I think it might be time to start writing on this sucker again, as there’s big doin’s going on in my life and I might actually be starting to have something to say.
After twelve and a half years, I’m leaving my job. I’ve been working here since I graduated college, it’s a huge part of my identity and my social life, and is my home away from home. But there’s been a lot of changes in recent months and my position is going to cease to exist at some point in the not-so-distant future. The powers that be aren’t really acknowledging that the changes are that serious, and therefore most other people on my team are still in denial, acting like everything’s going to stay status quo because [high up person] said it would be fine, but I’m vaguely good at math and things aren’t adding up. Luckily my manager has been relatively open about it and we’ve discussed the need to figure out another position for me within the company. But to be honest, the possibilities didn’t thrill me.
Enter random job offer from an old coworker, which lit a fire under my ass to figure out what I really wanted. Instead of taking that job, I decided to reach out to a company that I work with through my current job, because I like the culture there and it’s in a good location and, as they say in the biz, I think it would be a good fit.
And so here I am, two days after giving my notice. I’ve had meetings with several people who’ve tried to get me to stay, or to think on it a little longer, and all that is great to hear because it’s seldom that you get to sit and listen to someone tell you how wonderful and valuable you are. And of course all that makes me wonder if I’m making the right decision, and is this other company really a safe choice? I’d be leaving behind a group of coworkers whom I’ve come to love, a beautiful campus with amazing architecture, a nice discount to a certain chain of stores, a cafeteria with two sushi chefs.
But the fact of the matter is, I’ve been here for twelve years, and unless I’m willing to consider staying here my entire life, I have to get out sometime, and I think the cosmos are telling me this is the time.
Something that’s been bugging me lately that I’ll probably start to discuss at length (that is, if I get off my ass and start blogging more regularly) is my increasing anxiety about capitalism. As I alluded to in my last post about my work situation. It’s not really a “situation” per se, it’s just that I’ve had it easy for a few years and now it’s quickly turning around and I’m finding myself back in my old stressed out ways.
It seems more and more that nobody is allowed to relax and enjoy their lives. The emphasis in America is all about hard work and self sacrifice, no loafers allowed. Companies are supposed to make more money, and then when they’ve made more money, the bar gets raised again and again and it’s more more more more more more more. No amount of money is enough. Every company is expected to aspire to Amazonian heights (and I’m sure Amazon executives are right now complaining that the company isn’t making enough money), and in turn every employee is expected to aspire to CEO. The funny thing is that everybody knows they won’t be CEO, but they’re expected to keep going toward this unknown goal. In fact, there are no goals anymore, because a goal can be achieved. In America, you’re not supposed to actually achieve, because what could you POSSIBLY do with yourself once that happens? To paraphrase Woody Allen, a career is like a shark – it has to constantly keep moving to survive. Otherwise what you’ve got on your hands is a dead career shark.
Well I’m fucking sick of it. I want to roll into work at 9, do a good job while I’m at the office, and then leave said office at 6 (or preferably 5:30) and do things like try new recipes and chat with my husband and talk to my mom on the phone and clean the house and read a book and make some art and practice guitar and learn French and any one of a hundred other things, including possibly squeezing in an episode or two of House of Cards. Isn’t that enough? Americans are so obsessive, they can’t just have a little bit of anything. If I say I want to leave work at a reasonable hour in order to do something in my personal life, that’s perfectly respectable provided that thing is something I’m trying to switch careers to. Every article I read about work life balance involves people talking about coming home from work and then trying new recipes for the restaurant they dream of opening one day, or playing guitar so they can become a professional musician. But if I just want to leave work (and not answer emails at night) so I have time to plink around and learn to play “Just Like a Woman” on my out-of-tune Ibanez, that’s not really acceptable. The American work ethic leaves no room for dilettantes.
And now just so’s I don’t end on a sour note, here is a silly video of a baby elephant taking a bath.
*just realized I had accidentally unpublished this post, so it’s a little outdated. Of course, unless you have intimate knowledge of my day-to-day life you’d probably have no idea. But blogging is all about being open and honest with strangers, right?*
I’m having a stressful day. When I changed jobs within my company a few years ago, I hit the jackpot. I went from crying in the bathroom several times a week to actually enjoying my day. I had a secret little hideout, under the radar and untouched by the standard frantic race for money money money. Unfortunately the capitalist beast seems to have found my hiding place, and things are starting to get frantic again, and political. I can work hard and keep long hours if necessary, but office politics is one thing I just do not have the stomach or heart for.
So I need to think about a few things I’m grateful for right now:
– I’m grateful that my mom told me, in a hopeful tone, that she’s feeling better than she’s felt for a long time. This is most likely due to the fact that she’s run out of some of her many prescriptions and with them the side effects. Crazy how the drugs that are meant to help you can snowball into their own illness.
– Grateful that I booked our trip to Florida today and therefore KNOW that in the foreseeable future, there will be a few days when I won’t have to wear a parka.
– Grateful to be checking out my friend’s new place tonight, which he just closed on last week, which means he won’t be ditching me to move to New York anytime soon.
And for added good measure, Ella always makes me happy:
Just saw a compilation of a bunch of different dance scenes from movies and this classic was in there.
I don’t wanna get ahead of myself here and be like, “I’ve changed my life forever in a little over a week!!” because I have a 35-year history of never ever ever EVER following through with ANYTHING. BUT. I’ve discovered something kind of cool thus far in 2014, which is that habits and routines are a little bit of fantastic.
I can’t ever seem to develop any good routines. I wish I could say that’s because I’m totally spontaneous and fill my days and nights with all sorts of different fun things. Instead, the closest thing to a “routine” I have is coming through the door after work, walking straight to the kitchen (while catching up on the day’s Instagram posts) and standing there with my coat on, eating something out of a box or a crinkly bag for ten minutes. After that, I sometimes pull myself together enough to make dinner, sometimes tell Greg that we’re on our own to “scrounge” (which means probably something involving eggs or frozen chicken patties or spaghetti and a jar of sauce). I usually brush my teeth before bed, but most of the time I can’t be bothered to wash my face. I usually roll out of bed at the last possible second, sometimes with enough time for a shower, sometimes with enough time to at least wash my greasy bangs in the sink, sometimes with enough time to pull on a dress and lament my grossness for the rest of the day. It’s a sad pathetic life for a 35 year old with no children.
So slowly but surely, I’ve been trying to develop some routines. I set my phone alarm for 9:55, a five-minute warning that I need to finish up whatever I’m doing and head upstairs. I then have a whole grown-up routine involving vitamins, floss, my Clarisonic, mouth wash, moisturizer, etc. In the mornings, I set my alarm for 6:45, and then get up around 7:05 (baby steps, ok??) and make smoothies for Greg and I. Depending on time constraints, I try to do 20 minutes of yoga. I then walk Porter and am out the door with enough time to be at my desk by 9am. I’d love to get to work early enough that I don’t have to park a mile away in the weird overflow lot, but again, baby steps.
And guess what? After a week and a half, I feel awesome.
I do have more to say on this topic of habit though, so stay tuned…
Happy thing from today: I connected with three separate people with whom I’d fallen out of touch, via text, Gchat and Spotify music sharing. Who says the modern world is a lonely place?
We joked on New Year’s Eve that we should’ve created an effigy of 2013 to beat, burn, stab, etc when the clock struck midnight. 2013 fucking sucked. But you know what? I’m feeling good, getting back on the horse, and super excited for 2014.
As a palate cleanser from my last song post, here’s a song that’s not sad, that I don’t cry when listening to, and that I have no emotional connection with except that it sounds like The Kinks meets the Rolling Stones, which can only be awesome.