My initial intro to this post was a blurb about how shocked I was that April had come so quickly, and how, while still early, my one year work anniversary was fast approaching.
It is now 8 days from the end of the month and my work anniversary has come and gone. With major changes at work and general life craziness, I didn’t even have one moment to insert two photos and press publish. I suppose that is life. As Joni would say, the seasons, they go round and round…
But finally at the end of a glorious long weekend I have had a chance to prep this post once again. As you know, I like to commemorate all things all the time, and my work-iversery is no different.
I have learned a lot of things at my first “big girl” job, and these are some of those things:
- It has taught me about my limits: I LOVE to cross my limits because I think I can do EVERYTHING! BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! And then I do everything and then I feel like crying and dying and then it all comes back to me: “I cannot do everything, doing everything is not awesome”. I frequently go through periods like that (because I’m a little dense, I guess) and then realize, “wow, I never want to do that again” which I remember for about three months until a new opportunity comes up and I start imagining what else I can add to my schedule…
So this year has included one of those times. And that taught me about the rhythms and seasons of this job, and what I can and cannot add, and what I should and shouldn’t do while working here. All good things.
- It has revealed new depths of my pride. I am so desperate to have everyones approval even while that is impossible and unnecessary. It is a slow and ongoing process of dealing with that.
- It has developed my confidence. Parents and professors are intimidating, let me tell you, especially for a green new graduate like myself. It’s hard to believe sometimes that I have a skill and knowledge that is different from theirs and valuable for that reason. This is also a slow and ongoing learning process, and I think a lot of it simply comes with experience. It also takes a lot of pre-phone-call deep breaths and a lot of outfit changes in the morning to try and look the part and a lot of intentionally firm pre-meeting handshakes.
- It has taught me that everything, even the best things, takes work and aren’t always easy. I came into this job thinking (and I still do) that this was my dream job, and yet I’ve had many days where I just didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. This really threw me for a loop. I thought that if I really did love this job then I should be pumped about going every day, and if I wasn’t then there must be something wrong with me or with the job. Once again, slowly and ongoing, (why can’t anything be fast and easy?) I am learning that it’s not abnormal to just want to stay in bed some mornings. And, it’s going to take some effort and intention on my part on those days. Perhaps I need to really get my head around the success of a student in a particular assignment or class, or read an article about the power of inclusion and how far our society has to go, or set up a meeting with someone who’s working towards inclusion in another community. Like anything meaningful, it takes fighting for.
- It has reminded me that I am an introvert. In a job that largely requires intense one-on-one interactions, it’s understandable that I would require some recuperation time. It’s understandable that I would need to be especially careful with my off time and it’s understandable that I need to get my head in the game on the day to day basis. This doesn’t mean that I’m bad at the job, or not enjoying the job, it is simply learning how to balance my makeup within the job. (I’ve been going to counselling, can you tell?)
- It has exposed me to intelligent and admirable individuals in leadership, and in particular, women in leadership. It has been so exciting for me to observe the women who I work with and watch how they lead, teach, research, and collaborate with wisdom, ambition, grace, and confidence. They are great role models and they give me a lot to learn from!
- It has broadened and challenged my ideas of inclusion, and cemented in me how very important it is for every people group in every part of society! I realize that is a very sweeping statement, but it is what I have been reminded of over and over. The how of inclusion looks different for every individual, but the what is true for every single person, whether with a disability, or a particular gender or sexuality, or of a certain ethnicity: inclusion is a deep, necessary need.
Until next commemorative event, adieu.