Balancing the pace of change with patience
Last night I wrote this tweet that had some good traction so I decided to expand on my tweet today.
In my four month on the job, I still love being a librarian at Penn State. I walk into work feeling challenged and never quite knowing what is going to happen. I have things to do but they haven't felt unmanageable, yet. I love that my job gives me so much time to work with undergraduates and still chuckle when our service desk workers tell me that I remind them of Jess Day from New Girl (played by Zooey Deschanel). The work I'm doing feels meaningful and people have told me they see my intention and passion in my work.
Still, I feel there is more that can be done in my position. I know that reference interactions I could help with are slipping through the cracks from time to time. That some of the student workers still don't understand what I do, where my passions are, or what my field of study is all about. And that some of the time and energy I pour into projects (like a bi-weekly newsletter) are not read by the people who should be reading it the most. So I'm constantly turning over in my head how I can express myself and how can I do better. I just want the change to keep coming and I feel like right now I'm sort of spinning my tires in the mud.
This is probably paired with realizing that I'm settled enough to look for new projects and new collaborators. The search for new collaborators always reminds me of the collaborators and peers I had back in Illinois. I've got stellar nostalgia kicking in, wishing I was back in Chambana, working on homework at Flying Machine during the day and then walking to Huaraches Moroleon for dinner and drinks at Crane Alley to end a Friday. It will take time for me fully lean into this change, to find new places for coffee and food, and new collaborators to bounce ideas off of and to work on research projects together. I just need to be patient.
That's where the balance comes in. Sometimes I feel like so much change has happened. I've made strides, gotten use to my Sunday-Thursday hours, and know all the names of our service desk workers. At the same time, change is still happening. People are still adjusting to my role in the library and I am still adjusting to how I fit into the larger scheme of Penn State. These sorts of changes don't happen overnight and if I want my change to make an impact, it is going to take time.
So I keep reminding myself every day when I go into work that change takes time. Meaningful change takes even longer. I need to take a deep breath and keep going. If I pair patience with the determination and passion I have for this job, things will happen. I know it. They might not happen today or next week, or even next month. But at some point, the hard work will show tangible results. I'm playing the long game and so patience is something I have to build up.