Snakes and ladders, part 2

Continued from here.

I may have kept my own counsel initially, but I didn’t for long. Before I left work, I asked Mom if I could stop by her and Dad’s on the way home. As someone who’s been with the bank longer than I’ve been alive, there wasn’t anyone better to ask. To suss out the particulars, see if this was a good idea for me.

And being a self-described “conpulsive emailer”, I had to write someone. But one thing at a time.

I came home to an open door, and floors and walls I didn’t recognize.

I’m speaking literally in all the cases here- Mom and Dad were getting hardwood floors installed, and had painted the walls of their house, in preparation for selling it, and moving into a new home in Cranston sometime next year. Change, it seemed, was the order of the day.

Dad and I exchanged greetings as we moved away from the chaos of men at work- Mom wasn’t home yet, and she and he were heading to a concert that night. He, too, must have sensed the rarity of the moment- it wasn’t often I called out of the blue, with a point of news or seeking advice. It is a rarity that I regret at times, being too prideful and wanting to do it on my own.

But this wasn’t the time for such reflection- I told him of the offer. A way to move up, get on a different track at the bank. More challenging work, more involved work. More commitment. It was the latter that scared me.

Mom got home soon, and we shared and spoke. They were both excited for me, and I was excited for myself, even as I was uncertain of whether I would take it. She was realistic, and had views on it that I hadn’t considered.

We ate, and I left them to their concert and me to my consideration.

Later that evening, I emailed Melissa, someone who I’ve swapped emails with almost compulsively these last few months. I’ve chatted, written and podcasted with her, and found a kindred spirit in a great many things.

*****

Contained in Melissa’s response to my email:  “Are you scared about settling in too much?  And never pursuing those things you really want?”

The answer, of course was mixed: Yes. And no.

I’m continually scared of settling, even as I know I’m drawn to it. I’m drawn to routine, to comfort. I knew this was odd, to consider accepting this ‘settling’, given the challenge of getting the position, the training I would need to take.

But did accepting this mean I’d picked the fork in the road? That I would never be a writer, or the perfect face for radio? That I’d be wearing a suit and tie and playing golf by four for the rest of my life?

It didn’t. But that depended on me. Would I become comfortable, settle, put down roots there? Put away the pen and paper, never to see it again? The manager would probably like that. I don’t know yet if I would.

*****

I came back the next day and said yes. Not much later, with approval from The Powers That Be, it became official. Dave Church was going to move off the line and into an office.

Well, it didn’t really become official until it was announced on the branch messaging system, and Mat came out of his office, grinning as he shook my hand and congratulated me. He was the first (outside of the manager, anyway), and one of a few people I can talk sports with who can keep up, so it was really cool to get that.

I’m someone who is genuinely affected when people are happy for me, so the well-wishes, handshakes and hugs got me grinning like an idiot for the next few hours, as we rounded out a long day. I’ll admit my concentration wasn’t the best over the next few, as I prepared for the next phase of my working career. I heard enough variations of the “Remember us when you hit the top” line to last me a while.

Melissa had mentioned the game “Snakes and ladders” in a recent exchange-  yes, Mel, I’m aware I’m taking it out of the context we’d initially put it in- and the analogy has rarely been far from my mind. Five months ago, I was a casual teller, working and shifting with the wind. And now, I actually have to consider wearing a tie to work. I can’t help but feel like I’ve hit the ladder. I’m excited, even as I’m scared. It’ll be hard. But I can do it.

Much like in the board game, I must be wary of the pitfalls- the snakes that’ll take me down a few notches. I don’t know where I’ll be five years from now. I know better than to plan as if I do. Work hard, don’t settle. Keep learning, keep improving. But also, keep writing.

Because I DON’T know… do I?

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2 thoughts on “Snakes and ladders, part 2

  1. Colette

    This is an awesome post! Or, awesome two posts. I don’t think you ever have to worry about choosing a fork in the road that you can’t go back on. If this job is what you do for a long time, then that’s great. And if it’s something you do while you bide your time and become a writer, that’s great too. In any case, writing CAN be done on the side. And depending on what kind of writing, maybe that’s a good place for it because you can draw from your experiences as you work at something completely different as your day job. Congrats Davey 🙂

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