Thursday, May 13, 2010

Please, not another Life Lesson...

Sometimes I think I have gotten this far in my career by simply knowing when, during a professional conversation with others, to nod or shake my head at the appropriate times, how to raise my eyebrows and squint in the fashion that suggests I am both knowledgable AND engaged, and inserting a few well-timed "mm-hmm's" to also suggest that I am just as smart as you are.  Sometimes I smile, to insinuate that I actually know MORE than you do, but I am going to keep it to myself.

I have concluded that these four things are responsible for the hoodwinking of my current bosses into giving me a job.

Does it sound like I'm being too hard on myself?  Well, perhaps a bit.  BUT -the level at which I am overwhelmed right now is astronomical.  In alot of ways, the details are not worth getting into here.  Let's just say that my knowledge base is deep and I know I'm good at what I do know and what I do.  However, a bomb just went off in Washington entitled Healthcare Reform.  It's time to actually DO this thing, and good lord, it's hard.  And prior to this, I had no dealings in healthcare policy as a whole.  So --my world has been rocked.

The bigwigs eyes are on our work, and on our money.  I'm in a hurry to prove my value, and prove it FAST.  But so much is out of my hands.

So what am I doing then, blogging in the middle of the day if I'm so worried about proving my value?  Going out of my mind about it.

I just left a conference that had to be one of the strangest meetings I've attended in a long time, which is truly saying something.  I was too far away from the office to go there after I left, so I came home to do a few things.  But first I took a detour. 

I went to the old neighborhood where I worked for over two years when I was here before.  I hadn't been since I moved back since I live and work in DC and this area is in northern virignia.  There's just simply no reason for me to go.  But today, since the conference was so close by there, I took a quick walk over.  I rounded the corner and almost gasped.  I mean -I hadn't been to this particular set of city blocks in almost five years.  I lived there, worked there for so long and I could see myself on every city block as I walked.  I know all those restaurants like the back of my hand.  It looked so....exactly the same.

I learned so much back then.  I'm learning so much now.  I'm on learning overload, every single day.  Everything at work is new, everything at "home" is new.  New people, new activities, new bars, new friends, new foods.  This is exciting, but it has been six months.  I would like to settle in now.  I would like to stop feeling like I'm speed-dating through my days with every day holding some new challenge for me.  With something -anything- coming naturally. 

I'm missing familiarity.  And that confidence that comes when you KNOW things.  You know the story, you're smiling because you know more than these other people do.  You aren't trying to impress these people because they love you and think you're smart and you've got nothing else to prove.

I am at the beginning.  Just the beginning of this race, and I am already weary.  I want to figure something out and not look at my future with a big open space of uncertainty.  Marriage, kids?  I dont know.  A house?  I dont know.  Where?  Well, I sure as hell don't know that.

I guess I'm homesick.  Homesick not for what I've lost, but for what I don't have.  And am so afraid that I never will.


Ms. Moon said...

Maybe I'm projecting (a common fault of mine) but I think you may be feeling overwhelming anxiety and your brain is focusing on the what-ifs of another path.
I love thinking about you in this health care situation. It gives me great confidence in the outcome.
But that's selfish. I get the house, the children, and you get...the job.
I wish I had a better answer for you. I am sending you love.

SJ said...

Well, it's an honest answer at least.

Yes, you definitely do have much more than I do.

Maggie May said...

what i would do is read every inspirational quote about challenging yourself and doing what makes you afraid....biographies too... it really helps me. maybe put a few up on your bathroom mirror, slip one in your wallet. remind yourself this is how breakthroughs are made in our own minds and abilities this way... and remind me back when i need to hear it too :)

Bethany said...

OH hey, sorry I'm reading backwards. I just tried to comfort you by telling you you were at the beginning. You know this. You want to be away from that place. I get it. Well, you're moving. I can see that. You're moving fast, moving into comfort.
But here's a quote I read the other day:
People wish to be settled, Only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson