Today marks one year since I started working at my current job.
I’ve thought long and hard about what I’ve learned and what I am grateful for, and there are quite a few things…
What’s funny is, if you had asked me months ago, I probably would have said, ‘Nothing’ and like the curmudgeon I am, I would have just complained.
But truth be told, that was just because I wasn’t really paying attention.
I really am grateful to be here — boring job or not. It’s exactly what I need in this moment and there are lessons I am learning here, and experiences I am gaining, that I never did over the course of my career as a teacher.
I know so much more now, and I am not just referring to taxes (although I still don’t understand 90% of why I do what I do).
So, here’s what I came up with:
- I really don’t give myself enough credit. I am actually a smart person. I thought I realized this when I started my grad school classes two years ago, but working here a year later, I am starting to believe it a little more. For too long, I was convinced that I needed to rely on someone else to help me get things taken care of — that I was incapable of handling things on my own. That I somehow lacked the responsibility or I wasn’t mature enough? But, those are lies. I am very capable. It is okay to ask for help when I need it, but I also need to stop second guessing myself and be confident in the fact that I can do hard things.
- Boundaries! Boundaries! Boundaries! — personally and professionally — ARE A MUST. And, if the person on the receiving end of those boundaries perceive them as harsh, cold, mean, or selfish, then that means I am doing the right thing. They only perceive it as harsh, cold, mean, and selfish because they can no longer control or manipulate me like they want. BUILD THEM WALLS, GIRL.
- Some people just don’t want to be helped. Playing the victim is easier and more comfortable. They enjoy the sob story. They enjoy people feeling sorry for them. They want the attention and the sympathy. They feed off of it. But those people are taking advantage of my kindness. I have enough of my own drama to deal with. Stop trying to therapize them when they don’t want to change. It’s a waste.
- Learning something new is always scary and seems impossible. But it doesn’t stay new forever. Give yourself grace to make mistakes and not know. And ask all the stupid questions you want.
- Praise God for noise cancelling Airpods because I have an incredibly low tolerance for obnoxious sounds. This office is so quiet you can hear a fly fart. And, at first, the silence was jarring and uncomfortable because I spent my days talking all day, for 8 hours, and hearing students talking, yelling, laughing, screaming, etc. I would come home and sit in silence because I craved it. But when I started working in this tax department, where I thought I was at a funeral home all day, I came home and couldn’t STOP TALKING because I just needed conversation and noise. That was until someone was hired to work across from me who makes noises all day long that make my ears bleed — like yawning unnecessarily loud, sighing, chewing, crunching, and then there is THE LOUD ASS PHONE RINGS (TURN YOUR PHONE OFF!!!) — it’s just TOO MUCH, y’all.
- The amount of stupid adults and youths with zero reading comprehension skills or common sense is staggering and explains so much about why our country is in the toilet.
- Just because I have a high work ethic and set high expectations for myself, does not mean everyone else operates the same way.
- Take days off. Quit feeling guilty for taking days when you want to. I don’t have to save up those sick days. For why?! And, let’s be real, I never missed days when I was a teacher and what did that do for me? Nothing. I banked all those sick days, only for them to disappear and all I ended up with is stress and high blood pressure. I don’t need to explain it to anyone. I want to take a day? Take the damn day. The job is just a job. The world will still keep moving even if I don’t go.
- Working in education is/was TOXIC and worse because I’m a woman of color. Those women were catty, vicious, insecure, selfish, and made me miserable!! I am so grateful to not work in such a toxic place anymore — here the biggest drama is the youth who got fired for being a lazy mofo. There’s no cliques or social hierarchy to climb. I feel like, as a teacher, I was always trying to pretend to be someone I wasn’t and had to always be “on”. But here, I’m just me. I don’t put on any pretenses, and I’m not working overtime to make sure I’m liked. I have never felt more at peace with myself than I have here. It has helped me discover my value and worth in ways I never saw before. I’m not saying I am walking around with a Lizzo-like confidence, but I am also not hiding and feeling miserable every single day either. #Growth.
- I am not an afterthought. For years, I have been treated as one. Someone that people -family and friends alike- only reached out to out of obligation and guilt. And stupidly, I continued to bend over backwards to prove how loyal I was or the lengths I would go to be there. But, I am tired. I deserve better than that. I dont know what it is about me, or what energy I put out there that makes people believe they can treat me so dismissively or why they don’t want me around….and perhaps that is something God will show me….. but what this new me has come to learn is that, even though you have made the choice to see me as an afterthought, I have also made the choice to not remain in relationships with those people who only think of me when it’s convenient for them or months/years later. I’ll see you round the way, boo.
- I am SO GLAD that I never bring home any work. I don’t spend my evenings pouring over work stuff. I don’t think about it over the weekends. I leave it at work as soon as I leave at 4:30. It has been so freeing.
- God is so good. The simple fact that He knows exactly what I need, when I need it, or puts people in my path to help redirect me or advise me, fills me with so much gratitude. To know that He thinks that much about me, that He cares enough about even the most insignificant details….I can’t thank Him enough.
I’ve been asked if I’ll ever go back to the classroom, or if I’ll use my Masters degree to work in schools again, and I can tell you with full confidence-HELL NAH.
I don’t have desires to stay here long term. In fact, I gave myself a year. But here I still am…a year later.
I don’t ever want to get to a point where I’m so comfortable here that I don’t leave.
But while I am here, however long the Lord intends that to be, I am going to make sure I stay willing to learn and keep my eyes and heart open to receive all the lessons God wants to show me.