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  • Writer's pictureA.S. Morris

les marais

Lots of things come with warning labels; no blenders in the bathtub, no operating heavy machinery under the influence, no wearing white after Labor Day. Some warnings are crucial, some warnings are laughable. Most warning labels are placed for litigious reasons....because we must be told that "coffee is hot." People should also come with warning labels. Society is likely doomed; as if 2020 hasn't highlighted that enough. To be honest, the first 7 days of 2021 haven't exactly been full of joy and promise. There is always 2022.


It was a long week for many reasons. The first week post-holiday break. A coup. COVID surge....I also decided it was time for a new job. While the mantra for the start of the New Year is to make resolutions and carpe diem; perhaps not the best idea when the first week of 2021 is beginning to resemble the hunger games. However, us Morris’ are quite skilled in the hunger games.


My confidence post 2019 is still shaky. I've always come off as intense and driven; when my confidence is shaky, I compensate with being hard. They say don't let them see you sweat, I take the - don't let them see you smile approach. I am a northeast city girl. We are a rare breed. Truly unique in our make-up. I went from living in cities with 1.5 million people to a town of 45,000. I am pretty sure I lived in an apartment building that had 45,000 people.


I follow several blogs on all sorts of topics; two blogs I follow are written by transplanted northeast women. Maya Kachroo-Levine wrote the first article highlighted below. While I could identified with the first 17, number 18 made is pretty spot on. That is if my penchant of being closed off hasn't gotten the best of me.


A snippet from "18 Things You Should Know About Dating A Girl From The Northeast.." Obviously, the dating piece is not on my very happily married radar, however...


18. She is always genuine. She may not always be the cheeriest individual, but if there’s one thing to love about a girl from the Northeast it’s that when she’s being kind, you know it’s real. When she shows she cares about you, you know it’s sincere. And if she occasionally gives you her best snark, or attitude, it’s because she thinks you can handle it.

A northerner's guide to how to survive in the south, highlighted below, is from "Bossy is the New Black;" a super fun and engaging lifestyle blog that is worth exploring.


5) Slow down a little: People in the south are much friendlier than people in the northeast. That's common knowledge. What you may not realize when basking in the warm embrace of southern folks' charm and good manners is the pace that goes along with it. All of these friendly people being friendly to each other takes time. Be prepared to be very patient (a tall order for us northerners).

This juxtaposition of the aforementioned concepts have thrown me so off centered. This only increases my anxiety to crippling, debilitating levels and increases my need for control. Hence the change in job. My job is a career, same field, 15 years. In reality, for me to leave, it should be one hell of an offer. In my head I know what my end game is, I just don't know how to get there. Perhaps that is where the spinning is coming from. I knew that path before we relocated. My current path isn't marked, there are no beaten down trails, and there seems to be pockets of quick sand. A swamp per se. Nothing wrong with swamps. A colleague recently highlighted how well the swamp worked for Shrek. I should embrace my inner ogre princess. The problem is, I have no idea how to navigate a swamp.


I did rescind my candidacy for the new job. While I have had feelings of regret in doing so, this was a shitty week. A week full of tasks and asks that are my absolute least favorite. Digging out from a two week vacation that honestly makes me regret taking two weeks’ vacation. Feeling as though no actual work was accomplished. So my remorse is likely due to my current state of mind mixed with first week of January. The job was not a logical professional progression. The job was an extension of what I do now, would offer different perspectives, and had several appealing and compelling attributes. At the end of the day, it was not the right job. It would not help guide me to my end game.


So here we are; decision made, now what? A comment was made that I am running from something, likely, I don't know. My thoughts keep circling back to impactful work. COVID has clearly impacted my ability to connect. Both personally and professionally. Perhaps it’s an internal safety mechanism; keep myself from connecting, you can't get hurt that way. Completely illogical. Sometimes that is the most frustrating part. When you know your logic is illogical. I have set such unrealistic expectations for myself perhaps that is where I start. What is a realistic expectation at work? What am I trying to prove? More importantly, who am I trying to prove things to? I work for individuals who have no qualms when telling me when things are not up to par. Something most would likely hate; something I actually appreciate. It helps one grow professionally.

I have done a lot in my career, yet it isn't enough. Nowhere near enough. About a month ago I started making a conscious effort to disconnect when I leave work each day. I don't open my laptop and only answer key phone calls and text messages. While healthy, does not help with making a dent in work. I try not to think about the major projects that must be completed next week and the lift that will be. Perhaps this has helped with my success, always thinking ahead, how to optimize things, strategy, outcomes....it never turns off.

Perhaps I approach this methodically; extrapolation vs interpolation. Who knows? Maybe I am just being my city slicker self and being impatient.


Perhaps I say to hell with all of this and just focus on slowing down. Work on step 5 from A northerner's guide to how to survive in the south.

At least I can proudly say I have mastered the following step;

7) Pick a college football team: As I've mentioned before, I don't have a college football team. My advice to anyone thinking of moving here: get one. Start studying up now. This is all anyone thinks about in the fall. It's ingrained in the culture and the social scene revolves around it. If you're into NFL like I am, you may find a few other straggler transplants watching the games on Sundays, but it's not the same.

To end, channeling some college football , advice from the great Lou Holtz; "Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated."

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