It's new. I like it.
About a month ago, I left my old job. The next day, I went to Myrtle Beach with Joe's family, and, when I got back, I started a new job. So. You know. Things have been a bit crazy around here. My new job is completely different from anything I've done in the past. There's office work, sure, but I have a much more active role in daily goings on at the company. I love it, of course, but it's taken some getting used to. My schedule is completely different, so my body is tired and my brain is confused. But it's been perfect, really. Exactly what I needed.
The job I used to have wasn't terrible or anything, but I couldn't wait to leave it. I worked for an arts non-profit, located downtown, and I worked in a beautiful building with great people. But I didn't get to do any of the fun stuff. I didn't get to interact with the public when they came to shows, see how excited they were. I didn't get to talk up any of the upcoming shows, unless I happened to be at a career fair, because I was in HR.
HR never really gets to do any of the fun stuff. HR is behind the scenes, which I actually prefer, but sometimes you just want to DO, you know? Don't get me wrong, it's important to have an HR department. (Just trust me on this, naysayers.) But I didn't want to be part of it anymore.
I went to the annual SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) conference back in June. It's the largest HR conference IN THE WORLD, boasting something like 28,000 attendees, and all of them were extremely passionate about HR.
All except me, it seemed.
Every morning, there was a keynote speaker. The first day it was Hilary Clinton, the one speaker I was actually excited about, but we missed it because our flight got in too late. The second day was Blake Mycoskie, the creator of TOMS shoes. The last speaker was Mark Kelly, with a special appearance by Gabby Giffords (and holy shit was that something).
It was the third day, the day of some speaker I don't even remember, that I had a bit of a breakdown. An existential crisis, if you will. I got up at one point to use the bathroom and, rather than try and find my seat again in the cavernous auditorium, I sat on the floor in the back, leaned against the wall, and tried to pay attention.
It was then, in the midst of thousands of people clapping for "strategic thinking," and "game-changers" and [insert other annoying buzzwords here] that I thought, "What the hell am I doing here?" How could all of these people bring themselves to care about this shit, let alone at 8:30 in the morning?
But I sat there, almost in tears, wondering how in the world I'd ended up in this place, and sent desperate texts to Joe.
Yes, you could say I was being a bit overdramatic.
This epiphany or whatever you want to call it made me start to think about what I wanted. And then later, on the way home, there was an incident, one in which my boss said some, just, unbelievably rude and crazy things to me (this was not outside the norm of her behavior), that just about broke me (straw, camel's back, all that). I fumed the entire way home and practically ran out of the airport once we landed. I went into work the next day ready to turn in my notice. It was crazy, and irresponsible, and obviously I didn't do it, but I really, really wanted to. I've never come close to doing anything so irresponsible.
Instead, I started applying for jobs. Which is as equally frustrating and soul-crushing as is going to a job day after day that you hate. I found myself applying for HR jobs, because that's what I'm qualified for, with a sense of resignation. I wondered why I would want to leave a company I liked just to work another HR job. I wondered what the other options were.
Lo! But behold, a shining light in the distance, brought to me by the magic of social media! Someone on Facebook posted a job for an Adoption Counselor at a nearby animal shelter. This person would get to work with animals and make sure they found good homes. Puppies! Kittens! YOU GUYS.
"Shit," I thought. "I'd better apply for this."
So I did. And I interviewed. And I got it.
It's part-time. It doesn't pay as well as my old job. But I love going into work. I love it. I don't come home hating myself and the world. I don't cringe every time I open my work email or get a text from my new boss. No one snaps at me or assumes I'm an idiot or micromanages everything I do. People trust me. It's magical! I'm happier (ask Joe), so much happier that I can't believe I wasted so much time being unhappy in my old job.
SPEAKING of Joe, this is really all thanks to him. I was unsure about taking this job, being part-time and less pay, but he was adamant. He pushed me, in a kind way, into being brave and trying something new. This is what he does. That's why he's the best.
I don't know where this new path will lead. Maybe I'll work with animals forever in some way. Maybe this is just a thing I'll do for a while. Maybe (HOPEFULLY) I'll use more of my free time to write and be able to make that into something. WHO KNOWS. I don't. And for a person who plans EVERYTHING, including their own free time, that is a pretty big fucking deal.