I started a new job last week. It’s a spiffy gig – I even managed to negotiate…take that, glass ceiling. All this has been a nice way of testing the limits of my slowly-eroding sanity, because I didn’t actually do too much reducing in the other professional areas of my life. Oh, no. Other than slightly lowering the number of private students I teach, I decided it would be a good idea to open the floodgates to Niagara Falls (aka Stress Level 10), you know, to balance 2.5 months of yoga, calm kombucha-making, and getting my hair back on an every-three-day shampoo schedule (a somewhat grisly undertaking).
I forgot how complicated it is to step outside of your comfort zone, which is inevitably where growth happens, but where the waters are choppy and damn difficult to navigate. I think it’s important to grab new challenges by the balls…or, as the case may be, maybe just gingerly tug their ponytails and then apologize profusely.
I present to you
My Terrors and Perils
- Cryptic post-its, penned in hieroglyphs, copulating and breeding on my desk. Attempting to pass off the Da Vinci Code-esque scribblings to people who clearly know what they are doing more than I do.
- Forgetting to eat entire meals and then creating a whole new, co-dependent relationship with bottomless chips and salsa.
- Going entire days without remembering to drink liquids. Then waking up at 4am and guzzling all the water. Then waking up at 5am. Then 5:15am…and 5:30am…and 6am.
- Going soft from a desk job. Answer: seated butt clenches. When caught mid-squeeze, claiming they are physical therapy and then dealing with the awkwardly quiet aftermath.
- Diplomatically insisting to the IT guys that I am no longer a student and therefore the useless statistics course I took in 2010 shouldn’t be showing up in my class list and that no one should have to relive that hell. Then remembering that I now share a wall with the person that taught that course. Then silently praising myself for being a neurotically good student.
- Bypassing the bureaucratic hell that is the parking pass line because I’m not taking classes, showed up with the right document, and was wearing a black trench coat that added a few years and upgraded my appearance status from STUDENT to …student…?
- Unapologetic shoulder shrugging, usually following a highly specific, specialized question I should know the answer to. Frantically texting the previous guy in my position for the solution and finishing off each text with an uncharted emoji: a way of saying “sorry for asking this terribly stupid question.”
- Realizing that there are, in fact, stupid questions and anyone who says otherwise is high.
- Finding out I am the same age as one of my graduate TAs, who has comparable life experiences and holds all the answers.
- Seeking solace in artisan chocolate.
- Creating a sophisticated password for my HR documents: watchmewhipwatchmenaenae-1!*
- Forging the campus jungle for Human Resources, where some woman named Tricia with Blonde Hair sits on top of a totem pole, ready to process my paperwork so I can get paid and finally afford “next level” cheese (hello, consistent supply of gouda).
- Not having time to mow the lawn ever again. Budgeting funds to pay a high-school neighbor to at least hit the front yard so my studio families can come to my door without navigating the Serengeti or using smoke signals.
- Staying humble about paying someone to mow my lawn.
Here’s to New Challenges, Terrors, and Perils. I’ll check in here again after I’ve pulled up my big-girl panties, which seem to have fallen around my ankles….