The Day I Was Asked to Move

woman pointingHonestly, I have struggled with low self-worth and marginal self-confidence since moving to Seattle two and a half years ago. I have worked my entire adult life, pulling in a decent paycheck to cover my expenses plus a few extras. Now that I am the new girl in a city where I have few friends with a business that is relatively unknown, I am making about zero. Although I am taking excellent care of my family, I am equating my business net worth with my personal self-worth. I know this is the wrong way of viewing it, but it is a difficult mindset to alter.

I was recently asked to attend a $150 per plate (suggested donation) luncheon for the second year. I am new to Seattle, and although this is a hefty sum for my business, I accepted because, me forever being the optimist, you never know who you will meet and the connections you might make.

My table captain texted me the day of the event telling me she had oversold the table by one and that I would be sitting nearby. I was not bothered because I knew I could make good connections regardless of where I sat. I arrived uncharacteristically early to see I was not only one of the first to my table, but I was also sitting at the table of my original table captain. Great!

I settled in and I began chatting with each person as they arrived. I was delighted to see one lady I recognized from last year, and I waved and smiled as I drawled, “Heeeey!!!” across the table. I was having a nice time!

About five minutes before the program was to begin, I noticed a small hubbub off to the side. My table captain and another lady were speaking to each other. Suddenly, my table captain asked me from across the table if I would move so this other lady could sit down. I was stunned and embarrassed. I quietly told the gentleman seated to my left I was being asked to move, and I quickly gathered my belongings and vacated the seat.

As I sat one table over in my new seat, I was rattled and hurt. The little self-worth I had remaining was spent. I felt tears welling up despite telling myself not to be upset. That’s when I knew I had to leave to avoid making a scene. As discreetly as I could, I left with my $150 check still in my wallet, and I cried in my car all the way home. As I recounted the story to my husband that evening, I cried some more.

To be made to feel you are not welcome, not good enough or not important hurts beyond description. To be fair to my table captain, her actions were not a personal attack. She was simply accommodating those who had been long-time supporters at this event. However, I was taught one makes the newcomer feel the most welcomed of all.

Because I am an optimist and I look for lessons in the trials of life, here are three things I took away from this difficult day:

  • Know your place at the table. You may not be good enough to be at one person’s table, but you sit at the head of your own table and you have the seat of honor at many tables of those around you. One person’s opinion of you does not define you.

 

  • Keep saying yes. Do not allow one bad experience to send you into hiding. Keep your head up, remain true to yourself and continue to accept invitations that come your way. Keeping your heart open is a vulnerable position, but closing your heart is damaging to you and to those around you.

 

  • Remember the lesson when it’s your turn. One day I will be the table captain so to speak. That will be my opportunity to handle the situation differently, making all in my company feel as though they are the most important person in the room.

 

Bethany2015-8795Parting thought: If one day you are asked to move (either literally or figuratively), my advice would be to do so quietly and gracefully, holding onto the knowledge that you are valuable beyond measure.

30 thoughts on “The Day I Was Asked to Move

  1. I love this post. It really touched me and they are some great lessons to learn from an awful experience. Keep being the optimist, Bethany!!

  2. Bethany you see good in everyone. Those people who asked you to move over did not realize how much it was hurtful to you as a newcomer. This is a very good example of what can happen to newcomers to the city. I admire you very much and your sense of fairness.

  3. Bethany, u are so lovely and talented and seem so self confident. I had no idea u were struggling and apologize for not being more actively supporting. I probably would have stayed and eaten my dinner, all the rolls in the basket, and any non claimed desserts I could find. But u are such a true lady. I am proud of you, my dear cousin, Southern in Seattle. Keep on setting the best example to those around u and let Jesus shine in u! Love, lu, p.s. let me know if I need to take mother’s walking stick after anybody! You know she loved u so!

  4. Beautifully presented–humbly, gracefully, and with dignity!
    I understand beyond measure. I will tell you one day! I think your blog will soon open a new world of professional success and achievement. You will also reach many that could not arrange or afford a personal consultation, giving them the inner and outer beauty you seized.

  5. Powerfully written Bethany and such a tactless thing for that woman to do. I am not so much of a lady and probably would have said something about everyone’s worth being equal but I admire your decorum and the lesson you took from this. I am SO delighted you are in Seattle and I hope you are starting to find the community you are looking for because it’s definitely here.

