Tomorrow will be my first day at a new job, the new job, the job I've been hunting and waiting and praying for since I began to emerge from depression and feel ready to return to work and the regular rhythms of a schedule.
I'll be working in the office of a pretty stellar restaurant called Canlis, Monday through Friday, concentrating mainly on guest relations and reservations. Throughout the research and interview process, I was struck by the company's deep commitment to helping each staff member grow, not only professionally, but personally and spiritually; many of the employees made it clear to me that their time at Canlis has helped clarify and illuminate their strengths, interests, and passions--even when fine dining was not the end-all goal.
You probably know I am returning to work after more than a year away, mostly spent cocooning myself in an atmosphere of rest. I am excited, but I am also afraid: I fear losing all these pieces I have worked so hard to fit together through therapy and prayer and conversation. I don't want to forget what I've learned or slip back into old habits that are not life-giving for me anymore, even as I feel restless and eager to move into a new chapter that doesn't involve being at home alone so often.
The many little deaths I have experienced along the way have given way to new ways of living and being, and I feel very fiercely protective of this new life. The idea of joining a team where one's strengths and passions are nurtured frankly sounds like a dream. Rather than dreading my return to work will somehow damage all the fragile growth I've worked toward over this past year, I'm finding myself cautiously hoping Canlis will be a place where that kind of growth and change will continue and be supported, as it has been for others who have worked there. I confess that hoping for this doesn't make the fear go away; it just means I'm shakily choosing to act in courage, in spite of the shame that says, Hide, don't come out, it's too risky, what if it doesn't work?
This has been a very long, challenging, formative year for me, and I'm grateful for the many loved ones who listened to me, visited me, cried with me, prayed for me, and generally walked through life with me during this season of depression. I still have so much to learn (and un-learn), so many ways I want to change and grow, and I'll need that continuing support, love, and wisdom along the way.
"You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance, you ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers." Psalm 30:11