Officially I will be starting my position as library director at the Tracadie-Sheila Public Library this coming Monday. Ironically I have spent much more time and energy stressing about my move from Montreal to Tracadie than I have about starting my job. Since arriving on the east coast this week, I’ve been especially concerned about making good first impressions wherever I go because I never know who I will meet. I’ve been warned that the gossip train travels fast in this small town and so if one person doesn’t like me then the whole town is likely to hear about it within a few days.
Unfortunately, as those who know me are aware, when I try too hard to be friendly I tend to become rather awkward by talking too much. I guess it is my way of overcompensating for being nervous; some people clam up but I talk a lot. I want so badly to follow Stephen Abram’s advice that we have two eyes and two ears but only one mouth for a reason. This is such perfect advice for me but I find it hard to follow. For example, today when I attempted to check out my new library incognito, I ran into the assistant regional director who had interviewed me for the position. She introduced me to all the staff and I found myself rambling on and on. It was almost like an out of body experience. I could see myself dominating the conversation but I felt helpless to shut myself up. Luckily on Monday, I will have my orientation so I will be required to listen attentively and take notes all day.
Despite having to face my own awkwardness, I am really having a wonderful time discovering my new community. I have been passionate about Acadian culture since I read Pélagie-la-Charette (in english Pélagie: the Return to Acadie) by Antonine Maillet during my first semester of French Literature at Université Laval. I have been so excited about moving to an Acadian area and so far I have not been disappointed! I was even invited to a fresh lobster meal yesterday and was taught the difference between a male lobster and a female lobster. What an experience!
I promise to keep you all posted once I actually start my job!