i have adventures (sometimes)

Friday, 5 July 2013

First Week Survival Report

So my first day at work didn't go quite as I'd hoped. Owing to an unfortunate combination of circumstances, by the time I got there on Monday morning I was emotional and over-tired, which meant that after a day of a growing headache and being introduced to 150 people and learning a million new things and questioning my life choices and seriously questioning my life choices, I was overwhelmed and totally emotionally overwrought.

I cried all the way home. I was sort of hoping that I could escape too much attention and go and hide in my room until I felt human again, but luckily for me, I live with the best people in the world. So instead, Darryn gave me a hug and put on the kettle, and Meg gave me painkillers, and Dave offered me another hug, and Meg offered me another cup of tea, and Darryn offered me take-aways, and Leila fed me wontons, and the world felt a little more bearable again.

I love these people so much.

I also love Meg, who isn't pictured.
So on my second day, I decided to be fine and stable and find the things that make me happy. So I took my lunch and went exploring. In my dress and heels, because shoes you can't go adventuring in are shoes not worth owning.

 Excellently, my office park has an actual office park.

With a tiny bridge!
And mysterious paths!
And a LAKE! There, in the distance!
I still haven't actually made it all the way to the lake, because it looks like I might have to walk around along the perimeter fence, and it's just the wrong sort of isolated in that the fence is broken and opens onto a slightly dodgy public park, but is otherwise far away from civilisation. So one day I'll co-opt a co-worker into being a co-adventurer, and we can go and co-find the lake and maybe get co-murdered. It'll be a bonding experience. My company seems to love team building and team training and team words like synergy, so I'm sure they'll approve.

(We have a lot of compulsory fun.)

I've now reached the end of my first week and I'm finally starting to feel less at sea. I'm exhausted and I'm still not totally sure what's going on, but I'm starting to feel a little more in control, so I'm feeling optimistic.

For one thing, polar bears are brilliant.
I don't think this job is the love of my life, but then, that's not why I took it. I think it's going to be all right, and it would be great if I could love it. And in the mean time I'm going to focus on finding the things that I can love about it. I'll make friends with nice people and go adventuring in my lunch breaks and decorate my desktop with Cabin Pressure references and pretend that questionnaire respondents are rating Batman ("He arrived when we least expected him and he sorted out all our problems." "He wasn't in uniform and he didn't connect our ADSL.") and eat the free popcorn and wear bright colours and learn to care about client growth and feel accomplished when I work hard and manage to pass as a competent adult.

And I will remember that I actually am quite a competent adult despite my inability to iron, and they hired me because they thought I could do the job. And so I'm going to do the job, and I'm going to do it really well and remember that it doesn't have to be forever if that's not what I want.

I have moments of panic about wasting my life, but as my good friend Cath reminded me yesterday, sometimes we just have to be a little patient. My life isn't how I pictured it. To be fair, I'm not at all sure how I did picture it, but I don't think it looked a lot like this. But as I've said before, even when I'm sad and stressed like I have been lately, I'm happier overall than I ever thought possible. My insecurities don't have the same power over me that they used to. I have wonderful people in my life and I trust myself to take risks and make choices about my life and my relationships because I know that, for the first time, I'm strong enough to handle it if things go wrong.

So, despite my rocky start in the corporate world I've sold my soul to, I think I'm going to be OK.

Unless I go to find the lake and get murdered. But I'll keep you updated.

Onwards, to the lake and probable survival!


  1. You are such a brave, strong woman, Ali. I admire you very much. Here's a GREAT BIG ALL CAPS HUG.

  2. I can relate to so much in this post, and it makes me feel a bit better about my own current situation and state of mind! Potentially creepy creeper comment, but I really wish I knew you in person. I have a feeling we'd have a lot in common! Good luck with the job and everything! :)

  3. Thanks so much, Mooniq! And a big hug for you for all you're dealing with too!

  4. My first thought here was "Wait... we don't know each other in person?" And then I remembered. So I promise I don't think that's creepy! I think that the line between online and "real life" is so blurred and outdated these days anyway. I still catch myself calling offline "real life", which completely misrepresents (a) how much of my life I spend online and (b) how close I am to many of my online friends. :)

    And also, thanks! I hope everything's going well in London!