Me, I've always been more casual. Jeans were my uniform. My senior year of college, I never wore matching socks (mainly because it really bothered one of my friends and that humored me). When grunge came into fashion, I finally felt like my style became main stream.
Of course, as a lawyer, in this conservative firm, I wear suits on weekdays. I am the professional. But for nine years, I've harbored this huge fear that I would be discovered. Somebody from the firm would learn that not only are my political opinions liberal, but I do not fit in a world where people weekend at country clubs and wear cardigans instead of sweatshirts outside of the office.
But my biggest fear was that someone would discover I am a tattooed freaky person.
|You can catch a glimpse of the tattoo in this photo.|
Seven or so years ago, one person in the firm saw my tattoo and the reaction was crazy. It was as if she had learned I was formerly a mountain goat. And she was not a person I was concerned about seeing the tattoo. And once the shock wore off, she didn't really care one way or the other, but it was completely the opposite of what she expected. That is not consistent with the firm image.
Needless to say, that encounter has stuck with me and made me even more afraid of letting people "know".
At least until tonight.
Tonight, we had a happy hour after work for all of the attorneys. This is not something we do frequently--hardly ever in fact. It was nice. I really enjoyed it. I work with a lot of really great people. And talking to them outside of the office has made me realize that all of us have a little tattooed freaky person in us somewhere, even conservative, straight-laced attorneys.
I'm still not going to let the tattoos show, but I now know that it wouldn't matter if people I work with every day learn I wear jeans on the weekend. We all have our roles to play at the office. But that is not who we are all of the time. It is nice to realize that I am more like the rest of them than I thought.