Today was my first day back at work since finding out we’ll be going to Malabo for our first tour. Cormac and I spent all weekend looking up things to do, what food is available, and consuming any available information about the culture, economy, and day to day life on the island. I was feeling great about our next post…
And then I went to work. And I was surrounded by people who got our top pick posts, or who were complaining about things that seemed ridiculous, or were just in a better place than me mentally. I got annoyed. And I got cynical. And then, somehow, I lost sight of all of the good things I had spent so much time reading about, and somehow let all of the bad things take over. YIKES!
Hearing the first few speakers talk about how important language proficiency is for our success, when I will receive no language training, was infuriating. Having someone tell us to get in touch with the Community Liaison Officer (CLO) with our questions, when my post doesn’t have a CLO, was infuriating. All of the “it depends” answers that we always get, were infuriating. Forget about the beautiful landscapes and great opportunities waiting for us in Malabo, I WAS MAD!
Thankfully, a good friend saw me getting ready to melt down, and offered up various distractions. I’m so lucky to have someone supportive with me at work during this transition.
I spent my lunch hour talking to my classmates about all of the great things about my post, and listening to their challenges and hopes for their assignments. By the time I had to head back to class, I was more or less back to my happy place. But this morning was a good lesson in the importance of surrounding myself with positive people. Being mad about something I can’t change won’t make this process any easier, and prevents me from absorbing information that will make this transition run smoothly. I know not everyday will be the best day, but I can make sure that they aren’t all that bad.