Exactly one month ago, I said goodbye to my part-time job of 6 years, and hello to my first ever “big girl job”. I was excited, of course, and SO ready for the change. I loved my part-time work the entire time I was there (I did get to sell books, after all) but I knew that at 25, it was time to find something new, challenging, and in a field that I would be interested in pursuing as a career.
I was really nervous, too. I don’t think I accepted just how nervous I actually was until the day before I started, when I spent the entire afternoon cleaning and organizing my room from top to bottom. Cleaning = classic calming strategy in my books. But if my crazy university life taught me anything, it’s to embrace new challenges. I knew I wouldn’t be there unless I deserved to be, so I got myself ready, grabbed a coffee on my first day of work, and began my new adventure in the world of marketing.
On my first day, I was handed a notebook, pen, cute coffee mug, a desk in the loft-space office, a tour, and a brief introduction to my coworkers. I took a lot of notes, and mostly kept to myself. I didn’t leave after my first day ecstatic about my new job. I missed knowing what I needed to do, what was expected of me, and who I worked with. I missed working a short bus ride away from home, walking around, talking about books all day, and having the freedom to choose my days off to sleep in. After one day, being an adult was kind of difficult. My first week was mostly me trying not to jump out of my chair and take a walk every 15 minutes. I had never worked in an office environment before, and found it strange to get to sit by a computer all day. I was also given a lot of reading to do that week, until my scheduled training the following Monday. Every day was a little bit better, but the 6:30am wake-ups weren’t getting easier just yet.
On my first Friday, the office was closed for a “team-bonding” event. We all met at lunchtime, in the Old Port of Montreal, for an organized “Amazing Race” of the surrounding area of the Old Port. We were broken up into 3 teams, and spent nearly 4 hours following a map and answering close to 40 questions about our city. It was FANTASTIC. We were all out of the office getting some exercise, learning new things about each other and about Montreal. It was a beautiful day, and at the end of the afternoon we all got together at a restaurant for drinks and to find out who won.
I was 4 days into a new career, I had been named team captain, and after finding out that my team won the race, I got to make a speech about what we learned most in our afternoon. It might have been a tough first three days in the office, but after the amazing race, I was feeling right at home among my coworkers.
The next three weeks went by in a blur. I was in summer school finals (and managed to pass one of the toughest-to-me classes I’ve ever taken). I started having dreams about still working at my old job (these have persisted until now and I’m sure will continue) but all that I feel when I wake up, is glad that I took one of the biggest steps out of my comfort zone so far in my life. It would have been easy to continue living life as a part-time worker, part-time student, enjoying a social life and feeling financially irresponsible. But the truth is, I wasn’t happy anymore.
My job has taken me in a very new direction, and I’m nowhere near knowing exactly what the next couple years has in store for me. What I do know is that every day I am learning about the world of marketing and advertising, and I am falling into a routine of waking up, but certainly not one of comfort. I go to class after work, I go out for drinks, I have meetings, I write, and I am reading more now than I have in months. I love having my weekends, knowing that I have several days to do whatever I want. I can go shopping, see friends, go out for dinners, and feel less guilty about spending a bit more money if I need (or want) to.
Part of me is really scared to fall into a boring routine, get too comfortable, and too tired to do anything with my evenings. But I’ve promised myself not to become that person just yet. I want to listen to my body when I’m too tired, but still make time to go out, even on the days where I’d rather just crawl into bed. I have this strange fear that being an adult means having a full-time job and no time for fun things, which I know is ridiculous, so I’m trying to beat that feeling every day in any way I can. So far, each week that goes by I love what I do even more, and find that my current routine, although very different for my previous, erratic lifestyle, is one that I can gladly get used to for a little while.
I love working downtown, despite the long travel days. Despite summer school having just ended a couple weeks ago, I’m taking classes I’m excited about and feel like the worst of it is behind me before now. My new job has rejuvenated me, and made me feel like I’m less in the throws of a quarter-life crisis. I told myself I wanted to be happy, figured out what was making me unhappy, and am taking steps to fix it. Work was a big part of that, and I’m still proud of myself for trying something new after so many years!