The journey

My feeling of dissatisfaction at work seemed to increase over the weekend, so the week didn’t get off to a fantastic start. I had nothing major to do this week apart from continue with the project of producing posters and flyers for next week’s event, the novelty of which had worn off long ago. I could not shake the feeling that I was the new person in the office that had been given the task no one else wanted to do. I felt very much on probation – which technically I am, but it’s an uncomfortably intense feeling at the moment. All I want is fulfilment at work. Is it that much to ask for? One has always got the impression from books and TV shows that fulfilment happens overnight. Were those books and TV shows lying to me?

With my logical cap on I want to give time time, to trust that my higher power isn’t going to let me down in this situation, because it never has before. Yet even with my logical cap on I can’t stop my list of worries about work from growing every day. In a meeting yesterday K told me she wants me to take over the work of placing orders and raising invoices for the team. It sounded exciting in the meeting, but since K doesn’t really know how the process works herself, I don’t know how to go about taking it over. Once again I encountered the sense that other people in the organisation have always done a task, and I’ll have to use all my skills of deduction to figure out who they are, and how I can take the task from them.

It bothered me no end yesterday, and I had to go to the toilet to meditate for five minutes to calm the pressure in my head. After five minutes I felt a little saner, but anxiety remained an ever present, prickly sensation underlining everything I did. It drove me mad. This morning, to try to avoid it happening again, I decided to write a list of all my worries on a note on the computer, which I can add to or subtract from as necessary on a daily basis. Without the list I’d almost forgotten what I was specifically worried about, which always gives the anxiety a stronger edge. With a specific list of issues it’s clearer to me what I can and can’t do to make things better. Say one of the things I’ve written is “not knowing how to place orders and raise invoices,” it reminds me that the solution is to be patient, because next week I’m going to be occupied with company training and the volunteering event, so I can’t do anything about this issue until the week after next. I guess this is a form of step ten that I’m doing.

Towards the end of today I felt calmer again. I remembered there are some positives to the job. I’m creating and doing things that are worthwhile. This afternoon I got a break from my computer when A asked me to rearrange the office stationery room. It was a good few hours of tiring work, and I enjoyed sorting the whole thing out. Such breaks from the monotony must count for something.

One of the best parts about the working day now is the train journey in the morning. The trains are always quieter in the morning than in the evening, so I normally get a seat. Hence the past couple of days I’ve taken the opportunity to read on the train, something I haven’t done in a long time. I enjoy the part of the journey where I get to share the train with crowds of boys from the school that I used to attend. Twenty years ago those mornings spent on that train were a living hell, but today, it’s a visible sign of all the time that’s passed and the freedom I have now. I don’t feel anything like the intimidation I used to feel around those boys, they’re just kids to me now. Does this make it a healing experience? Am I currently finding some peace with the past? When the train has passed the stop for the school and all the boys have alighted, when it comes out of the tunnel and ascends to a level above the roofs of west London, it naturally brings to mind the journey I’ve been on since I left the school, as I can stay on the train and go above ground into the light now. It would probably sound strange to anyone who doesn’t know this journey as intimately as I do, but there’s something powerful in the fact that I don’t have to get off at the stop for school and face that daily torture any more, that I can watch them all get off while I remain in my seat, safely on my way to my new job and my new life.

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