"I enjoy you," I confessed, slightly tipsy on sake, to a man several levels superior of my position. "You're smart and very funny - we should be in more meetings together."
He grinned at me, ducked his head in a regal bow and replied that such a thing could be arranged. I did not say much, focusing instead on making my way back to the Tokyo hotel without stumbling as I stared at the sparkling skyline and wondered if my head might float up there with the clouds. It was later, resting on my comfortable bed on the 33rd floor, when I wondered if he'd like to hire me. Wondered if, somewhere in the hugeness that is Industry, if I should switch businesses or just teams. How much longer I could stay in my current role before damaging my upwardly mobile reputation and feeling a not-so-small twinge of pain at the thought of moving on. I love my job. I'm finally reasonably good at it. I adore my colleagues and have my desk cluttered in exactly the way I want it and I'm happy there.
I did some thinking on my journey home, my thoughts drifting as my body was in a continuous state of changing positions around the world. I returned home to autumnal scenery - the trees dripping with color as the leaves begin to tumble groundward even as my snowblower vies for position in my garage next to the lawnmower. (My parents wanted to make sure I was ready for any outdoor work before leaving me with a clean house, folded laundry and kitchen stocked with groceries. God bless Mom and Dad.)
More than two years ago, Sibling and I joined a team previously consisting of Best and PrettyHair. There have been several Huge Projects and many places to travel and hordes of people to meet. And, since our arrival, the team - the work, the dynamics and outward appearance - is different. Not always better or consistently worse - just changed.
We now face another large transition phase and I'm unsure if I'm wary or excited or largely unmoved. Two additional members will cause us to need larger meeting rooms when we gather on Monday mornings. Conflicts and celebrations will play out in new ways. Presentation responsibilities - well, all tasks, actually - will be divided differently. And as Best has changed roles and PrettyHair faces an upcoming relocation, I find myself wondering how they feel about the chain of events that began when I stepped into an empty office and wondered how to make my mark. When Sibling first began drawing pictures or I started making lists.
I like to think I'm mostly unmoved even as the Nov. 1, 2010, start date inches closer as my July 8, 2008, beginning once did. Work will be different - in some ways better, others worse - and predicting how that will look is an inexact science. Still, I find myself hoping that all of us will find happiness and success in what soon begins.