As established in last week’s post, it turns out, I’m excessively bad with change.
I didn’t adjust to college very well, I had an identity crisis when my relationship went from polyamorous to monogamous, I struggle with my confidence every time I change roles at work, and, I had two huge life changes last week: our office moved, and I broke up with my therapist.
If you read last week’s post, you know that my therapist “breakup” was a long time coming, but I still struggled with it. I went into the session prepared for the worst and came out only to start sobbing in my car. This move to our new office was no different.
My company had been planning this move for over a year, so I knew that it was coming. I recognized soon after the move was announced, however, that I would be somewhat devastated when the time came. Logistically, it would mean a longer ride to work, and, since I am not a fan of driving (especially highway driving), I was not looking forward to that.
As I navigate my new commute, I am now hoping that I won’t have to start waking up earlier in order to get to work by the time that I would like, and a sleepy Renata is not a happy camper. Road rage, anyone?
Unsurprisingly, the move hit me even harder emotionally. I really loved our old building, and, in a lot of ways, I considered it my second home. That was where I started my first job out of college. It was where I escaped to if I didn’t want to be home. I made a lot of memories in those walls, between the relationships that I made, friends that I had lost when they moved on, and the team lunches. I even practically bled out in the bathroom after I pulled a door over my toe. Our last building definitely wasn’t as fancy as our new one, but I was bonded to it.
Since I work at the same company as my dad (and his team arrived at the new office before mine did), he was very happy to show me around on the first day. From my new desk, to our cafeteria space, to his new office, to the gym, I got the chance to see everything in my first 20 minutes there. While dad showed me around and introduced me to coworkers I had never met, I had to swallow the lump in my throat. I felt like I was back in college, realizing that everything was changing without any way to stop it.
He told me to go look into the women’s locker room in the gym while he waited outside. While I had initially thought that being alone would make me break, I realized that having a moment to catch my breath was a good thing. I stared at myself in a mirror and calmed myself down as best I could. Everything was changing, but I was going to have to be okay.
One good thing that has come out of this move has been the close relationships I have found with my coworkers. While I am still seeing mostly the same people every day, I am surprised by how our bonds have grown stronger so quickly in this new environment. We are even further apart than we were in the old building, but we are always running into each other as we walk around to explore. I find myself stopping in the hallways to have more conversations than ever!
With a new building comes a lot of new questions, too, and therefore, more opportunities to learn new things about my coworkers. We’ve asked each other all about our new commutes and how the move has affected our daily routines. We commiserate over things we don’t like and celebrate the things we do. I’ve even learned which coworkers are anxious like me by talking with them about how they’re adjusting to the move.
Some people are super happy, which is understandable because the building is amazing and there are several perks to being there, but others, like me, are just going to be uncomfortable no matter where they are. We’ve been moved out of our space, and that can be a lot to handle. I’ve vowed to connect more with others who suffer from anxiety like I do. I think we could be great friends!
While not everyone suffers from anxiety, navigating a new space can be daunting. Every day that I have been in the office so far, someone has approached me and asked if I wanted to join them as they venture elsewhere in the building. I’ve sat in on so many meals where I didn’t even eat! So we travel in the safety of our packs like high school girls going to the bathroom. This inevitably means that we get to see each other more frequently and form stronger connections with each other, and you know I live for that crap. While we’ve lost the bond that we had to our old building, we have put that energy into building bonds with each other, which has been a pleasant surprise for me.
Since college, I’ve also forgotten how much changing up my routine can cause me to re-evaluate what wasn’t working in my old routine and change it for the better. The change of atmosphere has me reconsidering my diet and subsequently eating better. That, coupled with my new standing desk, our 11-story stairwell, and large open-floor plan have enabled me to get a lot more steps in! We even have a gym downstairs that I haven’t used quite yet, but hey! Baby steps, right?
As of right now, I’m still in the phase where my mind thinks this is a nice break from reality. My brain hasn’t fully grasped that this is move is permanent yet. I’m not particularly looking forward to the moment where this stops feeling new and starts feeling real, but I’m hoping that my bond to this new space (and my coworkers) will be strong enough then that I won’t miss the old building too much.
Even though change completely upends the world that we’ve created around us, it usually comes with some good, too. I don’t recommend changing things all at once, however (although that seems to be my personal M.O.). We definitely find the most growth in change, but that doesn’t mean that radical change is a good thing. For me, the most important thing is to recognize that change is inevitable, but also that I’m going to have strong feelings about the changes that happen in my life. The better that I know myself, the better I can prepare for my future and cope with it when it becomes my present. Being bad at change is one thing, but resisting necessary change is another story entirely.
Photography by my talented fiancé. You can find him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hope_grows_here/