How Do I Live up to What's Expected and Still Be Me?

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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TALK TO HER Tionna Now more than ever we are confronted with obstacles and difficulties in our daily lives that we just can't seem to handle on our own. Fear not! Noted author and world-famous advice columnist Tionna Smalls is here to help you solve your problems! Today, Tionna counsels an ambivalent employee.

Hey Tionna,

I don't usually ask for advice on these kinds of things because, hell, I just don't care all that much, but something's been bugging me the last couple weeks and I was wondering if you could help me out.

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There's this guy at work who does the same job that I do. Now, sure, he's been here a few years more than I have, and, yeah, he's been a little more successful than me, but that don't bother me much. Still, as the end of our company's fiscal year is approaching, I'm starting to hear more comparisons between the two of us: They say the other fella's more focused, he's more intense, he dates prettier women.

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I could give a rip about the first two; hell, they may be true. But I don't get the big deal about the third one. I mean, sure, I'm still with the gal I met in college. Big whoop. Does that somehow make me less of a man 'cause you don't see me impregnating actresses or sleeping with pretty Kraut models?

I should also mention that I get a lot of criticism for the way I do my job. Part of it is because both my daddy and my brother also worked in the industry, and people hold me to the standards they've established. To be honest, I don't pay that any mind, but sometimes I do feel like I never wanted to do this job in the first place but I got pushed into it because of everyone else's expectations and now everyone's looking to me and hoping that I screw up so I can prove whatever jackass theories they have about my guts and intensity and I swear sometimes it just makes me want to grab the world by the throat and KEEP CHOKING IT UNTIL IT FALLS TO THE GROUND IN A GIANT HEAP OF SORRY.

Anyways, like I told you before, none of this stuff keeps me up nights. But if you've got any theories or stuff you want to share, I'm all ears. Big ones.

Thank you, ma'am,

No Worries



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