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Jan 22, 2019

What happens in two years

It has been two years since I came to Sacramento. An experienced nomad, I can tell you what normally happens at about two years mark. The honeymoon is over, and my colleagues can see my weaknesses as clearly as I can see theirs, and we learn to work around each other’s edges. In general, we only get to know someone when we can see one’s shortcomings. Some people feel disappointment when they discover that so and so is imperfect. I feel relief – humanity is disclosed through weakness, not through strengths. A person starts being an enigma when she or he becomes relatable, and we can relate to those who do not wear an impenetrable shell of perfection. Vulnerability is really the only way to connection.

I start to get inside jokes. Relationships need shared history, which becomes a set of references to be used not just for humor, but also for rich reasoning. If you are considering doing B, you can say, “Oh, well, I don’t want it to become another A,” and everyone involved will understand what that means. This is not only shorthand, but hopefully allows to make fewer mistakes. And yes, one needs about two years to build that common vocabulary and a common set of references.

Every organizations can be imagined as a complicated maze, with some hard walls that constitute its limits and boundaries, and a number of openings that allows things to be done. It takes at least a year or two to figure it out, mostly by trial and error. There is no user manual for Sac State, because 90% of rules are not written down. People just know – these things are easy, these things are hard, but possible, and these are completely impossible. It also takes a couple of years to figure it out” one year for basic outlines of the maze, two or more for the ability to find passages.

I am here to report that all those things did happen, I am happy here, and feeling energetic and productive. We have so much more to do. Thanks to all for being so kind, so talented, and so passionate about our mission.

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