Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In 2013 I:

  • started off the year at my lowest point. 
  • needed a distraction so I fostered a sick Beagle.
  • nursed and then adopted the Beagle!
  • went to Chicago and saw Pearl Jam at the legendary Wrigley Field show, which didn't let out till 2am after a 3-hour rain delay.
  • was in two fairly major car accidents. 
  • saw Pearl Jam--at Eddie Vedder's feet--in Pittsburgh, the first stop on their tour.
  • followed Pearl Jam to Ontario, Phildalphia, Baltimore, Dallas and Phoenix.
  • held Eddie Vedder's hand when he leaned out into the crowd in Phoenix.
  • saw my beloved uncle for the first time in too many years. 
  • quit my job of more than 10 years.
  • started a new career in the corporate world. 
But most importantly..

  • fell in love with a man who made me immediately realize that I had never truly been loved before. 
  • got to be a part of his life, which includes the sweetest mornings in his arms and the most exciting nights, watching his band on stage.

What a year! But things aren't done changing in my life. 

I'm ready.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

I Start a New Job Tomorrow

Tomorrow feels like the first day of school. For the first time in over a decade, I am starting a new job.

So long, old life! You were strange and sometimes wonderful.

My head is spinning. I'm curious about every little thing that's going to happen to me tomorrow. And I guess that's the source of my anxiety today…not that I think I can't do this, but rather, right now, I can't even picture my tomorrow.

I've spent much of today just trying to imagine what my new desk will look like, and what we'll talk about at lunch time.

(What will I talk about at lunch time? People seem to think I'm fun, but not everyone gets me at first.  My plan is to just be nice and see what these people are like. They're a creative bunch, so these should be my kind of people, right? … See--I'm not going to get any sleep tonight.)

The last time I started a new job, I still lived with my parents, didn't know how to drive car, and wore long, straight hair down to my butt. (I brushed it to death, every morning.) I was a 22-year-old, and a very young one at that. I didn't know how to sound like an adult on the phone or contribute to a meeting.

But over the next decade, I'd learn how to run meetings, hire good people, and make sure great people could succeed. So this time, with a whole phase of my career under my belt, I'm going in to my new job as someone who's supposed to be an expert.

Sometimes I feel nervous about that. It's a lot of pressure.

Other times, I feel a sense of relief--because I chose this job because it's what I'm good at doing.

I guess there's nothing left to do right now except go to bed and wake up curious but ready.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How I Grocery Shop When I'm Sad vs. How I Grocery Shop When I'm Happy. See Also: Leaving on a High Note

How I Grocery Shop When I'm Sad:

(It might go something like this.)

Where do they hide the boxes of bread crumbs? Ugh. I just want to get out of here. People walk too slow. Why are there so many PEOPLE?! And look, every register has a line. Geez. Dummies, everywhere! I don't even want this stupid food! ARGHH!

How I Grocery Shop When I'm Happy:

(This happened today.)

Mmm, look at these beautiful lemons! They smell so good, too! I'm going to buy some. I wonder what recipes have lemons in them. I'm going to start cooking more. That sounds really nice. I want to try one of these over here! Mmmm!

What I mean to say is, when I'm sad, the world seems too irritating to endure. Every exhausting timesuck--lines, traffic, plaque buildup, dirty laundry, soap scum, dust, work, meetings, car repairs, other human beings. It's all such a drain.

But when I'm happy, the world is bright and exciting. There are new things to see, limitless experiences to have, and I actually like other humans. Instead of feeling like, "Why is this happening to me?" I feel like, "I get to do this!"

Right now I'm very happy, because I am in love, and also because I quit my job.

I think I quit it just in time, because I've been burning out for a while. It recently hit me that while 70% of my work is my dream job, I am no longer able to tolerate the remaining 30% and remain a happy person.

I become a dick.

I walk around my workplace hoping that no one will share their ideas with me. I hope that I will be excused from meetings. I hope events will be cancelled. I hole up in my office. I get easily frustrated. I try to go unnoticed. Mostly, I rush around, because I want to finish my work and be done with it, but everyone else gets in my way.

But since I submitted my resignation and two weeks notice, I've been reminded of some of the things that helped me love my job for over a decade. Those "things" are mostly people, which is interesting since I get to work with animals.

Today was one of my final days at my job, and I was stunned by all the kindness I received, and from unexpected sources. I got sweet emails, heartfelt hugs, cards, tokens of friendship and even baked goods.

Before long, I felt like I was walking on air. I was so happy--I could smell the sweetness in every lemon, to go back to my grocery store example.  Suddenly, faced with the realization that I had no reason to ever see these people again, I wanted to hear everything they had to say. I wanted them to tell me their stories. I wanted to remember them. I suddenly felt like I had all the time in the world to sit with the people I've been lucky enough to meet.

It's all so sweet, it makes me wish I hadn't resigned.

But if I hadn't quit, I'd be a different person this week. I'd be rushing around. I'd be impatient. I'd be a bit of a dick.

So I'm going to take all of these happy feelings and leave my job on a high note. I'm so happy that I met so many amazing people, and got to be a part of so many truly cool projects.

And I'm glad I'm leaving before I got too jaded and mean and see it that way.

I'm out!