Disclaimer: This blog post is about to be really really real.
On Monday of this past week, I had my first day at a brand new job. Granted, it's just a different library job (it's not like I changed careers) but it was one hell of an adjustment nonetheless. I'm not going to sugar coat it. On days one and two, I was overwhelmed as hell. To put it in culturally relevant terms, I felt like Eilis at the beginning of Brooklyn. I walked out the doors at the end of my shifts the first two days, sat down in my car and promptly burst into tears, soaking Eli through with my worries and fears and doubts.
This library is simply different. The vibe is different, and the job I'm working is just MORE. It's a definite step up in terms of hours and workload. There's a much more serious tone. Which is absolutely fine, professionalism is great, but at 20 and 7/8ths years old, it's a little overwhelming. I'm used to wearing whatever I want and not having to worry about what will happen if I get a tattoo one day. I'm used to making jokes and showing off what I like to call my "trash youth interior" while also still being professional and doing my job. So the first two days, when I was getting oriented and didn't really get to talk to anyone, I was drowning. And I find that really interesting, because I always thought I didn't like people. But on day 4, when I got to do more of what I'll be doing every day-- sitting behind the desk and interacting with patrons, I was happy. Which was mind blowing to me. I like people?! I thought. My whole life is a lie!
Another challenging aspect of this week was filming. As you may know, I'm working on my second short film of the summer (but my 4th overall project). Once again, we had limited time to get it done-- basically Friday was all we had. So we ventured back out into the woods at around 6 pm, with storm clouds looming ominously over our heads. We got the shots, we got the shots, we had fun, blah blah blah. It started to get dark, and we still had a few shots left and increasingly limited time, so we powered through. But then, in the wake of the excitement of getting the shot, reality settled back over us-- in the forms of darkness, fog, and thunder.
I won't say we got lost, because that would be an insult to Eli's navigating skills. But we did get a little... disoriented and eventually realized that instead of taking the long way back (which would lead us to the water bottles and other supplies we had left behind while the daylight still lingered), it was smarter to take a shortcut, because our ever-anxious director was freaking out a little bit. This turned out to be a very muddy, mucky, messy and sharp shortcut. I hated it. But afterwards, lying in the safety of my bed in borrowed sweatpants while my white shorts that I stupidly wore soaked in a bucket in the bathroom, I looked over the shots I got and I realized two significant things.
- It was worth it. Even though I knew that behind the shots where the camera movement was glorious were the oozing scratches on my legs now covered in Neosporin, they were so worth the blood, sweat, and tears.
- And 2, and this relates to my post last week, I really love filmmaking. Because even though it is sometimes a perfect recipe for stress, anxiety, and occasional pain, everything else pales in comparison.
So I guess if I were to try to connect these two topics somehow, I'd say this. When I was hemming and hawing over whether or not to even apply for this new job, my brilliant and wise mentor Yvonne said something that stuck with me. She said, "There's really no such thing as wrong choice. It's all just experience and whether it's awesome or not so awesome, we learn what we need to learn and adjust and go forward and look forward to the next things. Enjoy the in between-ness, if you can." When I was lost in the woods, I thought I had made the worst choice in the world. On day 1, I questioned whether I had made a mistake. But sitting here, on the morning of day 5, I'm realizing that she's right. It's all just experience. And for better or worse, we're going to get lost in the muddy woods sometimes, but hopefully in the end we can sit on our beds and realize it was worth it.
That was so cliche, I think I need to take another shower.