Hey friend! You’re back. Ready for Part II of my twisted Christmas carol?
If you haven’t had a chance to catch up on Part I, start here. Trust me, this entry will make a bit more sense if you do.
Don’t worry, I won’t share the rest without you so take your time, and come back here for the second half. I’ll be waiting 🙂
All caught up? Great. Let’s get back to the party.
As I mentioned, this party was the first event that I was able to spend with my entire team. It was an opportunity for me to see them outside of the office and to get to know them when they aren’t in work mode.
This was my chance.
Things started out fine as we were ushered to our assigned area — two tables. I was actually a little disappointed that we were separated because that meant that I couldn’t socialize with the entire group. But I went with it.
I sparked a conversation with a few of our content editors about, guess what, the blog! I can’t stop talking about this y’all. It’s great.
For a moment, I felt fine. I was back to my usual, social self and had the thought that perhaps, I wasn’t such an oddball after all. Until everyone stood up to mingle. Usually, this is my arena. I hop in the ring and swing a K.O. every time. This isn’t because I’m confident, it’s simply because I’ve had a TON of experience. After all, I’ve moved my entire life so I’ve gotten pretty good at making friends with strangers.
But these weren’t strangers. These are my new coworkers so the stakes felt a bit higher. As everyone stood to chit-chat, naturally everyone gravitated into separate circles to talk. Again, I didn’t think that I’d have any problem with this but to my surprise, I crashed…and burned.
I would make my way into a circle and stand there awkwardly, waiting for my turn to chime in. But it never came. Occasionally I’d catch someone’s eye and blurt out a few things to get something going, but it would end in a silent whisper and minutes later, I was looking around for another group to interrupt.
You can only imagine how unbelievably defeating this was for me. I’m not used to feeling this awkward. I was trying so hard to be cool and interesting but I was left feeling deflated and ultimately exhausted from my failed attempts. For everyone else, it seemed so effortless. And there I stood, overthinking, self-critical, and alienated.
Related: The Struggles of a New Girl
As the party went on and my awkwardness nearly tripled, my anxiety was at an all-time high. Was something wrong with me? Was it something I said or didn’t say? Do I not know how to relate? Or am I just an agency girl who doesn’t know how to be a corporate girl?
It’s been four days and I still haven’t been able to answer any of those questions.
To add insult to injury, I carpooled to the event with one of my neighboring deskmates so I couldn’t make a quick escape to run from my discomfort. I patiently stood by as she naturally clicked with everyone and laughed and smiled about their conversation. I couldn’t help but wish that it was that effortless for me.
But of course, I don’t go down without a fight. So I kept trying.
Finally, she finished making her rounds of goodbyes and was ready to head back to our parking garage. Internally, my inner voice was rejoicing at the idea that I could run back to my car and hide.
When we finally arrived, I couldn’t get to my car fast enough. Initially, I wanted to bolt out of there and get home as fast as possible. But I needed a drink to come to grips with how overwhelmed I was. I just couldn’t shake it. So I dropped off my things and rushed to the nearest bar.
Hi! How are you doing this evening young lady?
What can I get you?!
May I have a Long Island, please?
If you’d be so kind, make it strong.
You got it! One Long Island coming right up.
You have no idea…
If you haven’t tried a Long Island, I highly recommend it if you’re trying to forget about your problems, erase a rough day, or for a quick drunk to get your night started. When the bartender arrived with my sparkling glass, he could probably see the defeat in my eyes.
I don’t think I’ve ever consumed one of those things so quickly. As I made that slurpy sound when I reached the end of the glass, my emotions took over and I just couldn’t keep it in.
There I was, in an ugly Christmas sweater crying over an empty glass at the bar.
I sat there as my eyes welled with tears, and thought about my 12-year-old self and wondered if she’d be proud of where I was in that moment. Tears running down my face, disappointed in myself.
I thought that following my dream was the right thing to do. But what if my dream job wasn’t as dreamy as I thought? What now?
What do you think? Are dream jobs a real thing? What should I do?
By the way, the drink hit the spot. I came home and slept like a baby. You should try one.