I’ve been going nonstop since I got the new job. The whole move was surrounded with anxiety of the HOHSHIT REAL RESPONSIBILITY type, since it’s put me back in a position of juggling a lot of balls in the same way I had to when I was a lawyer, and I’ve been anxious and worried that I’d fall flat on my face again.
I haven’t, though.
Maybe it’s the difference in being on the side of directly serving the employees rather than having to play fix-it after (a big source of frustration when I practiced, because a lot of things were so STUPID and preventable), and being, in fact, in a place to prevent folks from royally messing things up (or at least giving them a fair warning).
Maybe it’s the difference of being in a company where it’s understood that you’ll always be learning, and it’s okay to ask questions– and where if you make a mistake, the focus isn’t on OMG YOU SUCK, it’s on what you’ll do better next time, with really… no yelling.
Maybe it’s the difference of being able to be myself, though how much of that is me giving up on any pretense that I’m anyone else than who I am, and people can take it or leave it. I am a nerd, a details wonk, an aficonada of R & B & hip-hop culture, a fangirl, a goddamned good cook, a neurotic nelly who needs to put things away in the moment so she doesn’t displace them and isn’t afraid to ask someone to hold on, just a sec– someone who cares but has no time for bullshit, someone with a horrible sense of punny humor, someone who’s not afraid to cackle or curse just because something’s funny, someone who’s not afraid to shove her way into a situation and say– hey. What’s going on here?
Maybe it’s the difference of other people letting me do that, because that’s what they want to do, too– and then saying thanks both when I’m really only doing my job like anyone should, as well as when I, too, would concede that I’m kicking ass.
I don’t know– but it all feels like home.
It’s not that there aren’t problem children or personalities to be navigated. It’s not that there aren’t days when I don’t get frustrated or mad. And it’s not that there aren’t days when I do feel overwhelmed, and I need to learn to delegate more, put things off, and ask for clarification.
It’s just– it feels like I can grow, exponentially, into all the things I might want to do, want to be.
This was made abundantly clear to me two weeks ago. We’re in a period of rapid expansion; the number of people qualified to do my particular job from day 1 is rather low, and I’ve been getting great feedback from the people who hired me as well as my coworkers. And then I got a call which was, to me, out of the blue– asking me to apply for a vacancy at a much larger store with much higher sales and a concomitant higher set of responsibilities (and hopefully pay). Too say I was flabbergasted and a little anxiety ridden would be putting it mildly.
I’d known from month two that after Christmas, I’d be bored in my current store, but I was thinking after Christmas. Still, opportunity was glomptackling me by the shoulders and telling me I was a rockstar and that I should apply. (And because the company’s like that, it’s high school, and everyone immediately knew and said it was a lock and when was I going and OMG SO EXCITED FOR ME.) The confidence shown in me by people I’ve known for three months that of course I’d get it, of course I was qualified, and of course I would do a great job once I got over the adjustment of WHEE, triple my roster of teams, it’s dizzying. Hard to believe. And yet, I so very much want to.
I went through the steps, even though leaving the nest of my little store is a painful idea, and I wouldn’t be heartbroken if the answer is “we think you’re great, but you need a little more time under your belt.” I love my little group, and they’re all mine, ever since day 1 of opening. I’ve talked to a couple of people so far, and to me it seems like a good fit– I made them laugh, I seem to have answered Major Concerns 1 & 2, and the person who’s the helper to my position, because they are a Big Store and can afford administrative helpers laughed when I made a crack at my own expense and then asked her what she’d like to learn. She, too, acted like it was pretty much a done deal.
Being there. Asking questions. Being myself. Listening.
I wish I could have told myself a decade ago, when I was just starting to question whether this lawyer thing (and everything else) was a good idea after all– that being in the present, frustrating moment in all my emotional rawness, asking for help and more information, and letting other people do the same thing would get me the job(s) of my dreams.
My interview’s next week. Wish all of us (including my potential replacement at my old store, because now those people are spoiled, I’m starting to really believe I’m that awesome) luck that it works out for the best, whether or not I refuse to put all my eggs in one basket.