It’s Friday afternoon. By the time you read this, I will have completed my first week back at work. So, “how did it go”, you may be asking.
In a word? Wonderfully.
After a restless Sunday night’s sleep, I woke up at 5:30AM Monday morning. The butterflies were already buzzing in my stomach. I was able to pinpoint exactly when I last felt like this: as a kid when I came back from summer vacation. Not only would I see my peers again, they would get to see me…and how much I’ve changed.
I met with my company HR manager at a nearby coffeeshop to go over any last minute details. Was my new laptop configured correctly? Are there any concerns? After a half hour (which felt like a lifetime), she went into her purse and handed me something I never thought I’d see: my new company badge. With everything in place, the time had come to head to the office.
Every step I took to get closer to the front door felt like a thud. I was visibly nervous. Just then, I remember something my boyfriend told me to keep repeating to myself: “you got this.” After a deep breath, I use my new badge to get inside and walk towards my team’s area.
I arrive to see my new name plate affixed to my desk, and I’m greeted by hugs and smiles from my colleagues. “Oh my goodness, welcome back!”, one of them says. “It’s so good to see you!”, exclaims another. We chit-chat for a bit to catch up, then proceed to sit down at my desk. I find a few sealed greeting cards. I open one, with a pink background & a very pretty bouquet on the front. I look inside to see it’s been signed by my entire team. Everyone took the time to pass a card around to welcome me back to the fold. I’m touched and find myself already fighting my emotions from getting the better of me. I set the card down and open the others. They’re hand written cards from our company president and a VP, respectively, commending me for my courage and assuring they are there for me should I need anything at all.
At this point, my fears turn to calm and joy. As my boyfriend succinctly said, I got this.
As my Monday wound down, he would actually text me a few times to see what time I was leaving. I sensed he had a plan cooking. Next thing I know, I get a message from downstairs – I have a package waiting for me. I head downstairs to find he sent me a small bouquet of flowers and a note: “Alexia, you got this! I love you.” He may not have been very slick about it, but I loved them (and him) anyway.
The days that followed found me getting back into the swing of things. Soon enough, I was back in the mix, writing code and helping people. People would stop by my desk to say hello, get up to speed on what I’ve been up to, and to express their admiration for the strength I’ve shown. Naturally, people are curious so questions arise about how long I’ve been transitioning, when did I know, etc. I’m, for the most part, an open book so I share what I can.
As a whole, my first week was eventful in the sense that I was showered with well-wishes and assurance that I had the support of everyone, and non-eventful in that (aside from the almost-unavoidable mistake of using an incorrect pronoun the first day) my transition at work drew no negative reaction at all. Even using the women’s restroom was a non-issue, despite my paranoia over it.
I’m a very, very lucky woman to work where I do. To those who helped me make this transition at the office a complete success, thank you a thousand times over. You know you who are. 🙂