Adulting: Onwards and Upwards

Happy August everyone! I know it has been awhile since I’ve written. chiaragoesglobal took a break this past week and a bit as I was on vacation in Ontario! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been busy exploring Ottawa and Toronto. It was great to be travelling again! I’ll be discussing the trip in more detail soon, but today, I have another topic I want to focus on. The beginning of August marks my two-year work anniversary. At this time of year, I always enjoy taking some time to think back on what the past year has been like, and what the next year could bring.

It’s pretty crazy to me to realize that my entire second year of being in the working world was done completely remotely. I’ve been working from home this whole time, which has certainly brought its own challenges. When I envisioned what being in the working world full-time post-graduation would be like, I definitely did not anticipate having to deal with working from home for as long as I have been. I don’t think any of us could have expected this! However, for me as someone who is still relatively new to the workforce, this really brought it’s own unique experience. During my first year, I only worked in the office for about six months until we began working from home. This means the majority of my work in this position so far has been working from home. Pretty wild!!

It is difficult to fully process what this working from home situation has meant for me. As so much of this was related to the pandemic, mental health challenges were brought to the surface as well. Having done a lot of work on my mental health last summer, this year of work went much better than my first year. I found that I was able to focus better without over-working, and creating boundaries was essential. I had finally adjusted to working from home and was able to prioritize many activities focused on my mental health. I’m not sure that this process would have been possible if I had been working in the office, and for that, I am very grateful. I am now at a point where many of these practices are entrenched into my routine, and though it took awhile to get to that point, I am so glad that I did.

Going through this period of so much change while being remote has been… a lot of things. Mixed emotions would likely capture it best – at times I felt defeated, other times empowered, many times frustrated, and the list goes on. Yet, even though it has been challenging, I do feel that it was something we collectively went through and came out the other side stronger than before. For me personally, that strength did come from prioritizing mental health and boundaries, as I mentioned – and continuing to focus on these aspects will be necessary as we slowly transition “back to normal,” as they say, where working from home may no longer be the norm, and we will need to re-adjust to working in offices.

Though working from home has brought a unique experience, we are preparing to head back to the office very soon, which will likely bring its own set of challenges. I recently made a big decision and decided to stay in the Okanagan for the next year and a bit. Thankfully, my colleagues and managers were extremely understanding and have allowed me to work out of our Okanagan office. I am very grateful for the opportunity to do so – yet, since it has been a number of years since I have been in the Okanagan office, it will be another new adjustment for me. I will be moving closer to the office in a few weeks and have some time to get settled in, before returning to working out of the office. It is going to be an interesting experience to have to re-adjust to what life was like before COVID, in many aspects. I am very grateful to be fully vaccinated at this point, which I am hoping will help me at least feel a bit safer with everything re-opening and returning to working in person. However, I think another concern I will have is the re-socialization of everyone as society re-opens. I am truly not sure how this is going to go, so we will have to wait and see how it unfolds. I’ll be reminding myself to take it easy as we head into these next stages in the coming months.

In conclusion, this past year of work, though in very unique circumstances working from home the entire time, still went very well. I feel I have grown a lot in my position and accomplished new things, while still taking the time to balance and maintain my mental health. Prioritizing my mental health is something very important to me, and is something I will continue to do as I head into the next year. The upcoming year of my role will certainly bring its own challenges, as I adjust to moving to a new city and returning to working in the office. I am ready for these new challenges and eager to get back out there, and continue making memories and growing! Here’s to seeing what Year 3 in the working world will look like. If you have any advice to pass on, I’d love to hear it in the comments. Cheers! 🙂

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