Saturday, September 10, 2016

The things you learn at 4 a.m.

It's almost 4 a.m.  The house is quiet again.  I should probably go find a place to sleep, but the idea of making that effort pisses me off because I should be able to just go lay in my own bed and go to sleep, but toddlers.  So instead I've made a pot of coffee and I've decided I'm up and I'll just be up for the day and do some things I never make the time to do when the rest of the world is awake with me.  It's 3:56 a.m.

I don't write enough anymore.  Hardly ever.  I keep saying I'll do something about that, but I don't.  But I'm writing now.  Look at me.  Typing words and everything!  I guess next you'll be expecting me to actually SAY something with these words and writings, huh?  Baby steps.

I had lunch with my former boss yesterday.  It'd been six months since we'd seen each other.  He looked mostly the same - a bit thinner, maybe almost too thin in the face.  I blame stress; he's got that shit in spades these days.  I miss him, but I do not miss the stress.  Sometimes I wonder if I exaggerated all of the crazy I lived when I worked there, because six months out, it just sounds unbelievable some of the stuff I was used to.  But I didn't make it up, I didn't exaggerate - it was real and I wasn't crazy or incompetent.  It was what it was.  It was my Crucible.  I'm super fucking strong now because of it.  Right? 

Actually, I'm so insecure because of the crap I dealt with at the end that I constantly question myself now.  Nothing I do is good enough, in my mind.  I'm never doing enough.  I worry constantly my new boss and my teammates are going to decide I'm a complete charlatan, a total fuckup, and laugh and shame me out the front door. 

Well, I don't feel that way constantly anymore.  Not all the time.  Here's the thing - they love me!  They think I'm awesome.  They tell me that, and I believe them.  I know they're right - I'm pretty good at what I do.  Intellectually, I know I'm good at my job, and that I'm doing a good job.  Emotionally, I'm still trying to drop the baggage leftover from being abused at the last place.  I'm trying to forget the fear and the insecurity.  I'm trying to relearn workplace etiquette and expectations.  I'm trying to grasp the new definition of workload and responsibilities.  It's been 6 months.  Honestly, I didn't think there would be this transition period - I assumed I'd end one thing and begin another and that would be it, like flicking a light switch.  I didn't anticipate or realize that there would be emotional adjustments to go along with the change. Maybe because I had been there for SO long, and had been SO comfortable before it all went bad.  Maybe because the end felt like a bad breakup where I thought we probably still loved each other but we had to break up because we weren't healthy for each other.   

Despite this particular brand of crazy in my mind, I have not one single regret about leaving, or landing where I landed.  My new reality is so vastly different from my old one I - well, like I said, sometimes I wonder if I exaggerated or made it all up.  I am really enjoying the work I'm doing.  I'm forging relationships with my customers, learning a new business.  I have coworkers that I get to chat with all day long.  They're smart and funny and kind and helpful - the sort that I want to hang out with after work, get to know; they just seem like genuinely good people.  My boss is brilliant and sarcastic and has an easy confidence about him that makes me feel equally confident and self-conscious at the same time.  I feel on the spot when he asks me questions and feel like I give the wrong answer pretty regularly, but that's my fault and my issue, not something he's doing.  I'm struggling a bit with being the new girl, still.  I was Dan's go-to, right-hand, she-knows-all-the-answers person for so long...I miss being that person.  I want to be that person in this new life, this new world, but that role is already taken and she has a 10-years-in-the-industry head start.  New job, new environment, new role.  Starting at the beginning again is a challenge after being on top for so long. 

I'm starting to understand that maybe there are some emotional challenges and consequences resulting from this change that I didn't give enough consideration or allowance.  Maybe this has been harder on my psyche than I'd considered...maybe I'm not crazy as shit, maybe I really am just stressed by this huge change in my life.  Good change is still change, right?  Change is always a little hard, right?  Maybe just because I'm happy and thrilled and so glad to be where I am, maybe it's okay that I have struggled a bit at the same time.  Maybe I should've anticipated and been a little easier on myself.  I guess it's never too late. 

Okay.  What have we learned?

I'm totally insecure and feel like I'm not good enough/not doing enough.  This is not rational.  This is leftover baggage.  My boss found my resume on the internet and called me up and offered me a job because I'm awesome.  He thinks I'm awesome.  Evidence points to other coworkers also thinking I'm awesome.  I'm probably awesome and should stop thinking I'm going to get fired any moment or that everyone hates me.  Just go to work every day and be awesome. 

Being the new girl is hard because I want to be the one who knows the answers to all of the questions and who can fix all of our customers' problems.  And I want to be the one who sells the most steel.  I like to be first.  I want to be the best.  Six months in the industry is a tough place for this mindset.  But baby steps.  One thing at a time, and right now my job is to learn all of the things and call all of the people.  Everyone has to start somewhere, and this is my beginning.  No one becomes the favorite overnight.


Looky there.  I sure do miss writing.  Maybe I should do this more often. 

It's 4:50 a.m.  Let's go start the day.

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