My first day at work was better than I ever could have imagined. (I was so excited about the dogs, I forgot about all the Swiss chocolate.) But honestly? The only person I wanted to call afterward and share today with was my dad.
It isn’t just because this is where he worked for 25 years. (Though, the last time I applied here, he made me a list of everyone he could remember who could help me get the job. “Now … some of these people might be dead,” he said apologetically as he handed it to me.)
It’s because he was always so proud of me and my career, and even though he hasn’t been around to see me work for the last year, I wasn’t making him proud. I certainly wasn’t proud of myself. I was depressed and unmotivated and (as I told key people more than once) completely demoralized, and I spent more time sitting around and hating life than actually writing.
In fact, things were the worst at work around the time that they were the worst for him, and I didn’t want to complain to my manager or
HR upper management (HR was awesome) because I was sure they would blame my outlook on what was happening at home. (If they were going to avoid the real problem as usual, then I sure as hell wasn’t going to let them pin it on my dad.)
During his memorial, all his friends and pastors talked about how proud my dad was of my brother and I for our lives and our careers. I remember sitting there while they all talked about how he bragged about my writing, when the truth was I was so depressed at work that I would stare at my computer on the verge of tears, and sometimes days would go by where I couldn’t write anything noteworthy at all. I felt like shit (well, more than you already do when you’re sitting at your father’s funeral).
Work got a little better after that (and I mean it, I loved 99% of those people like family and I was homesick for all of them today), but the problems were still there.
I’ve worked at this new place for eight hours and I already feel like I can contribute and grow. Dog parks and koi ponds and cookies aside, I’m thrilled to be at this new place because I can be productive and appreciated. I’m proud that I made it here. And now I get to earn all of that pride he had in me.
(Bittersweet stuff aside … it’s pretty dope, you guys. I have no idea what I’ve gotten myself into.)