Thursday, June 28, 2012

One month back on the bike...

Before coming back, I'd read a little about the effects of reverse culture shock. I've seen it in friends who have returned to Melbourne after being away for extended periods of time. I dreaded it - the feeling of being tied back down to the banal everyday life that I once left behind; the feeling that all my previous experiences would be cancelled out by the act of returning back to where I started; the boredom of the familiar world, with nothing further to look forward to except settling down and being normal like everybody else, and desperately longing to fly away again.

The thought of having to go through this kinda scared me. Months before coming back, I desperately applied for heaps of jobs (not realising that they might want me sooner than I'd planned) just so that I would have something to keep me moving and progressing.

Well, I should be careful what I wish for. I returned to Melbourne on the 21st, with little idea what I was going to next. By Friday, I was getting a handover for a new full-time role starting the following Monday.

And it's been a full-on month.

It's definitely been the most challenging job I've taken on yet. Like pretty much every other library role I've worked in, I've been required to hit the ground running, and take ownership of everything before anybody notices that I might not entirely know what I'm doing yet. It's had its emotional highs and lows - the excitement of working with new technology and helping people in the library, and the lows of having a million things to do and feeling like there's not enough time to possibly get it all done.

And then add the fact that I'm doing this after nine months of occasional work (but mostly travel) and previously six months of part-time work.

But you know what? It feels good. Sure, I've almost burst into tears, pulled my hair out, considered quitting my job, and felt utterly perplexed at how I can possibly make it through all my work. On numerous occasions. It's been hard, but one month on, I'm pulling through and surviving. And I'm getting better at it. It feels like I'm learning to re-learn how to ride a bike, after not having ridden for years, and then being told that I have to compete in the Tour de France (see, I'm topical). 

I'll get that yellow jersey soon enough...