Tune in today to see if she can … quit a really great job.
This Friday will be my last at the place I’ve worked for the past five years. Correction: precisely one day shy of exactly five years. I already shared an exhausting post about the dilemma this decision presented and, in the end, the cards fell in favor of the fresh start. [Gulp]
I have loved this job. Particularly the part where I got paid to write and hang out with a group of folks who humor my analogies and get rowdy at the Christmas party. This is the job that brought us back to our hometown. It’s the job I had when we welcomed both Spike and Sloppy Joan and found our house. I have shed tears of both grief and laughter in those offices, on more occasions than I can count. It feels like a corporate urban legend, but it happened to me: Somewhere between my first Halloween (where we dressed up for and performed a white trash wedding) and my last 3pm ice cream surprise, these people from work became a second family. Maybe it’s the sheer amount of time we’ve spent together, or maybe it’s just really good recruiting. I don’t know. But I know I got super lucky.
So, if I’m so damn happy, why leave? I have been so comfortable, and to me, that comfort is a blessing as much as it is a crutch. It’s a settlement in some ways. I imagine when that comfort is napping on the couch, and sees a challenge standing expectantly over it, it stretches its arms way above its head, rolls over and falls back asleep. It makes monotony seem so sexy and whispers that the unknown is simply “an inconvenient mess.” Truth be told, I just came to a point where I felt like getting off the couch. Starting over is practically paralyzing for a girl like me, but it’s better than lying down and spooning with a life unexplored. I am a creature of routine, 100 percent, but the routine can be numbing. And when you’re numb, everything starts shutting down. Am I scared? Hell yes. But the fear makes this whole thing really kind of great. But the people … that part tears my heart out.
While making myself and everyone around me insane with the excessive weighing of pros and cons, I was simultaneously listening to and loving “Looking for Alaska” by John Green. In the book, Pudge, an adolescent young man, goes to boarding school “to seek a Great Perhaps.” It was one of those art-imitating-life moments where I decided to take it as a sign (I needed a sign) rather than just a result of my number being pulled at the local library. This was my crossroads: Stay where I was for years and be perfectly content, or entertain the notion of a “Great Perhaps.” I chose the notion.
So, with a pocketful of treasured friendships, I’m turning in these keys I’ve used to write so many words and moving on to a brand-new adventure. And even though the air is thick and heavy, with familiar feelings of finality – like college graduation or that time a dear friend moved to Florida – people, throughout the whole process, have encouraged and empowered me to move boldly in the direction of my dreams. I always hated when folks said a career change was “bittersweet.” Seems so cliché and canned. But oh, how perfect the word is. The call for celebration is muffled by the exchange of melancholy goodbyes and promises to stay close; promises from the faces I’ve looked at in conference rooms and girls’ lunches, some for the past 4 years and 364 days.
This team has tenacity. It has amazing human beings, with talent and wit and heart. They are the people you want holding the scooper when shit goes down and the kind of people who pop up in the stories you tell for a lifetime. And the crux of this change is, and always has been, it’s tough as hell to leave a team like that. It’s so sad to walk away, but their astounding support has moved me along. And that, my friends, is the definition of “bittersweet.” It’s so freaking bittersweet it makes me want to throw up every time I think of that last walk out the door.
Hank and I are taking Emma and the kids and going off the grid for a week before my first day at the new gig. I wouldn’t want the fifty of you who follow me here to worry about where I went. Thank you, sweet friends and family, for humoring my insane introspection over the past few months, and Hank, for buying boxes of wine and building Excel spreadsheets with bars full of boring benefits crap. Stay tuned for this Great Perhaps, or perhaps, just something kind of great.
Until next time …