New Things

I was working on a different post for this week that I was going to wake up early and finish today for you guys, but then I went to bed at 4 am and got up at 6 pm thus throwing off all my weekend plans. I could have hustled to finish the piece I wanted, but then I thought of what my oh so awesome new therapist suggested to me: be candid with your followers. There will be times along this blog journey that I will undoubtedly not be sure of what to write about and/or will become too busy to write a piece requiring more thought and research. So for this week’s post I will just give you some life updates with my thoughts on what’s going on with me.

A few months ago I started thinking about getting a part time job. I thought adding some structure to my schedule would help with my art and writing (which are my true career ventures as of now) and the added income would help my partner and I. A reminder he consistently gives me, which I am incredibly thankful for, is that I don’t need a job. We don’t need the extra money. I should only work if I want to and if it will not take away from all the progress I’ve made in my mental health recovery. With that in mind I applied to jobs that would be more hands on and less mentally taxing so I could conserve my mental energy for my artistic ventures and projects. I applied for some that would be slightly more mentally involved, like a Student Success Coach position that I was pretty excited about, but making sure that they were strictly part time and not overly demanding.

After some interviews and offers, I selected a job as an Animal Care Specialist at an animal shelter. It’s full time, which isn’t quite what I was looking for, but I took it because I feel that working with animals will be incredibly rewarding. But, of course, it’s a major adjustment for someone who hasn’t had a job to go to in over a year, plus my schedule starts at 6:30 am which is definitely NOT something this night owl is used to.

My first week on the job was at the old location for the shelter. Since the public doesn’t go to that shelter (it’s only for animals that are being transported to other shelters) it was a more lax environment for training. That is, we could take our time cleaning all the kennels and crates because we weren’t racing the clock to have everything done by opening time. It was a great first week! I got the opportunity to care for and play with many adorable cats and dogs and show them some much needed love before they left to find their forever homes.

Week two was a little more stressful. It was at the new shelter and involved learning the ropes for the different areas within that we can be assigned to. There are the ones visible to the public, like the dog kennels and cat rooms, but also the TNR (Trap Neuter Release) holding room, Outside Surgery (for TNR cats pre and post op and the public’s pets ready for spay/neuter), Inside Surgery (for shelter animals needing surgery), the sick rooms (for quarantined animals), the recovery rooms (for animals post treatment), and other areas I have yet to train in. The training process is simple enough, but learning the ins and outs of the shelter has been a tad whelming. Still, as an animal lover I’m optimistic about the difference I can make in these animals’ lives.

The most overwhelming part of this transition has been navigating the reality of workplace culture all over again and trying to balance my candidness and advocacy in a new place while also knowing I’m new and still making an impression on everyone. We’d all like to think that the world is not like high school with its cliques and hierarchies, but it is. Being someone who has been out of that world for so long makes going back in feel like culture shock. On the one hand I want to call out anyone and everyone I hear making harsh judgments against people and perpetuating harmful stereotypes about minorities, and on the other I want to not rock the boat too soon because I’m still in probation and can get fired for literally anything. As the knew kid, so to speak, I acknowledge that me speaking up is less likely to have a meaningful impact and more likely to get me pushed out before I’m even settled in. So I need to pick my battles wisely, and for now that means not picking any at work at all.

Now for the reason I stayed up way past my bedtime all the way to my waking up time thus fucking up my circadian rhythm completely: an old friend. But to my dear old friend when you read this, please do not feel bad. Our endless conversation (which has yet to be completed) was a necessity given all the time we’ve had apart.

Catching up with this friend and hashing out all the reasons we broke up before and how we’ve grown and realizing all over again how perfect we are for each other as sisters was beautiful and inspiring and fulfilling. Well worth the sleep schedule fuck up. I had no expectations for how our meeting would go when she reached out to me, but was more than willing to hear her out when she told me that something I wrote spoke to her. Not all relationships stand the test of time. We outgrow people, people are in our lives for seasons, and some never plant roots. But there are others that grow with you, and others still that go and come back and regardless of the time apart and development into new people show that they are your kindred spirit. We are totally different people today than we were when we grew apart, and yet we are still in sync with one another. Finding people like that, that are your soul siblings, is a rare and beautiful thing and always worth working out. To my soul sister, I love you and I’m so thankful to have you back in my life. Thank you so much for reaching out to me and giving our relationship another chance.

New things in life are often exciting and sometimes daunting, so I was feeling uneasy about some of these changes in the last few weeks. But now I’ve found peace with them. I don’t know exactly how I’ll feel about my new job in the next few months, and I don’t know what my newly rekindled friendship will teach me, but I am more than ready to find out. For those of you experiencing your own share of newness, I hope it brings you growth and excitement. For those of you tackling your same old routines, I hope you can keep finding the joy in everyday moments. And for those of you uneasy about circumstances, old or new, I hope you soon find peace in your storms.

With love,

Alyssa

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