off kilter

Posted on Tuesday 10 April 2007

sense :: sight // hovering clouds

I can’t help but feel like I’m wasting my time sometimes in the office. I didn’t get into this line of work because I specifically thought it would be rewarding spiritually or personally – I thought it would be a good career move, and help me make use of the degree I worked so hard on. I have to admit, my other job is far more personally rewarding, from that whole “this is what I’ve always dreamt of doing” kind of perspective. Even so, it’s still remarkable sometimes. Right now I’m spinning my wheels, but I should really just be grateful for the downtime.

One of the hardest things I’ve learned about management is not just making other people do the things they’re assigned to do, but trusting them to get it done. The former is easy enough – my personality isn’t the strong-handed type, so I try to make people want to do the things they’re assigned to do, with varying results. Usually it’s a matter of helping them realize that this will clear their plate faster, or look good for them in the long run, or help me out where I can in turn help them out. Either way, it usually works out alright. The real hard part though is trusting people to get the job done completely and correctly. I’ve always been such a hands-on person that I’ve been pretty impatient and quick to take up the “I’ll just take care of it myself” mantle when I find myself explaining a task to someone else. I know how I want it done, so I’ll do it. It’s something that’s extended into other parts of my life as well, from doing the dishes to putting away the laundry, to stocking our pantry with groceries. (Raevyn will attest to this) But now, when you become a manager, you have to let some of that go. You can’t take on every task you get, and you can’t manually work on every issue that comes across your desk – you have to learn to delegate, how to choose the right people for the right tasks, and how to balance both your workload and theirs. It’s actually pretty difficult, and I’m still learning. Granted I’ve only been in this new job for about six months now, but I’ve already learned a lot, and there’s a lot more to learn, from what I understand.

In other news, I had an odd dream last night. I was at a counter, ordering lunch from one of my favorite places, and a ghost from my past appeared in front of me. She had changed – she was known for dying her hair interesting colors but had chosen to dye it kind of a “blue raspberry” shade of blue this time around, and her features seemed to have softened a bit. She was smiling at me broadly when she walked behind the counter to get my attention (even though I could tell she didn’t work there) and said simply “heya, sweetie.” In my dream-world, in that instant, it felt like something crashed – like glass shattering into large pieces. I felt tumbled to the side, and the next thing I was doing was driving down a street that was similar to the parkway leading away from my house here and a lane shaded with trees like the roads near Raevyn’s house in PA. We were driving together and she had the window down, looking wistfully out at the passing trees. It was springtime, and I was feeling the romantic tension that always lingered between us, but there was something different this time, an innocent poison – a jagged edge that seemed to perfectly controllable but undoubtedly there. My subconscious mind rebelled against the notion of the tension entirely, remembering the bitterness between us, the high-flying rapid ascent of our “relationship” and then the sputtering stall at the peak, and the almost blind tailspin that it descended into – a roller coaster ride of the truest sense. My subconscious remembered, but I was acting out, in my head, the only thing I would know how to do if the situation were real – play it out as kindly as I could.

I woke up feeling kind of surprised at myself. I hadn’t thought of this particular person in a long time, and while I do kindly wonder how she’s doing and what she’s up to – literally we haven’t spoken since a random IM a while back – and I don’t wish her any ill will, I wonder how I might deal with her if she did just happen by me one day and ask to hang out and catch up. Or how I’d deal with any of those ghosts, if I happened upon them.

The company that I werk for is planning a move to Columbia in summer 2008, and with it comes the murmurs among the current employees of whose commute will be shorter, whose will be longer, and who’s planning on moving to the Columbia area to be closer to the office. Raevyn and I thought about moving back to my old hoometown, if for no other reason than rent would be a little cheaper and it would be closer to my office, but it would present some significant downsides for her, what with being farther from friends and from the metro to take us into the city. Even so, I’m not totally sure I’d want to move back there- back to where I couldn’t go to the grocery store without running into someone I want to high school with and their child, or I can’t go for a long walk without seeing sights that hold memories for me. I don’t know if I’m running from that past, per say; I feel comfortable with where I grew up and what happened there, but at the same time I can’t help but want to resist going back there- as if going back there physically, even if I’m in a different place in my life, represents some form of travelling back to where I used to be, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. It’s an internal conflict I don’t think I want the privilege of dealing with.

Sometimes, it really is just best to move on.

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