From my surgery in April to now (the end of August of the same year), I've been off work, because the nature of my day job is fairly physically demanding and my recovery has been slow. I work as a waitress at a privately owned restaurant franchise, and usually, I'm pretty ok with my job. I make tips, I get to be active, I get to talk to lots of people and I get to observe a lot of things happening at once to make a business run. Sure, there are difficult people and difficult situations to navigate, but all-in-all, this is a great resting point as I move forward with my goals and dreams.
But now, I'm on the schedule. I'm going back. And I'm terrified.
I know that I'm not fully recovered yet. My fine motor control on my left side is still very limited, and sometimes it causes me to be wobbly. Not a great trait in a waitress, I know.
But I also know that I'm getting stronger every day, and that I'm rejoining a staff that not only is aware of my health journey, but genuinely wants me to succeed and feel better. I know that what I've learned through this journey has caused me to be more patient with others, more aligned with my own truth, and more loving. And while I'll be counting on their patience at times as I transition back to work, I know that bringing a more aligned version of myself to the workplace will help them, too.
It's a vulnerable position to be in, to reintroduce yourself to a circle when you feel so far away (and inferior) to the person that they know. I'm physically weaker than the old Andrea, and in some ways that may make my coworkers job's temporarily more difficult. What if they find this version of myself weak and annoying? What if they don't like me as much anymore? Everyone just wants to be loved, and I'm far from different. What I have on my side now is a feeling of self-assuredness. The feeling that even if I fail spectacularly and lose the love of everyone I work with, I'll know in my gut that I made the effort, I showed up and in the past year, I've done amazing things. Loosening the grip I have on this fear of losing love and being embarrassed means I'm making room in my thoughts to really impress myself.