Welcome Back to the Real World!
I am six weeks back into the working world, and to my surprise, little has changed since I left. The job and city are new, but the emotions and experiences are very similar to how I felt at every new job. And there’s some comfort in that. I know all the experiences catalogued below are temporary and I’ve seen the other side.
But for now:
1. I am tired. I’m crawling into bed every night at 9:30 p.m. feeling like a prize fighter after a match. Between the exhausting work during the day (smiling too much, meeting too many new people who are all forming instant first impressions of you, performing mental gymnastics just to log on to your computer and find the bathroom) and the stress dreams at night, I’m a zombie. That makes No. 2 even more super fun, because …
2. I am overwhelmed. Combine tired with a lot of new responsibilities, serve to a Type A personality and – tada! – you have Overwhelmed! This particular emotion comes in waves, like a sine curve. Some days I feel pretty awesome and some days I feel like running off to become a landscaper, a waitress, or anything at all that doesn’t involve an Outlook calendar and Power Point.
3. I am learning something new everyday. In the first six weeks, nothing is monotonous. It’s all too new and there’s information coming at you like water out of a fire hydrant. And for the nerdy student in me, it’s nice to still be learning.
4. I am frustrated everyday. Same as No. 3. I just feel differently about it on days when I just want to get stuff done. Why I don’t know this stuff already?
5. I am cash-flow positive. Hooray for paychecks! After two years of watching my bank account slowly dwindle, money is flowing in! It’s good to see that balance ticking upward for a change. It also makes it possible for me to visit the Nordstrom shoe department again.
6. I am terrified of my student loans. Oh crap, all those loan checks were, like, really loans. Thank God for No. 5.