Updated: May 3, 2021
The journal. The non judgemental sanctuary for introverts. It demands nothing but honesty and regularity and has the ability to absorb all your thoughts, fears, tears and ideas and spit them back out for you to analyse and better understand yourself and any life events that may be occurring.
I can’t tell you exactly why I started a journal at my new job, did Bridget Jones do it or something, i don’t know, i’ve never met her, but for some reason i just thought it would be beneficial and interesting to keep a track of what was going on in my head during a significant personal transition period. A new job! Ahhhh! My first big career jump in years. Out of the comfort zone again, into the new. Everything was new, new industry, new people, new location, new skills to learn, i even had to go back to wearing actual work attire, a suit and tie on my first day. It was exciting, starting a new phase of my life, however going from knowing everything and everyone to what I perceived to be absolute zero was both exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure. I was the new kid on the block but i knew i had the right stuff.
There was no real plan on how long i was going to journal for, i didn't really know what i was looking to get out of it, maybe just a log of all the ridiculous acronyms people kept saying around me, maybe a learning tool until it all clicked? I didn’t know anybody so I needed time to gauge people, who was disengaged, who was helpful, who was interested in my background, who was talented, who shared my sense of humour and who could i confide in, ask questions and get honest and clear answers. While i was still scoping that out, the task function on outlook became that blank canvas. I knew it would be uncomfortable but thought it would be interesting to see how i reacted to it.
In the first few days i was just logging stuff that i had done, who i sat with and what they did. I logged more detail around what was expected of me, what the team did and what their backgrounds were. I went back to it a few times as it felt like my safe place. A place where i could test what i had just been told but put it in a language i understood.
After week two, i randomly wrote about my journey into work and how the train was delayed and packed which pissed me off, which then put me in a sulk until about 11am. This was the first time i had expressed any type of detail as to my ‘feels’. The following day i wrote ‘feel good today, positive’, the day after ‘hint of self doubt’, the day after that ‘overwhelmed’. I was logging what i was learning about the role but also about how i was feeling about it.
'Get comfortable with being uncomfortable' appeared in week three.
Week eight i was bored. I wrote ‘bored’ three times that week. ‘Dull’ also made an appearance.
Weeks nine, ten, eleven and twelve included mentions of positivity, energy, frustration and lack of clarity. I also mentioned resilience as some days were particularly difficult. I had to ask myself ‘are you tough enough?’
‘I GOT STRESS MOUTH!’ was something i logged during week 20. One of my signs of stress is when my jaw starts to ache for no reason. Also a sign i couldn't be bothered to articulate it properly that day.
Week 22 I had started to notice that people confided in me. They saw me as a safe place.
During one day in week 30 i was in such a state of flow, i actually forgot to eat lunch.
Step by step i was figuring it all out. The more information i was collecting about highs and lows through the work day and beyond, the more i understood fully what i enjoyed doing. I had a rough idea before but actually that was just a view of what i thought i should be enjoying.
So were there any revelations documented that i wasn't already aware of? Well, yeh. I found that i like to ask and then answer my own questions, only written though, not verbally. Strange.
All The People - Anything that involved collaborating with others, talking with others about challenges or providing support really got me in the zone. The desire to make an impact in people’s lives.