Around this time a year ago I was jumping for joy at the celebration of obtaining a degree, jumping in the river and starting my first big girl job in 2 short weeks. Now on the other side I can’t believe how fast this past year went by. I started and finished a 15.8 million dollar research facility for UT with a fantastic company and it was the hardest year of my young life. So many lessons rolled into those short but long 365 days. The truth that I had never really worked as hard as I thought I had and that construction work was nothing to joke about was a reality that I came to know each day. There is nothing comparable to those first few months waking up at 5 and working from 7-6 only to get home and pass out on the couch almost immediately. Throughout the countless hours of work and traffic filled days, it was the most influential year of my life. I can’t begin to describe the change I went through this year, when you graduate and are given the responsibility to get things done for a company, your new team, and there are people involved in the decisions you make it’s a completely new sense of belonging….and stress. In college your grades and assignments only impact you and even then it isn’t that big of a deal. When you work each decision you make impacts the group and you are no longer just turing in a paper you are turning in something that will drive the company onward and you had a hand in that. A wrong pay application could mean a mishap in accounting, a company not receiving the money they billed for and a long line of problems there after. BUT every problem has a solution so after reading that sentence know that mistakes happen and there is always a way to fix it… always. I drove over 80 miles a day round trip on I-35 through countless traffic jams and managed to operate 14 hour days (including my drive) with 6 hours of sleep while working at least 5, 11 hour a days and 1, 8 hour day most weeks. Still not even close to what others accomplish each day and week I’m sure, but all new to me. Through all of this I couldn’t let myself give up, I couldn’t bare the thought of leaving without seeing this building, my team & I’s baby through to the finish line. I now have so much more appreciation for a day off and most importantly a confidence that I only could’ve acquired through working and forcing myself to swim and not sink in my first job. Running meetings, leading a discussion in front of 40 + year old men, translating important building instructions, and scripting emails contingent upon contractual agreements and rules are now things I don’t get stomach aches about. That alone makes me smile, I hold myself now with more surety and grace as I know I can get through those tough discussions and tell someone way older than me that’s been working for decades longer that he didn’t do his job properly and needs to get me the documents I asked for. That among many other things made this whole year one of my favorite years with some of my favorite teachers. I can’t thank this company enough for helping me make the leap from graduate Sierra to professional ready for the world Sierra. I know I still have so much to learn and the growth has only just begun but now that I can see it I can’t wait to watch my business self grow and my new found professional Sierra develop further. Since finishing out the building and thanking all that were involved I have left that wonderful, family oriented and friendly company for a new one. (Very very hard decision) I will be moving to Dallas in just one short week to start at a new construction company. I loved living so close to San Marcos and getting to visit the river and check out Austin. I am definitely going to miss the hill country and especially I will miss this company.
Throughout this year I realized just how important family time is. I wanted so badly to make it home for family dinners, wine nights, and evenings drinking beer with my Dad on the patio but Dallas was just 2 hours too far for a casual drive up. I only saw my family in Dallas on Thanksgiving and Christmas and that alone was tough. It hit me that there will be time in my life hopefully farther away than closer, where I wake up and my family isn’t around anymore. My Mom, Dad, Grandma, Aunts and Uncles won’t be just a quick drive up the road. With some new medical developments in the family too it really woke me up to the fact that years and years with family isn’t a guarantee. My little cousin is growing faster and faster and I feel like I am missing out on being the cousin he deserves. I made the decision to move to Dallas for family. I want to soak up this precious time while I can.
Graduating and moving 10 miles north was easy like a little baby step into moving on. Especially since living with 3-4 people was extremely easy for my bank account it allowed me to save and practice paying all my bills on my own a bit easier at first. So this feels like a much bigger move. I am nervous, nervous I will miss my little San Marcos town too much. This town taught me how to survive on my own and gave me the education that has lead me this far. It is a very hard town to leave, but fortunately it is not going anywhere and I tell myself I can always come back!
So here’s to the next step! In one week I will be moving into my first big girl apartment, buying my first pieces of furniture and paying rent all by my girl self instead of splitting it four ways like I have for the past 5 years…that alone is scary!
But I am ready.
Seeker Sierra is moving to Dallas! Goodbye Austin..for now 🙂
Taking the next step,