Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tomorrow is the First Day of the Rest of My Life

Snow....why snow? (Image via)

Now I've done it. I've left my cozy, cocoon-like comfort zone. The windows have been shut, the curtains drawn and the door locked, nailed shut and wallpapered over.  There might even be a slightly askew bookcase in front of it that makes you feel that there's something...off....about it, making you back away uncomfortably, not wanting to be near it yet not wanting to look away...whoa, sorry, went a little horror-novel there for a second...moving on...  I posted for a new position at work and I got it...I start tomorrow. It is scary and exciting. You get in a rut, you know? Some people choose to call it a groove, but it's all semantics. Rut, groove, track....it all means that potentially your entire life consists of what happens between two distinct, never changing points, A and B. It's comforting because it's expected. When you're always on the same train going to and from the same place, things seem calm and relaxed but then you start to wonder what else it out there.

I've always had a job, ever since I was 16, with the exception of a few months I tried my hand at being a stay at home mom when the boy was a baby. From Target cashier to bank proofing operator to industrial engineering tech to senior claims representative, I've worn many different hats, professionally speaking. One common theme that presents itself in my adult life is that I've never changed jobs unless it was forced upon me. “Change is stupid,” said the me between the ages of 18 and 36. Whether I was working in a job that I loved or not, I envisioned myself retiring from that position with no want or aspiration to ever change or evolve.

It all started with the foundry that shall remain nameless, where I was slated to be the third generation to retire from there. My dad would have been the second and his dad was the first. Notice that conditional “would have been” qualifier for Dad? Grandpa's legacy never went beyond his retirement from that dirty, lung-blackening place because they closed down even before Dad could retire. I was comfortable there. Over the course of seven years, I went from part-time payroll clerk to full-time industrial engineer tech running my own department (albeit a department of one – me). I had friends there and was very good at my job. When it happened, it wasn't a surprise that they were closing down. It happened in stages, changing ownership, reorganizing, bankruptcy, downsizing here and there. I was lucky enough to be among the last few to have to move on, leaving only a handful of friends behind to complete the business of shutting down in the weeks after I left.

Moving into the first job offered to me post-foundry, I found myself thrust into the world of insurance, specifically health and life. It was a national, yet small company and the office I worked in was one of the last remaining satellite locations (should have been a clue...). I quickly learned everything one could want to know about health insurance and more. I even took advantage of the free industry-centric education offered there and earned the illustrious ACS designation from LOMA. If that means nothing to you, don't feel left out, it is a very specific program for the insurance industry and means very little outside of those walls. I quickly became, once again, comfortable in my role and good at my job. When the company was purchased by a larger one, I started having deja vu, feeling that the writing was on the wall. We were assured that it would continue on, business as usual, which it did..for a while. Then, it happened again. I was out on medical leave when I got the call to tell me that the decision was made to close that location, essentially downsizing the entire staff there. We were free, no, encouraged to apply for a new position at the location a couple of miles away however it would be in a totally new division and no one was guaranteed a spot. I was lucky that when my leave was over, I applied for and was offered a position in one of the other division and my “time served” came with me so it was less like starting over than it could have been, and I was grateful for that.

Having been through the drama of the dreaded office closing twice, I made a silent vow to myself that I would do whatever it took to make sure that this was the last job I would ever have. Once again, I worked at becoming very good at my job. After seven-ish years, I found myself curious about what I might be capable of beyond my current role. The company is huge with too many divisions to think about with a myriad of opportunities to move around in all directions. Having the advantage of being granted the luxury to work from home, all it took was to narrow my job search down to a few key words along with specifying a telecommuting environment and **poof** look at all the choices! I would throw my hat in the ring here and there, secretly terrified that I may actually get a call of interest in my resume and cover letter. My inner child was constantly arguing with my inner responsible adult between “not fixing what ain't broke” and “why limit your opportunities”.

So, here I am, at the escarpment of my new adventure. I've achieved the new position. I know I am capable of this new role. Why am I scared? I'm distracting myself with the minutiae. Changing the time on my recurring alarm on my phone. Spending way too much time selecting the perfect song to rouse me from my slumber on that first day of the rest of my life. Blogging about being nervous to start a new position...wait, where was I going with this...

Tomorrow I will wake up two hours later than I had been rising on workdays. I will do my morning routine and settle in to log onto my work computer. The same computer that I had been so proficient in using just a few days ago. Logging on to the lesser known, the uncomfortable, the challenging. I read once that you can't move forward without taking that first step. I thought at the time, “How asinine, who thinks this shit up?” Well, I get it now. I am solicitous to start my day tomorrow. I am appreciative to have earned this chance at transformation. It isn't nearly as intimidating as starting anew at a completely different company (shout out to my courageous cousin and friend Steph for bravely exiting her comfort zone for new exploits on new grounds!) but I'm sanguine going into my new post. The first step is upon me, I'm moving forward...by choice for the first time in a very long time...and it feels pretty wonderful (but still slightly terrifying).

3 comments:

  1. solicitous sanguine escarpment...or did u mean department?
    wth ....i am not a Philadelphia lawyer!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why yes, I do occasionally consult the thesaurus because....

    solicitous is more fun to use than anxious
    sanguine is more exciting than enthusiastic
    escarpment is more dramatic than cliff

    I LOVE words and I'm ok with that making me weird :D

    P.S., A Philadelphia lawyer??

    ReplyDelete

Be nice, now.