Let’s get real. No matter how needed the change is…starting a new job has got to be one of the most terrifying experiences ever. Why? The fear of the unknown of course. What are my new coworkers really going to be like? Is my boss going to micromanage me? Is my boss going to support me? Will everybody like me? Will I do a good job? Will I really enjoy this role? How will I balance working at home? How will I balance trying to visit 100 high schools this fall? Was this really the right choice? AHHH ENTER ANXIETY ATTACK HERE. You get the point.
The first month of my new role has been a tad stressful as I have worked through fuzzy expectations and tried to figure out my new norm. There is so much that is a new experience for me. Going from working to a school with a population of 4,000 to 30,000 alone is just nuts. The processes are so different, the mentality is so different. Pretty much everything is different, I feel lucky that I know the admission cycle and know this field well, so that I at least have a good base of knowledge and confidence to start with.
Being able to work from home has been of course awesome and I am definitely going to have a bit of an adjustment period once I start hitting the road this fall. I cannot tell you how much it warms my heart to be working in my home office and hearing my mom and Rocklyn in the kitchen (and sneaking in kisses between tasks, duh). There sometimes is a day or two during the week when I will be home alone with her which can be tricky to be as productive, but luckily still manageable thanks to her solid napping schedule. I have been a schedule and sleep nazi since she was 2 weeks old and it has paid off!
Last week, I had to go to campus for 7 days to get some new employee training and officially meet all my new colleagues. I was excited for this, but I will be honest I had more anxiety about it than anything. The thought of leaving her for an entire week had me literally sick to my stomach, I was a total disaster.
As it turns out, part of being a parent is the challenge of not having time to yourself. When you do have those moments, your mind still never takes a break. I am always worrying and thinking about her and for goodness sake I miss her when she is just napping. So as hard as it was to leave, I knew this week away would be good for me as a chance to be present with my own mind and take everything in around me. I just had to get there.
My week of employee training was pretty crazy. I met so many new awesome people ( I love my new coworkers they are so fun and nice) and took in SO much new information. Each day I was there I became more excited to represent this school in Chicagoland. I am so blown away by the opportunities a big school like this provides to students, it is insane. Additionally, I was able to hit up a local breweries, restaurants, coffee shops, thrift shops etc. after work each day. Sometimes a co-worker came with me, but sometimes I was solo. I made a pact to myself to be as present as possible, no sense in going back to my hotel to cry about how much I miss my daughter. She is safe. I am here. I need to be here. Full disclosure; I still cried in my hotel a couple times.
When the weekend came, I legitimately spend the entire two days hiking (and paid for it Monday morning). Some people feel close to God in a church, but I feel close to God when I am sitting on top of a boulder at sunrise looking out at the horizon. This time was really REALLY good for my soul. The picture below was on the halfway point of Bear Peak, a solo 6-ish mile hike I did on Saturday morning. I think I probably sat in this spot for a good hour.
I cannot remember the last time I spent so much time on my own. Even though I was only a few states away, it felt like I went on an international trip. I explored so many new places, had intriguing conversations about life with total strangers, spent lots of time reading, writing and just reflecting on my life. If part of my heart (my family) was not there with me, I would tell you my heart was full. I felt totally refreshed. As much as I dreaded leaving my family behind for a week, it was truly good for me. It opened up my mind. It helped me to re-set and realign and essentially prepared me to go forth into this new job, but aslo gave me an incredible amount of energy to come back and be a mom.