Those who follow the blog will know that since April I’ve been on this journey to find what it is I want to do. I quit my job, started this blog, have done a few other bits and bobs, and have now (three weeks ago) started a new part time job at a charity.
‘Change is difficult but often essential to survival’ said Les Brown; and he is right, change is very difficult but essential if we wish to learn and evolve. In my case, looking for a fulfilling professional life, where work becomes merely an extension of me, finding my purpose – has driven me to change.
Still, it is difficult. It is hard, and it is painful.
The only time it wasn’t difficult, was when I went to Uni, but that’s only because my high school senior year was so miserable that I was dying to leave. As Robert Anthony put it ‘when it becomes more difficult to suffer than change… you will change’.
I have only been at my new job for seven days, and so far I am loving it; however being back in an office I can’t help but thinking of previous ones.
It’s always like this with change isn’t it? We keep comparing the new (and slightly uncomfortable) situation with a previous similar one, until one day we are back in a position of comfort and no longer keep comparing things. It’s funny how our minds work.
Being completely honest I haven’t missed my previous job at all; I have however missed the people. I was there for three years and ended up building some great relationships. I am quite sociable, and although the beginning of something new is always difficult for me, I tend to adjust and adapt quite quickly.
Now that I am at a new office, I can’t help to think about those people, and how happy they made me. The ‘private’ jokes and ‘Friends’ references shared with the team, the sarcasm shared with my manager and the (slightly) mean jokes, wandering around to chat about star wars, the gym, making fun of certain situations, grabbing someone for tea, gossiping and chatting about random things, and bitching about the IT systems… You build your own space, learn where the line is and start feeling comfortable about being yourself around these people. And you start to really like (and love) some of them.
Now at the new office, without meaning to, my mind just wanders and starts comparing people to the ones I used to know. You remember the laughs and jokes you used to share and realise that you’re not ‘quite there yet’ at the new place. I even see the faces and hear the voices of some of my old colleagues (maybe I am losing it). Don’t get me wrong, so far everyone seems lovely, and I am really enjoying it, but I’m still holding back, waiting to feel a bit more ‘in my element’.
I do take reassurance in knowing this has happened before. It always does.
When I decided to change degrees, and university, because I wasn’t happy with my choice, it was super hard. I was in this little circle of love and it was so comfortable in it that I didn’t feel like leaving. For the first time in a year I felt wonderful again, and people there really made me feel almost magical, so leaving them was one of the hardest things I had to do. But I did.
I started at the new Uni and thought about my old colleagues all the time. I even got home and cried and told my boyfriend I was never going to make friends or have anyone to have lunch with me (lunch is important to me). Today I can say that I met some of my absolutely-best-can’t-live-without-them-friends at that place. And I met loads of wonderful people, and always had company for lunch, studying, partying, go to the beach, etc.
When I stopped doing promotions and events, and joined the corporate world I think I cried every day for almost a week (or more). I missed the freedom of it and I missed the people. Again I told my boyfriend I would never have people to have lunch with, or friends, or anything like that. Wrong again. I met some wonderful people, some of whom to this day I consider my friends, and who have changed my life in ways they won’t even dream about.
Moving in from Portugal was quite hard at the beginning as well. And it was within the same company, I was merely transferring from Lisbon to Surrey. Still, the first few weeks at the new office I missed my previous colleagues every day. I missed the comfort of knowing I could totally be myself and of knowing they loved me for it. The funny lunches, the silly moments and conversations and the way we all cared for each other. It was far from being the perfect job, but I liked every one. Hell, I even hid in a box to scare someone (I came out of the box blowing a whistle), involving half the company to pull it off.
And when I got Surrey I couldn’t really see how I would ever build that kind of relationship again. I cried, again. But this time, I had company for lunch from the start and that made a huge difference. The team lunches were fun and in less time than usual I felt like I belonged. I didn’t scare anyone by jumping out of a box, but I did have loads of fun, I managed to feel ‘in my element’ once again.
I am sure at some point it will happen again; but for now I miss my friends, colleagues, and all of those who had to ‘endure me’ at my previous jobs. Lunchtime is still weird but I have to say, I didn’t cry once, nor do I feel like it, which I choose to see as a sign that maybe I am moving in the right direction. Either that or my tears have all dried up (just kidding).
Let me just finishing by saying this: I am forever thankful for all the great people I have had the pleasure to meet over the years. I often think of some of and feel blessed for having them.
*as for the rotten apples, well, I don’t really think of you as much but thanks for the lessons…