Today I decided to move on from my job. In common lingo, I quit. Nothing dramatic, like throwing papers, giving a dramatic speech, and marching out the door. No. My exit was quiet. A nice, formal resignation letter and email. Professional and lacking emotion. I do have a knack for cold, concise business writing. And this wasn’t a sudden move. I’ve been pondering the pros and cons of leaving for at least three months. I just finally pulled off the band-aid this morning.
Trust me, the decision wasn’t an easy one. Giving up a comfortable salary with benefits, good working schedule, reduced cost mass transit pass for… Likely back to the uncertain life of a contract worker. Ah, but now I can return to the book. If I give myself a month of writing, every day, non-stop, I should be able to at least finish a rough draft. Then, I can get back to the mundane business of office work. I’ll have to live like a pauper for the next month, but I’ve done it before. And nothing makes me happier than writing. These are the things I’ve been weighing in my mind over the past several months. My head was telling me a million things, while my heart told me one thing. Finally, this morning, they met in the middle.
After the deed was done this morning, I didn’t want to wait around the house for the likely texts, calls, and emails, imploring me to reconsider. I didn’t have the heart to suddenly intrude on the roomie’s usual weekday alone time. So, I left the house just as I would to go off to work, and explored instead. The sky was a perfect clear blue and, by afternoon, the sun had permeated the brisk winter chill.
I bought a day transit pass and boarded my first train. I headed out West, toward another former employer. The book smelling business. Now that was a strange job, one that I thought I would like at first. However, it quickly went to strange places when the boss told us to make sure we weren’t listing pornographic materials. Uh, ok. Are these cheesy romance novels what you consider porn?
Once that little jaunt down memory lane was over, I headed back into town. As I passed the zoo, I reminisced about the wonderful summer concerts. Chris Isaak, multiple times, Rick Springfield and Pat Benatar last summer. I considered hopping off and wandering around the zoo, but I had other places to visit. Besides, I’m now on a super strict budget. Can only afford free attractions at the moment.
The train traveled under the Vista Bridge and my mind wandered back to that cool June night in 1997. The one and I shared our first kiss on the bridge, after a midnight walk. I was wearing the blue print dress; he was wearing that blue jacket, and Levi’s, of course. One of few truly romantic moments over what would turn into an almost 20-year relationship/friendship/not-quite-sure-what.
Got off the train and strolled around NW. I stopped at the store, bought a box of hair color, and found a bag of mini-Heath bars, made some small talk about favorite candy bars with a nattily dressed and chatty old woman. I passed the building where the one used to live with our mutual friend. Still that light yellow color. I gazed at the big window where he used to sit and wait for me during the Summer of 1997. He was always strumming his guitar, with his feet propped up on the window sill. We used to spend hours listening to his vast record collection in that apartment – Stan Getz Bossa Nova. Tom T. Hall. Boston – More Than A Feeling, in particular. Funny… That building now houses $400,000 condos. Twenty years ago, the rent was $700 for a two-bedroom apartment. Spendy in those days. Oh, this city.
Where to next? How about heading toward my childhood and young adulthood? Nothing more comforting than thinking of those days when things are a little crazy. South of the city this time. As soon as I stepped off the train, and looked at the familiar, yet new, surroundings I thought, “Home.” OK, there are an alarming amount of tweakers in that part of town these days. However, enough of the old remains to make me immediately recognize the place as home. Walking through JC Penney, where I had my first job after high school and into my first few years of college. Those were the easy days, even if they seemed hard at the time. Working and going to school, my entire adult life ahead of me. I had yet to experience real heartbreak, as I would many times later. I was going to save the world back then! Idealistic Sociology major.
Everything seems so big, wide, and expansive out there in the ‘burbs. I’ve spent the past 26 years living in the inner city. I’m used to crowding. Almost makes me want to return to the suburbs. My 25-year-old self would be aghast!
Finally, I headed North, toward the airport. The afternoon sky was especially blue. I love watching planes take off and land against the sparkling sky. I stopped at Target, to grab a few necessities while I still have the money. Then, I ordered a delightful Valentine’s Day-inspired Cherry Mocha from Starbucks, found a bench, and watched the planes with the afternoon sun warming my face. Lots of Southwest and Alaska planes. Short flights, I imagine. I wondered about that Delta plane. Was it an international flight? My omnipresent wanderlust. I need to squelch all thoughts of international travel, at least in the near future. That’s definitely one of the cons.
It was getting close to 4:00. I longed for home. I needed to start planning and plotting this new phase of my life. Yet another new phase. I seem to experience a new phase at least once every six months. As I walked in the front door, I felt different than I have the past year. The roomie was oblivious. I unpacked my belongings and thought about dinner. And writing. And sticking to my budget for the next few months. Tomorrow I’ll still wake up early, knowing I did what I had to do, what I thought was best for me, and move on. I’ll write, tweak the resume, scan the temp gigs, obsessively revise the budget. It’s also Valentine’s Day. Look at that.