Amazonian

Today was my official first day at Amazon.com. This is the result of a calculated risk I took in August, when I decided to quit a full-time job for a temporary contract job. Today is just the beginning of higher expectations, new challenges, and a very demanding job.

My day started with a 4-hour orientation session on the company’s South Lake Union campus. Orientation reminded me of college orientation and the sense of uncertainty about the future I had at 18, and how I had no idea of what my college experience would be. A year ago, I had no idea that I would be working for Amazon, and I wouldn’t have believed it was possible a year ago. I wonder how much I will change – and how much the company will change – in one year from now.

I’m excited and nervous for the new phase in my career and my life. How will I balance 50-hour work weeks while trying to cook dinner and eat before 9 pm? What about attempting more than 6 hours of sleep a night? Is this possible?

I’ve been plagued by self-doubt since I began working for such a large company. I’ve always feared failure and had high expectations for myself. The corporate life stirred these doubts daily, and often several times a day. The stakes are high, and now I feel like the expectations have been raised again. I’m proud to be working there, and really enjoy the work. I balance the self-doubt by reminding myself that I can do the job, and have been doing it for several months.

It felt like an achievement just to be sitting in a conference room for new hire orientation at Amazon.com. I feel a sense of achievement when I think about 10 years ago, when I went to high school in a town of less than 500 people, and five years ago, when I graduated from college and started working at a newspaper in my college town. Now I’m working for an international company.

To me, this is a bigger achievement than my goal before age 25: leaving the Midwest. (I moved a month after I turned 24) I moved for opportunities like this one, and that has made all the difference.

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Moving In: Goodbye, steak dinner. Hello, vegan BLT salad.

In the past month, I moved, got a new job, and haven’t posted anything about the transition.

In January I moved to Capitol Hill to live with the vegan boyfriend. Goodbye, steak dinner night. Hello, vegan BLT salad. (I was skeptical, but it is really tasty. The recipe uses tempeh and has become one of our staple recipes.) Instead of vegan-before-six, I’ve become vegan-after-six (unless we go out to dinner) most nights of the week.

A few days into the great apartment search, we saw one I absolutely loved with hardwood floors, lots of sun, a view of the Sound and parking downstairs. The boyfriend decided it was not to be, after he realized the three words he couldn’t live with: No Dogs Allowed. We don’t have a dog, but the option was a must-have for him. Although we generally agree I am more stubborn, he wouldn’t budge. We argued, and I attempted to talk him into my dream apartment, with no luck. So the search continued, with the first compromise of many more compromises in our future.

After weeks of searching for an apartment with hardwood floors that was Fido-friendly, we finally found the place we call home. Three weeks later, we’re still unpacking the last few boxes, but it is pet-friendly. So IF we decide to get a dog, we won’t have to move in a year. I have no plans to adopt a dog in the near future, and I really don’t want to move again in a year. For now, we’re trying to adjust to each other (and our eating habits and schedules) without adding a pet to the mix.