Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What Is This Strange Feeling?

I do believe it's a sense of accomplishment. And not because of the bar exam. I rode that high for about three days, but now I'm on to my real life, and I have been seriously busy.

I'm officially working in my new job and it's been an interesting week. I've done something new every day. On the one hand, that's so awesome! I'm learning a ton and gaining a bunch of new skills, my days fly by, and I'm getting to know a lot of people in other departments. On the other hand, this is so stressful! I'm completely outside my comfort zone, I never quite know exactly what I'm doing, it's difficult to get a good routine going, and I'm pulled in several different directions. On the third hand (what on earth is in the drinking water here that I'm growing extra appendages?), I'm not really doing the things that I'm "supposed" to do in this job. Most of the time, I don't mind. It never hurts to get a reputation as a team player, nor does it hurt to learn skills outside your job parameters. In fact, I'd think those are two very good things. And I'm getting face time with the department head.

What's really strange to me is that there's been a subtle shift in my... status within the department. I can't really articulate it, but I overheard someone telling one of the other newbies that if they had questions, they could ask Mary, Sarah, or Katze. To understand exactly what that means, you need to know this: Mary and Sarah are two long time employees of My Company who are widely considered to be among the most knowledgeable people in the department. And suddenly I've joined their ranks?

Back when I first moved out of my parents' house and got a "real job" for the first time, I was dogged by the feeling that I was playing dress up-- that I was, if you will, a fake grown-up. Some small part of me kept an eye out over my shoulder for the people who were going to see through my disguise and call me out in front of everyone. "HEY!" they'd yell, "YOU! YOU'RE NOT AN ADULT! GO TO YOUR ROOM AND STAY THERE, YOUNG LADY! YOU'RE GROUNDED FOR IMPERSONATING A GROWN UP!" It wore off, eventually. But in the last week, I've felt echoes of that feeling once again. For example, today I took a form to my manager because it needed a company signature on it, and she told me to sign it myself. Who decided that it was a good idea to give me so much responsibility? What if I mess it up? What if they find out that I don't know what I'm doing? And of course that's ridiculous: they gave me responsibility because I can handle it, they know I don't know what I'm doing yet, but they have reason to believe that I'll be able to learn it, and if I mess up, the world won't come to a screeching halt. In fact, all evidence suggests that if I own up to my mistake, fix it or get help to fix it, and take time to figure out how to keep it from happening again, they'll be perfectly understanding. So I squelch that stupid voice whenever it pops up. Still, the vague feeling of cognitive dissonance remains.

Last night, I finished assembling the Save the Date cards for the wedding. Tonight I finished addressing all of the ones I have current addresses for-- there are about 12 or 13 that I still have to track down. Each one has been stamped and they are ready to go into the mailbox tomorrow. It feels so good to check one thing off the wedding to do list. I'm also going to order the bridesmaids' dresses either tomorrow or Friday. Next we have to schedule our engagement session, find hotels and book blocks of rooms, and pick out the men's tuxes. I'm feeling so much less overwhelmed by the whole process, but I cannot wait for the wedding to get here. I think it's going to be so much fun, and I can't wait to see all of our friends and family together. And it goes without saying that I cannot WAIT to be married to Ash. We went to look at wedding bands last weekend, and seeing the ring on his hand made it all feel so much more real, sort of like seeing myself in the wedding dress did. I just wanted to run around the mall yelling "WE'RE GETTING MARRIED". I thought my heart would swell up and burst right out of my chest I was so happy.

I've also officially started packing. The first box is full and labelled. I put my bar review materials up for sale and started a list of things that I'm going to post on craigslist before we move. I even remembered to pick up the address change cards from the post office and filled them out. I'll throw them in the mailbox tomorrow when I mail the save the date cards.

Right now, I feel so on the ball, it almost seems like I could conquer the world.

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