The day before my first day at work, I was in Jakarta. The last time I went away for work, Mr TCM hasn’t started his practice. The plan was to stay in Jakarta for a week. My mom was to watch the children. I came back unexpectedly in two days. The protests had made important people nervous.
My mom came over and the kids practiced getting use to her. It was great to have her around to help. It started the week before I moved to my new department. I was cramming as much as I could before I moved on. I had imagined I would cry at work. Such dramatics did not happen. I had a lovely afternoon tea and everyone wished me well. That night, at 11pm, I brought back two huge bags of personal things. On Sunday, I flew to Jakarta. Also unexpectedly, the kids did their homework with her. There was no need for threats and drama. I had prepared them and they displayed self control.
The protests did not escalate while I was there. Indonesians hardly grumbled even though they were stuck in 4 hour traffic jams. Singaporeans would have rioted over the jam. I was very far from the protests area and had moved only between the hotel and the office. I agreed with the director who headed the trip that it felt safe. I personally thought that trying to get to the airport might be riskier than staying in the hotel. Half an hour into the second day, we said our goodbyes to colleagues. I didn’t manage to take picture with the COO who was going to retire end of this year.
Going there and rushing back gave me a strange anxiety. I had some anxiety about leaving my old firm and going into a new place. The thing was, I was leaving my old firm, joining the new firm to support the oversight of a sub-section of my old firm. I was going to Jakarta, meeting familiar friends and colleagues in a different capacity. Yet in that visit, I was launched into the new universe, meeting new people who are extremely kind and friendly.
Still, I carried the anxiety back to the office. The sense of anxiety carried through the conversations I had with my old colleagues. I had been there for a long time, they were there for a month tops. They were anxious about the work. I was anxious about my new work and in that anxiety I felt that I moved a little out of step, out of beat with the rest of my new colleagues.
Over this feeling of anxiety, there was happiness. I had been with my old firm for 12 years but I never laughed so often with them. I did laugh but mainly when the bigwigs were around, telling jokes and stories. That was not often. I laughed more times in my first week than in a year. Today, my direct supervisor came back from lunch and showed us the pastel he did over lunch. It was really impressive! Art! I really like them and hoped they like me too.