lylacfey, glad you were able to make a course correction change before you lost yourself to the nastiness of others. storm chasing sounds a bit scary, but exhilarating. sounds like the meteorology study will be fulfilling careerwise and you will be able to continue your artwork as a personal joy and fullfilment activity. how great is that?
Kristin, in my first job out of hs, my desk was literally butted up to my boss's desk. He knew how hard I worked and that I did a good job. But no matter what I did, he could never just say "good job!" Rather, he always had to find fault. And I mean ALWAYS. When we had my 6-month review, the subject came up and his feeling was that, as my supervisor, it was his job to find something wrong with everything I did because if he could not, then I should be his peer, not his subordinate. I was floored! I asked him if he ever even heard of this concept called "positive reinforcement" because IMO, if you are always critical, after a time, it is hard to find a reason to even try because you know it will never be good enough. He couldn't even answer me. Thankfully, we parted ways shortly after that discussion. The good news is that I was strong enough that he didn't kill my spirit and, when I became a manager many years later, I never forgot him and his attitude and used that knowledge to ensure I didn't ever treat my direct reports in a similar fashion.