Short-lived Superpowers

I have been at my internship for a month now!

A week in, I was feeling pretty good.  I started out slowly, doing mostly practical sorts of things like coffee machine cleaning and breakfast-setting-up because the person who usually does those things was on vacation.  But then, she had the audacity to come back, so I was thrown headfirst into the accounting world.

The first few weeks went really well.  I was really overwhelmed, of course, and exhausted, but every day, I came home proud.  I was speaking Danish all day, making phone calls, doing accounting things (that I find really hard to find the words for in English, but I do actually kind of know what I’m doing).  I was really proud.  I felt a bit like I was a superhero–doing things that were really hard for me, and doing them anyway!

But, the thing is, doing things that are really hard for you anyway, and doing them every day is really, really exhausting.  And at some point, I stopped feeling like a superhero and started just feeling drained.

Over half of my job is payment-chasing.  That means keeping track of customers in three different companies, and who has paid what, when, and sending friendly emails asking about payment statuses, and making phone calls, and sending less friendly emails later on.  This is not my passion.  I can tell you that much.

I’m trying not to feel too down about it–and I don’t, really.  It’s for about a year, and it’s probably good experience to just wade right in.  I know that it will also get better the more in control I feel.  I still have to figure out all of the customers, their histories, who to contact about which problem, etc.

The Danish is also not really a problem as far as understanding things, and being able to communicate, but I feel like it really does keep me a little bit “on the outside”.  I made myself say some things during lunch today, and I was glad, because I was beginning to feel a bit like a weirdo, just listening every day, smiling and nodding, and never really contributing.

But everything is quite overwhelming and difficult.

The good news is that it’s what I was expecting.  It’s actually better than I was expecting!  Our daily routine is still working really well–with Andreas taking Theo in the mornings while I run off to work early, and me being able to get off early enough to pick up Theo, and have a nice evening all together at home.  I’m ready to conk out when Theo is going to bed, but it is working really well!  And the other good news is that I think it will only get better.  I will only feel more confident about the stuff I am doing.  I will only get better at speaking.  I will only get to know my coworkers better, and feel more and more a part of things.

So I know things will get better, but I have to say that I have definitely hit a rough patch.

Here’s hoping that autumn, crunchy leaves, and ALL the pumpkin can help pull me through!

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The American Hermit Crab Coming Out of her Shell

I have started work!  I started over two weeks ago, which seems ludicrous now.  The night before I started, I suffered a full-blown panic attack, crying uncontrollably–worried and anxious about every possible thing, and some impossible things.

But already after the very first day, most of my anxieties were quieted.  I had been worried about the flexibility of the work hours, but fortunately, I’m able to start by 7:30 every  morning, which means I can leave at 3:30, which means I don’t pick up Theo terribly late.  He’s thriving in preschool, and I look forward to coming to pick him up every day.

Everyone in the office is so nice (at least in my department) and it’s quite a nice atmosphere, and unless I’m just completely oblivious to tension and drama, there really isn’t any!  I’m starting to get a handle on my routine tasks I have to do, and it’s getting to the point where learning new things isn’t as overwhelming as it was in the first week, now that I know the basics, and how the systems work.

Speaking Danish all day is somehow a non-issue.  Maybe because I’m mostly used to it, speaking Danish with my in-laws and out in public.  It’s actually mostly an issue over lunch, and with the everyday banter kinds of things.  Sometimes, it goes over my head, and I just sort of smile along.  Sometimes, I’m a little bit lost when everyone is talking at lunch, and I can occasionally feel outside, but I think that will pass relatively quickly.

I was really afraid I would be so drained by the end of the day, that I would have no energy left for Theo and Andreas, and just the household stuff in general, but surprisingly, the opposite has been true!  Being out of the house, with other people, learning things, doing things, and coming back at the end of the day means I am even happier to see and spend time with my family!  The chores are being done a bit more in the weekend, but it’s not nearly as big of a deal as I feared.

Overall, things are going so, so well!  I can only hope it continues like this–it’s almost too good to be true, I’m a little afraid something will come to light that I hadn’t counted on, but as of now, I am only grateful that everything is going as well as it is.

And as a sidenote, I’m looking forward to fall and all the pumpkin baked goods!

Pumpkin!