don't harbor any animosity or ill-will. That's not me.
Still, I am stubborn.
And I am ready to brawl.