From the Northgate Branch:
The day was brand new and the ditch was feathery. I lay back unstintingly, stunned with the sun. I felt a million little influences in my nostril, hay-smells, grass-smells, odours from distant flowers, the reassuring unmistakability of the abiding earth beneath my head. It was a new and a bright day, the day of the world. Birds piped without limitation and incomparable stripe-coloured bees passed above me on their missions and hardly ever came back the same way home. My eyes were shuttered and my head was buzzing with the spinning of the universe.-Flann O’Brien The Third Policeman
The new can be such a wonderful and inviting space, setting the heart aflutter, confounding and focusing the mind, exposing the myriad possibilities contained in the moment of newness. It can also bring with it nerves and uncertainty, an uncomfortableness that tugs at the deepest recesses of your stomach, a fear of straying too far or sputtering down and down and down, to crash upon the grassy field below in a majestic explosion.
These are only a few of the rollercoasting feelings I’ve encountered in my transition at Verity Credit Union over the past two weeks. No, I’m not leaving. Instead, I’m evolving into something different, something new, a butterfly emerging in from a cocoon, or whichever clichéd phrase you’d like to use.
But in all seriousness, I’ve taken on a new role at Verity, moving to the Relationship Associate position at the Wallingford Branch. It’s a bittersweet arrangement for me. After a year in the MSN at the Northgate Branch, I’ve made many friends, figured out where the best coffee is, eaten (almost) too much teriyaki, and devoured birthday cake on a regular basis. That branch is a constant swirl of members and projects and employees, a veritable mixed drink—shaken, not stirred—of fun. Most days would rumble past, kicking up a cloud of receipts and emails and bits of scratch paper. Wonderful. I will miss my friends, and the members I met, and the routine that I had, the familiarity with place that comes so often with habit and consistency. And, by golly, I’m going to miss that teriyaki.
On the other hand, new opportunities, new place, new familiarity, all emerge from the shift to Wallingford. I go from knowing much to knowing very little, having to re-train myself to sit at a desk, away from the fray of cash handling and deposit slips, instead focusing on those ever more complicated—and, if I’m being honest, more enjoyable—account openings and loans and mortgages. It is a struggle, a constant, underlying fear that I’m going to mess it up, do the wrong thing, give the wrong information, and bring about the end of the universe, the whole thing going out in one, tiny pop.
It won’t, of course. Not like that, at least. And not at my hand, hopefully (thought, perhaps, knowing you’re the one to bring down the universe….that’s rather intoxicating….but I digress). Soon, though, I won’t be so new, and the processes I currently struggle over will become, what, old hat? They’ll be replaced by new processes that I don’t know exist yet, which will come with their own set of nerves and problems. It is, I suppose, the curse of the struggle for knowledge, for learning. It always starts out slowly, stabbing in the dark without being able to see your own fingers in front of your face. But it builds, and slowly light creeps in around the door frame, tiny particle by tiny particle, until there’s a vague shape of your hand, right there, in front of your eyeballs. Day by day, more light, a wall, your feet, a chair, the light switch, and finally the door handle. Then you’re out, rushing through fields or hallways or mountain tops, wherever you need to be, really. Those are the moments of pure sublimity, in my mind anyway. When everything slides into place. Delicious.
Northgate, it’s been fun, but I need that feeling of discovery again.
Wallingford, here I come. Best if you prepare yourself.