Drafted on June 12, 2014:
Yesterday, June 11, marked my two-year anniversary of working in my current job.
It seems like such a small number. But for me, it represents two-thirds of my post-college working life. Two years ago, on June 3, I made The Drive from Los Angeles to the Bay Area. The “I don’t know when I’ll be back” drive.
Okay, technically, that’s inaccurate because I was back in L.A. the following weekend to attend my college roommate’s bridal shower.
But you get what I mean. My life was packed into my little ’95 civic. We had to be out of our apartment the day before I drove home, so there was a night where I did not even have a place to go home to at the end of the day. I crashed on the couch of some friends from my church. The next day, I got on the road. Pulling into my parents’ driveway that night was such a bizarre experience. I remember turning off the car engine and sitting in silence, except for the ringing in my ears.
The next morning, I went to a job interview first thing. I met the people who would become my co-workers and boss for the first time. I interviewed with the senior assistant dean of administration and almost cried in my interview because everything was changing so quickly and I didn’t know where my life was going. This woman sitting across the table from me understood: she had a background in the arts, too. She understood the impact of taking an administrative position in an environment where I would no longer be surrounded by music.
A week later, I started my job. It was an intense day of training. So many things to remember. So many policies and procedures to learn. So many little details to absorb.
I cried when I got home from my first day of work. It was so overwhelming.
Everyone told me I should be grateful to have a job. There were people out there who would love to have my position. This job was a blessing. It was a good thing. “Bloom where you’re planted.”
I knew. And I felt guilty, because I knew.
But I had just moved home, back in with my parents and grandparents, after living on my own. I had just left behind a community that I loved. I had given up a job that I had come to find very fulfilling and enjoyable (and that was actually in my field of study) – because it wasn’t enough to pay my rent anymore, and I didn’t really have a choice. I had just begun to carve out a life for myself – to feel that sense of independence, to feel like I was becoming an adult, to feel satisfied and even happy with my life. And now I was starting all over again.
Change is difficult. And I will be the first to admit that I do not do well with change at all. I don’t like it, I don’t trust it, and I definitely don’t flow with it very well.
But it’s always interesting to look back and reflect, after a new situation has become the norm, on what has happened since that turning point. In honor of my two year workiversary, and in no particular order, I wanted to spend some time acknowledging the things that have happened in my life since the turning point of starting this job. So, I started making a list. But I quickly discovered that it was a very disjointed list, given that I consider items such as “Got to hear Beethoven’s 7th Symphony performed by the SF Symphony conducted by MTT…while sitting 10 rows away from the stage,” “Car got stolen,” “Watched all seven seasons of ‘The West Wing’,” and “Sworn in to serve on a jury for a three-week trial involving gang crimes and a stabbing,” to be all worth mentioning in the same list. The problem with such lists is that my workiversary celebration quickly turns into a bragathon (or bitchathon) about All of the Awesome/Exciting/Noteworthy/Terrible Things that either I have done or have happened to me over the past two years.
In reality, let’s recap:
I’m still in the same job that I was in two years ago, only with two years of experience under my belt now.
I’m still living with my parents and grandparents, only I think I can say I’m slightly less obnoxious to have around than I was two years ago (I hope…)
I’m still going to the church in which I was raised, only now I’m the choir director.
I’m still single (again), only more emotionally bruised than before (but maybe wiser. Or more cynical. Hard to say.)
I still don’t know when I’ll be going back to L.A., only now I’m not trying to get back there.
(Okay, again, that’s technically false: I’m driving to L.A. tomorrow to visit my sister and brother-in-law for the weekend. But I was making plans to come back to L.A. on a more permanent basis – plans which no longer exist at present.)
The more things change, the more they stay the same.