Starting a new job, that can be scary and exciting all at the same time. For me, it was like the slate was being wiped clean. After six long years of the same routine slowly but surely sending me into a stupor I felt like I was finally waking up from a very long hibernation. I was eager to make something of myself with this new opportunity. I knew I was asking a lot of myself, but it really felt like one of those now or never moments.
My last weekend in Somerset there was a rugby match, I can’t remember who we played or if we won, but I do remember getting a few bruises and worrying that I’d look like I’d been in a first for my first day at the new job. If I didn’t look too scary at least it would be a talking point. I had left a lot of things to the last minute. I had to report to security at 10am to meet my team leader and start work. So naturally I decided to moved the last of my things from Somerset to London on the Monday morning.
I loaded up the car with the last of my clothes and other bits and pieces. and hit the road at something ridiculous like 4am. I wanted to be able to unload my car at my new place in Hounslow and make my way to work on foot. The walk that would become my daily routine, however along the way I started to get worried. I got stuck on the M4 in the slowest moving traffic just after reading.
When I turned up to work for the first day it was surreal, I was paraded around the office and introduced to everyone across the various teams within our department. There were familiar faces, people that I had worked with before during my previous month in London and then there was faces I recognised from our group interview. It turned out that three from our group had managed to get the job, one person started the week before me and another would be starting the following week.
I was free to make myself into anything now, my first day wasn’t intimidating at all and everyone on my team seemed to give off a friendly first impression. Moving from a contact centre into this admin office environment was oddly unsettling, the quiet wasn’t something I would get used to for a long time. There was banter but it wasn’t in constant flow, it was peak and trough every so often. It seemed to make time go by rather disjointedly. I had a lot to learn, I was looking at the technology I had been working with for years from a completely new perspective.
My first week seemed to hurry past in a blur. Before I knew it I was packing my weekend bag to head back home. I would meet up with Lara as soon as I reached Somerset. For me, being away always made me long for the moments when we could be together again. It also had a great significance with Heidi and Daryl who wanted to celebrate my first week in London, it was going to be a better weekend than the one before when I had bid farewell to all things Somerset in trade for my new life in London.
We headed out to Bath and our favourite bar of Mandalyns, despite it being miles from home this was really our local and we had a favourite barmaid there too, Dana. We had been regular punters over the years and would often prop up the bar and share banter, Dana would laugh at us while we lined up the shots on the bar and all played rock, paper, scissors for them. I was notoriously bad at that game which often meant that I would wind up the most drunk out of the lot of us, I’m not complaining.
Dana was a student working in the bar part time and had grown up in West London, when I had learned that she was heading back to London around the same time that I would be taking a job there we casually made conversation about perhaps meeting up for a drink. Of course, we were friends on Facebook and we’d chat from time to time but rarely, I got on well with Dana when we were out and enjoyed the banter but I didn’t really think anymore of it to begin with. It was just a comfort to know that there was a familiar face just a short distance away.
If the week went fast it was nothing compared to how quickly the weekends flew by. I had heard from Lara how she was planning on going to my rugby team’s training sessions. Even though I wasn’t there anymore I was still a little angry about that, I decided consciously not to intrude on her team and her friends, I hadn’t given up my team and the second my back was turned she was in there like a shot. It was something we had discussed and I guess I didn’t appreciate her going back on what we had agreed. I don’t think I made my point well, and it started an argument that looked like it was never going to end and just eat away at us until one of us got our way.
Even with that little niggling feeling moving to London was at still an exciting adventure, still the best decision for me. I couldn’t tell yet if it was the best decision for Lara and me. Only time would tell. Of all the things that had been wiped clean, there was no way to wipe the five year history between Lara and I, we were just too entwined by this point. We were part of each others families, we shared friends, hobbies, holidays and ideas for the future… sure things had been bumpy between us, I still hoped.