So it is my first day at a full-time job after eleven years.
I had tried to cram two years’ worth of backlog tasks in the last two weeks. Of course, I failed. But I stopped myself just in time before I self-destructed.
I told myself that this is not an end but a beginning. And that there will be space for both old things and new. What I need to do is to let go and to let flow. Things will always somehow find their places.
It is an odd feeling. I am a little dressed up, ready for any zoom meeting, and also to help the mindshift for the next eight hours. I know there are allowances. I will not be punished for leaving my post to take a break. But very very old conditionings die very hard — even the softest stirring from the grave can cause minor earthquakes through the distance of a decade.
I had planned to pre-read on stuff before coming onboard but I didn’t get to do it. I was just too preoccupied with preparing the household for my chunk of absence for five days of the week. I had to make sure nothing catches fire while I’m not able to respond immediately.
Another odd thing. And it worries me a little because I do not know if it is over-confidence or recklessness or maybe finally I may have hit upon a pocket of peace and serenity from which I can function with some equilibrium and equanimity. I had expected anxiety to hit me anytime within the last week. Performance anxiety, for one. But none came. I wondered if I had somehow finally learned how to detach myself from the dayjob work that I no longer feel that my identity and value are hinged on it. I wondered if maybe I am sensing that this dayjob is indeed what I had been hoping for and there is nothing to be negatively stressed about. I don't really know. I can only hope for the best.
9 hours later...
So I have survived the first day.
Today was mostly information absorption and making my own notes. I had to start getting a grasp on certain categories and target markets. What I found tough too was getting used to a PC. I was given a very heavy and hardworking gaming laptop because the office is using Microsoft Office 365 and they've had frequent problems with Macs. I was given an Asus Rog Strix. Took me a while to retrain my fingers on the shortcuts and to get used to the less intuitive interface.
There was a self who was holding her breath, braced against a challenge, against having to deal with something that seemed beyond our power to do. There was a self who was still somewhat afraid that we would be found out.
But the impostor syndrome was soft. It no longer had the sharp poisonous bite it used to have.
At 7pm, I received a message from one of the teams asking about a meeting schedule. Normally I would have left off answering until the morning. But I find myself not minding having to answer. So far, the work is not a burden. Not yet. I hope not ever.
I suddenly realized how different I am now. How much I have changed. Maybe even stronger. And a little bit braver.