“Head-tilt moments” – It’s a phrase that my roommate and fellow Challenge fellow, Claire Antrassian, mentioned towards the beginning of our Challenge Detroit experience, and it is something that has stuck with me as a frame of reference for these past few months. You can think of these head-tilt moments in reference to the amusing reaction that dogs sometimes have to novel situations:
Yup – that reaction. I have often felt this way as I have explored the city and transitioned to living in Detroit, having my first full-time job and being a Challenge Detroit fellow. These are those moments that encourage you to stop and reconsider your paradigm on a certain matter. They are moments that ultimately spark an opportunity to pause, be simultaneously confused and curious, then absorb and integrate some new piece of wisdom into your way of thinking. The fellowship has presented these types of opportunities to me nearly every week, through a myriad of mediums.
One such experience that has made my head tilt (in the best possible way) has been exploring Detroit’s arts & culture scene. From visiting the Motown Museum, to discovering street art on aimless bike rides, to going to concerts featuring Detroit artists and countless other experiences; there are NEVER a lack of places or events to interact with.
The other main head-tilt moment for me has been transitioning into my first full-time job in a corporate environment. In these first 4 months of working at my host company, DTE Energy, I believe I have had at least one head-tilt moment every day I have gone to work. This has been a very positive experience for me. At first these moments included things like protocol, dress, and language – things you would probably expect to be a bit…unclear about coming into a new job. More recently, I am still learning the protocol and language, but I am also now head-tilting at the countless new topics I am being exposed to and the constant opportunities available to grow my professional skills.
Although the culmination of these head-tilt moments can be stressful at times, it’s a positive kind of stress! It is a stress that motivates; That pushes me to be better; That opens my mind to new ideas. And in the end, after all this head-tilting, (much like a dog who perhaps was confused by a subject at first and eventually learns a new trick), I know I can expect the reward, or “treat”, of professional growth and authentic connections as a result.