I start a new job next week. Yes! After a soul destroying four month search having come back from traveling for almost a year, I have a job. But there’s been a strange feeling rising in me. I feel the same, but different. Slightly, “same, same but different” – as they say in South East Asia.
Anyhow, I wrote the below two days before we got back and it’s all I keep thinking about before I start my career again. Will I be the same doing the job I love? Only time will tell.
3rd October 2016
I’m sitting in Port Elizabeth airport, in South Africa. We’ve spent the last week road tripping the Garden Route. It’s been a blast. I’m waiting for my penultimate flight before I head back to London following a year long honeymoon across 11 different countries. It’s almost over and I’m already thinking about life back home and what it can be.
Next to me is a lady who’s in my sort of industry by the sounds of things. She’s on the phone talking about ‘change requests’ to ‘incorporate the newest client requirements’. What they’re doing will improve the customer experience and will increase functionality. All the words are so familiar. But there’s something jarring me.
It’s not because I haven’t worked in months, or that I’m not curious about the project. Believe me, I eavesdropped long enough to try and find out what the project was or who the client was! No, it’s something else that’s making me feel strange.
It’s the urgency in her. A familiar urgency. An all consuming urgency. An urgency that makes my heart beat faster, gets my adrenaline pumping and fires up my passion.
The only thing is, I realised what it’s like to be outside of the all consuming work bubble which I loved. I realise, as I sit and hear the familiar tone of stress, the fast paced conversations and the urgency of it all, that this project is a big deal. But only really to the people involved. To anyone outside, the world has continued to move in the way it always has.
I now understand an old boss’s advice. I’m not a heart surgeon and if things go wrong, no one will die. It will all be fine. I want to tell this woman that. I want to tell her to stop and breath. But deep down I know this woman so well, that I even know the reaction I would get.
“You don’t get it. You don’t care enough. Well excuse me for wanting to do my best.”
I’m sitting here wondering how I’m going to be when I go home and get back to the career I love. Will that urgent women be the voice in my head, a reminder of all I don’t want to be again? Or will I simply go back to being my version of her.
I want balance when I’m home. I want to love what I do, without putting so much pressure on myself that I kneel over. I want a life and a career. I want to be kinder to myself and celebrate what I achieve and enjoy the ride. Not just focus on the bits I couldn’t do and what’s next.
I think I know what my heart is saying, my biggest goal now is making it happen.
Wish me luck.