New things scare me. Things, people and situations I don't know make me anxious. I've never been a person who craves change. I like routine.
Most days in my job are pretty routine. I go to the same courthouse every day. I see the same judges and Assistant District Attorneys. I deal with the same types of cases. Then I come back to my office and do research, work on current cases, and meet with some new clients.
But today, I had a new type of case. It was a driver's license restoration hearing at the DMV. In the grand scheme of things, this is probably one of the least serious types of case I handle. But my anxiety over a DMV hearing was through the roof because I had never done one before this morning.
More than anything, I did NOT want to let my client down. He's had no license since 2003, and it wasn't a problem until he got divorced earlier this year. Now, there's no one to consistently drive him places. He has children that need him to be around, but he has no way to get to them unless someone takes him. So, I wanted to do a good job for him.
For the last few days, I've thought of little else besides what the hearing would be like, what kind of questions I needed to ask him, what kind of evidence I should present, what are the witnesses going to testify about, are they going to be good enough, etc. This morning, the alarm went off at 6am, and the first thoughts through my head were about this hearing. I didn't know what to expect, and the not knowing was driving me crazy.
But it actually turned out not to be so scary. It was just me, my client, and a very nice hearing officer at her desk. We talked, and she ended up asking my client most of what I had planned to present. So, I did have to scramble a little to come up with something she hadn't asked so that I had something to say. Then the witnesses we brought came in and testified, and they did really well. The whole thing took less than a half hour, and my client left with his driving privilege restored!
So, what I realized (again) this morning was that I can do new things. And I can succeed in new things. While I will feel like I don't know what I'm doing for a little while, that will pass. The next time I go to a DMV hearing, it will be something I've done before. I'll know where the room is and where to park and what is important to the judge.
Everything I've ever done in my job has been new at some point. So, at some point you'd think that the new stuff would stop scaring me. But, maybe not. And maybe that's not a bad thing. The only bad thing would be to let my fear and anxiety from doing new stuff.
But today, I feel like I want to do branch out and learn all sorts of new things! Bring it on-- I got this. :)