    Much love,
    -Rebecca

    BloggerNotBillionaire.con

  6. You are an inspiration and always finding the good and lesson
    in every situation! I’m so very happy to be on this journey with you in this new city as a fellow Dallas new-comer! I seriously can’t imagine what it would have been like without you! It was definitely a “God thing.” I think that might be a southern saying too. 🙂 Keep on spreading the light you do so naturally. I’m here for you! If anything like that happens again, I’ll be waiting with a cocktail!

    1. Oh, thank you, friend! I don’t know how I made it 1-1/2 years here w/o a fashion buddy! Amanda was so sweet to be your stand in until you arrived. :)) Thank you for reading this and for the sweet comments. I will take that cockail *anytime!*

  7. Dear Bethany,
    You can’t imagine how you struck a chord with this powerful, honest, graceful post. I am sorry you had to go through this absolutely inelegant and rude treatment. However, i bow to your resilience and taking the high road, your tribe awaits…. let’s have coffee soon. XO

  8. I seriously understand all of this. I’m tearing up for you. And now I’m going to text you so that we can set up a date. You can be the captain of our table.

  9. I loved reading this, as difficult as it was to conceive of. The comments as well are insightful as they indicate all of us have endured similar experiences at one time or another. The world of events can be fun and rewarding and also jarring and unsettling at times. Yes, there will come a time when your host will find herself in a circumstance where she is the uncomfortable guest; hopefully she will have someone like you at the helm to guide her in a polite manner so she can learn how it’s done.
    We all have moments where we are moved to step aside for someone more “important” and what matters is how we handle it, and you walked that tightrope better than I would have. Congratulations to you for that smart move. Use your wisdom to negotiate encounters with your host moving forward. Love you!

  10. Thank you for writing a post that is so vulnerable and “REAL”!!! From reading your posts on fb, I never would have known that you were feeling this way.

    I have moved MANY times and it is always stressful and difficult. As you may or may not know, I lived in Seattle area for 2 years while I was an Image Consultant also. I left a thriving business so that my husband could explore an opportunity. I found Seattle a very difficult place to be an Image Consultant. I had one woman tell me that she loved living there because no one cared what they looked like and she could wear jeans and flannel shirts where ever she went! You do know that “Grunge” started in Seattle!!! I moved from the Midwest and it was an adjustment for me, I can’t imagine moving from Dallas!! ( BTW-I am leaving for a conference in Dallas tomorrow.) I have lived in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Texas, California, Illinois, Arizona, Brazil and Washington. I enjoyed living everywhere BUT Seattle. I have friends from all over the world but very few from the time we were in Seattle. So as I was reading your posts, I thought it must just have been me and I was happy that you weren’t experiencing some of the difficulties that I did.

    Your attitude is spot on! You will meet people that appreciate who you are and what you have to give. It just may take more time. Meanwhile, you are building compassion and strength in yourself. You know that lack of self confidence and low self worth are not your natural state. I do not know you well, but I do know that you should not be suffering from these afflictions. You are a child of God and made in His image and therefore, you are MAGNIFICENT!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for having the courage to post this! It will help so many other people who feel the same way you do!

    1. Stephanie, thank you so much for this thorough and thoughtful reply. There are some very successful image consultants here, so I know the clients are out there, but you are right that the overall mentality here is that personal image takes a back seat. I hope Dallas is kind to you and not too hot! 🙂 It’s a great city that I called home for 21 years. This move has been much more difficult than I imagined it would be. It’s a good age to move kids (they were four at the time – twins), but a tough age to be their mama since they still need me and I have less time and freedom for my career. But I am enjoying writing again, and maybe it will help propel me to something new. I love image consulting, but I am open to other things. We shall see! I am glad so many enjoyed this piece and found something in it relate-able to their lives. Thank you again!

  11. Thank you for sharing this. It’s not always easy sharing our vulnerable sides but we all feel this same way. I love your optimism + I also firmly believe there is a lesson we learn in our most trying times or situations that often leave us a better person. Much love to you, my friend! ❤️

  12. I might add, a good hostess/table captain would have moved HERSELF to the other table, not asked her guest to do so ; )

    1. Another person on the Facebook thread mentioned this. It actually had not occurred to me, but, yes, she certainly could have. 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting!

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