It’s been a weird couple of weeks in Lake No-Longer-Nearly-So-Woe-begotten, and I’ve written about a half-dozen posts of various tones and tempers and lengths, all stuck in draft.
Instead, you get this TMI blather.
I’ve been settling into the new job, figuring out all of its kinks from the rising personality and discipline problems of our daily employees to finding out the best way to balance myself (and everyone else) off everyone’s different managerial styles. Feeling like the grownup and being deferred to in a group where I still feel unsure and new re: my standing with this particular group and this particular culture is, to put it mildly: weird, scary, awesome, bizarre, and anxiety-provoking.
At times, it’s a little enraging, when some people push a little too hard, and then I take a deep breath and remind myself– everyone is learning, there will always be alphas, and if I’m more of an alpha-beta when it comes to management style, I do know how to deal with alphas, and at last, I’m working some place where I can just point blank come out and say– “Look, this isn’t cool, but this is.” Getting past the adrenaline rush of opening and in to the occasionally depressing daily grind of OK NOW WE HAVE TO MAKE MONEY and BTWS, EMPLOYEES, YOU HAVE TO SHOW UP OR GET FIRED, some anticlimax is natural, even in a (yes, still feeling it) more enlightened workplace like mine. It’s been so long since I’ve worked with grown-ups who’ve considered my opinion, let me apologize for my mess-ups, and still come after me for advice that– I find it hard to settle. It’s still a little surreal.
(Yes, dearest reader: I am complaining because I apparently get to have nice things and am freaked the hell out by this.)
I’ve also been trying to be kind to myself, and not just in the YAY, YOU FOUND A REAL JOB kind of way. Lucidity about my moods and affect have been hard to come by (hey, look, I imported my archives, I’ve now got the official, 8-year record…) but I realized this week that I was starting to get a little depressed, which has in turn caused me to try to figure out– well, what else? Is it just anticlimax? Or more?
Of course, it’s probably more. Or triggered, or interrelated. It’s so hard to tell sometimes what sets one thing or another going. But. This is the time of year when I have gone more than a little bit nuts as just one of my bipolar cycles– and I think I was, in fact, a little bit manic when we opened the store, maybe even before that in some kind of mixed state when I kicked my own ass out of the old job. Still, the mid-spring wind-up worked in everyone’s favor because they needed me to be really attentive and fluid and hyperfocused.
Now, as things slow and so, too, do I, I am just trying to pay attention to myself right now as I find myself dragging (in old habits) this week before getting my ass into gear going to work, so that I don’t let myself do that, start going in late, start leaving early, etc.. I need to avoid the computer in the mornings, to set the alarm a little early, to change my routine so I do something different than my normal rut– wake up, read the paper online 15 minutes (which turns into 30 when I’m depressed), shower, eat breakfast during the 40 minute commute. Revising bad habits is a big thing– or should be. Maybe…. Wake up, shower, eat breakfast downstairs, don’t go back up, get to work early, go read in a park? Read a book? Detach myself from the distracting, wondrous computer?
I have, throughout all of this (read: changing jobs, feeling kinda sorta like a real boy) been trying to reconnect with some friends. It’s been a half-and-half kind of deal. Everyone’s busy, and some of the folks I’ve gotten in touch with have been so half-assed that I’ve just decided I’m not going to bother, and honestly, that’s kind of a relief, even if I’m sad to “lose” people that I once used to enjoy. (And bless Brain Eats Brain for her emailed suggestion that sending an African Violet for those relationships that just won’t reset.) Others, though, have been closer friends, and it’s been a struggle to feel like I shouldn’t just throw a tantrum until I get the attention I want or they modify their behavior in the way I think is right. I can’t have it my way all the time, though, and I have to accept that the fact that I’ve been in and out of their lives and really erratic means they get to decide not to bother with me, and I have to get that and not be clingy.
I have to accept that moving on means sometimes losing as well as gaining. That a marriage that was no longer working and a safe-harbor job that had become a pain in the ass aren’t the only things I might “have” to give up– and that finding a new job that’s a pleasure but is also work isn’t something to depressed about but something to embrace as a challenge I’m ready to face.
Like I have to face– maybe some day I’ll get to make amends or repair the friendships I don’t currently have with those people, but maybe I won’t. In the meantime, though, I have to create some new habits. Look for new friends. And finish letting go of things that no longer work and that I’ve decided (no, that’s not a laden sentence at all, in no way full of several complex emotional steps that I find a burden) no longer work.
I’ve got to ask myself– does it work? No? Let it go. Find something that does, even if you don’t know what the replacement is each time I let something go. I need to learn to trust that if things don’t feel 100% in the moment, they’ll get there, sooner or later.
Even if it means living with dad and occasionally growling at him to remind him I am a still mostly-competent adult who, unlike him, manages to get all the shopping and laundry done every week, so kindly don’t bitch because you don’t like the way I trim the fucking hedges, all square instead of rounded. WHO CARES, THEY’RE STILL TRIMMED AND THEY STILL LOOK REALLY NICE.
(Why, no, this is not just an example of my relationship with my Dad as a metaphor for some power dynamics things at the store that have since worked themselves out but which made me internally depressed and anxious and rage-y for a couple of days and which I don’t dare detail because it’s already clear to people who know me where & whom I work for, no, not at all.)
Also? Running into your ex-marriage counselor at your workplace/store and then having an awkward not-conversation where you can tell that she’s DYING to know how everything’s working out is not awkward. At all. (I might have had a bit of the feeling of Lady, I used to pay you serious money for this and you know what? You didn’t help bupkiss, I’m not telling you shit. Emphasis on the might absolutely not tell you shit.) Yeah. She didn’t work.
Now to move on to finding the things that do.