Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Real World Meets the TCK

Four weeks of working full time under the belt.  I love my job, even though it is filled with a mountain of tiny details that I have to internalize.  Every day I learn something new: it’s like learning all the rules for a foreign language, then learning all the exceptions and irregularities of those rules.  You know, it’s always this way.  Except when it’s not.  It’s frustrating only because I am the type of person who hates being “new” and who wants to know everything at once; to be an expert at everything on Day One. I hate being inept and still under construction, if you will.  Maybe that’s why I never was hip on the idea of building a house from scratch; I’m too impatient to imagine the possibilities; I just want to skip to the end to see the result. 


I’m going through a kind of tired, too, that I haven’t felt in a long time.  I go to bed and it seems like five minutes later the alarm is going off and it’s time to get up.  I come home at night and before I can blink it’s time to go to bed and do it all over again.  There just doesn’t seem to be any down time.  My husband and I are the proverbial ships passing in the night.  I know, whine, whine, whine.  Cry me a river.  Welcome to the Real Word.

The best part is the level of satisfaction I have in the fact that I am working in my field.  I went to school, studied hard, and earned a degree in library science.  Now I am actually working in a real live library, using some of the actual things I learned in school.  Cataloging is meticulous and subjective at the same time; it was one of the courses I enjoyed the most in school and here I am, getting paid to do just that.  In all of the jobs I held in the past, mostly in the legal field, I felt incompetent, untrained and ill-prepared.  I went to law school for a year, yes, but I never felt that I was good enough; I was completely insecure in my abilities.  In one case I really did make a huge mistake that was a result of my lack of supervision and true ignorance.  (Being asked to take on the project, I remember thinking, okay, I’ll do that, just hang on one second while I go to law school “right quick”.  I’ll be right back!)  The powers-that-were never made me feel bad about my screw-up, not to blame myself, etc., but I still felt guilty.  Attorneys always have the final responsibility for a paralegal in their employ, but it still hurt and was embarrassing. 

Of course, if you make a mistake in cataloging a book, no one is going to die, and it’s easy to correct.  The stakes are not as high (thank goodness!)  Now I feel confident, secure in my knowledge and education.  It’s the kind of job that I always wanted.  I’m being trained well, and that, in combination with what I learned in school, is the perfect culmination of a lot of dreams. 

All this happened at the same time my book came out.  It’s been a great couple of months, feeling like I have accomplished a lot.  All those years of feeling half-baked and not good enough are behind me (but not so far behind me that I get cocky!)  

The down side is that I have so little time for my little Third Culture Kid blog.  I hope that I am still in my adjustment period, so to speak, with my state of exhaustion, and that I will fall into a steady hum of existence soon.  Seeing hundreds of books every day (agonizing not to be able to read them all!) gives me a plethora of ideas about life to write about, I just need to sleep on the weekends!  In the meantime, check out my Facebook page, at Recovered Third Culture Kid, where I post snippets of TCK interest.  In the words of the immortal Terminator, “I’ll be back.”

Check out this review of my book on Amazon.  (Full disclosure: it was written by my friend Anthony Roberts whose books "Sons of the Great Satan" and "Dead'r Than Elvis: Tall Tales of Texas Bullsh*t" I talked about earlier).

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