The short answer is that my new job, plus a very mobile baby and a lack of good sleep have made me lose motivation to keep up the things that are for me, like my photography and my blogging. But I see a direct correlation to not feeling as happy or energetic lately either, so I've realized that it's kind of like working out, I just need to start doing it and soon enough it will be a part of my routine.
And now the long answer. Starting my new job has been a bit of a roller coaster. I was so sad and nervous and stressed leading up to the transition. Sad to leave behind a place where I felt comfortable and had a lot of flexibility. Nervous to start something new where they didn't just know that I know what I am doing, nervous to have to prove myself again. Stressed out trying to finish up last minute tasks for my old office.
Then I started the job and was less than excited when I didn't hit it off with my new coworkers as well as I did the last time around. I walked in thinking that they wouldn't be as good and so found reasons to justify my preconceptions. Now that things are really starting to settle and personalities are really coming out, I am trying to change my perceptions. My new coworkers are not my old coworkers, and maybe we will never be friends the way I was with the people before. There is a significant age gap between myself and the others in the office (one woman's daughter is older than my mom to give an example) and this is a challenge in that we have little in common in order to relate to each other. I'm sure that as we gain experiential commonalities we will find ways to relate. Who knows. What I do know is that I can't keep walking in and wishing they were different. I do know that if I am really going to grow in this new office, I need to look forward and not back.
I really like my new boss. I think that he is very supportive of the things I'd like to change and of people in general. I always enjoyed working with him in my previous capacity and think I will do well in my new role. This week, as a favor to my old office, I have been training my replacement who started on Monday and will continue to do so for the next few days. All of the sadness about leaving and guilt about not being there to help them anymore is quickly being replaced with memories and flash backs of the reasons why I knew I needed to get out. The atmosphere can be so toxic at times. I used to joke that I was the lone fire fighter in an office filled to the brim with arsonists or that I was the keeper for the zoo where they sent the slightly crazy exotic animals (hence the name of this blog actually). And in this series of metaphors is the major difference between my old and new offices. Where once I was the only one putting out fires, I am now surrounded by people who not only know how to use a hose but listened to Smokey the Bear and also know how to prevent forest fires. I feel like I have a lot more on my to-do list now-a-days, but I don't have the same stress level I did before, and that is a great feeling. I like that I have a constant and steady stream of work rather than a blast of urgent tasks for a few days followed by a day or two of radio static and overall boredom. I like that the days pass quickly. I like that my new boss involves me in meetings on a level where I feel like I am allowed to voice my opinion and it will be heard.
My new job is definitely not my old job, but despite missing friendly faces, I am glad for that. I am glad to have a new challenge ahead of me and a new opportunity to grow and learn.