Leaving On A Jet Plane

I sit in the airport, waiting for my plane to board. I am surrounded by fellow travelers, most keeping to themselves, either reading a paper or crouched behind their smartphone. Some sit on the benches, staring off into space. Others squeeze themselves into corners, next to whatever meager power outlet offerings there are. I sit facing the window, airplanes taxiing to and from the runway in front of me. Even now, I can’t quite believe it.

I can’t quite believe I’m on my way to start my new job.

I keep thinking that maybe this is just another consequence of having a variable schedule; maybe I’ve got Monday off, and I’ll have to be up at 4am tomorrow morning like usual. I still don’t quite grok that I don’t have to do that any more, that instead I get to sit at a computer during regular office hours, plugging away at AutoCAD.

And my body doesn’t believe it yet either. The past few mornings, I’ve been awake at 4am whether I want to be or not. So I’ve laid there, tossing and turning in the too-warm dark, trying to convince myself that yes, I can go back to sleep. That no, you don’t want to just suck it up and start reading. Oh, and ignore your bladder: it is filled with lies.

So if anything, I’ve been more tired than usual, paradoxically because I’m able to sleep in. I’m sure I’ll adjust soon enough, but these first few days (weeks?) are going to be odd. In more ways than one, I bet.

See, I’m also nervous about being able to perform my job duties. Intellectually, I know that this fear is irrational. After all, I’ve had experience with AutoCAD since high school, and while I may be a bit rusty, I’m sure those habits will come back fairly quickly. I guess what has me nervous is the fact that I’m going to be using those skills professionally, that my drawings will actually be used for something beyond my own education.

It’s a weird feeling. But an exciting one, too. One of the complaints I’ve had about my previous jobs is there hasn’t been a big feeling of accomplishment, that at the end of the day it’s hard to feel like you’ve made any progress. But with architecture, I’m hoping that will be different: it’s hard to feel like you haven’t accomplished anything when, at the end of things, there’s a building where once there was not.

And sure, I’m probably romanticizing the drudgery and routine of things (like construction documents, or bathroom layouts, or door schedules). But I’m hopeful that this work will be more fulfilling. Even if I’m just doing drawings, polishing the design work of others, I’ll be involved with the process. I’ll have helped make something. And that’s exciting.

And a tad bit scary.