We are nearly at half term, it's been a very long term, and I have been working in my new job for nearly 2 months. I am enjoying the work, it is incredibly busy and the days and weeks fly by. I have some degree of autonomy - partly because my line manager has too much on his plate and has no time, or inclination, to organise otherwise. And yet...
It sneaks in slowly, that feeling of self doubt and mostly I don't even hear it coming until it is upon me like a suffocating cloud. How am I doing? Should I know more? Do I fit in? That is the big one, do I fit in? So much self doubt.
Education is a funny thing, you work with adults but it's the children who absorb all your time, and, having children of my own, I have missed the last two social events. I feel more of an outsider now than I did in September. Is it me? I suspect so. Why do I have this constant need for approval? Right now I am fighting the feeling to retreat into my shell.
I am not missing my old job one bit but I am missing the companionship of people I know well. There are many staff at my new place who I'd love to get to know and be friends with - though I could probably be a mother to quite a few of them - but how do you do that 'making friends' thing, especially when people already have established friendships? I just can't remember what to do, I feel destined to be an outsider for ever. Sometimes it's just so much effort to try to be someone that another person would want to be friends with. And there you have it, can I be myself or do I need to be more amusing and more interesting? Am I myself at work at all? Frankly I don't think I am, I wear a persona, a mask, teaching is a performance, I play to the audience and no one knows me for who I am. Inside I know that if they did they probably wouldn't have even employed me...there it is, all the self doubt.
An email appeared in my work inbox this week with details of the 'Christmas Do'; pizza, bowling, karaoke, dancing. I can cope with the pizza, and enjoy bowling, though I'm frankly crap at it, but karaoke and dancing? I'd be fine with old friends, it would be fun but I don't feel I know these people well enough to let my hair down, and as I write I think I could only let my hair down with close family in a karaoke booth!
So what to do? I don't want to look 'standoffish', I want to make friends but I'm not sure if I can bring myself to go.