we can't all look like zoe kravitz

2022-02-24  egg

“I want us to be transparent with each other,” my manager tells me with unwavering eye contact. Soon after this statement I tell him that I struggle with corporate etiquette, although I'm not sure how I transitioned into that. “Yeah, me too,” he pauses, then we continue to talk about my upcoming project. I get stressed looking at him face-on and wonder if I’ve always had this problem when talking to people or whether it’s just when talking to him. He wears a blazer one day and an oversized black hoodie on another. My new team is charismatic and talented and so comfortable with each other, and it keeps my heart thrumming at a slightly elevated rate. I feel like I oscillate between giddiness and despair around them, tiny emotional dramas dragging me up and down through the work day. I’m having major impostor syndrome and keep worrying that I'm not cut out to be on this team. It feels too good to be true, and I’m worried that I’ll disappoint them and they’ll think of me with shared pity. Today as we sat at team lunch I had the distinct feeling that I was slowly starting to be lumped in with the kids’ table of the team. The other girl on the team is in her late mid/late twenties and unfairly attractive and good at engineering but she’s so nice that you can’t even resent her for it. I look at her jawline and perfectly shaped features and feel like a misshapen lump. During a conference call amongst engineering teams in our org I try inconspicuously to examine my profile in the video of our team and wonder if getting my hair cut shorter might actually be a bad idea since my cheeks are too fat. “I kind of want buccal lipo,” I text Cora, “But I think having big cheeks will help when we start aging.”