Thursday, January 12, 2012

And Sometimes They Were Very Sad

I just finished reading Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot, and was hooked from the first line, “To start with, look at all the books.” Books and reading are central to the character development, but I especially loved the use of “Sometimes They Were Very Sad” from Ludwig Bemelmans’s Madeline as a section title. Zygote loves Madeline, and so did/do I.

“And Sometimes They Were Very Sad” is my life right now. I am leaving my old job and starting a new one. This will be a surprise to absolutely no one that has followed me for a while, but I am surprised by the tsunami of emotions accompanying it. I HATE BEING EMOTIONAL. You know that. Vulcan, Vulcan, Vulcan.

My job has been pretty much the only constant in my life over the past five and a half years. I’m cleaning out my office and I get to see the physical manifestation of change. In different files marked ‘personal,’ I found:

•The moving contract I signed when I moved from New Jersey to Cambridge.
•The lease from my first apartment
•The retainer agreement for my divorce attorney
•Listings for apartments that YG and I looked at when we decided to move in together
•Various notes from the MG’s school
•A “Congratulations on Your Wedding” card
•The playlists for our wedding
•Leave of Absence forms from 2009 and 2011 requesting time off to take care of Zygote and Z2

I knew maybe 4 people in Massachusetts when I took this job. Now I have four more people in my FAMILY.

So what’s my point? I am thrilled about the new gig and all the “I am going to be a brand new me that everyone falls in love with and thinks is the smartest, funniest, most competent person in the universe” bullshit that accompanies it. But I’m also sad. I will miss this place and my friends and my dusty cube and the gross bagel crumbs that I can never get out of my keyboard and the color printer that never works and the LiveMeetings that never end up “live” and the weird, never-ending pile of feminine hygiene products in the women’s bathroom and that person (whoever you are) that thinks it’s necessary to bring incense sticks to said bathroom and the too-long lines in the cafeteria and too long meetings and not enough meetings and the press release approval process and THE CONFERENCE and the never-ending drama of Conference and my Conference routine with my work BFF of work/bitch/work some more/buy new shoes/walk over Golden Gate Bridge/eat and scheduling conflicts and “I’m sorry, I was on mute” and “what part of deadline did you not understand” and the same familiar cast of characters. With Facebook and LinkedIn and email, I’m sure I’ll stay in touch with my favorite people. But that’s not the same thing as seeing people in person and getting to know them over the mundane chitchat of how was your day/it’s snowing/128 sucks.

DS, my first real friend at work, once described me as an M&M because I was “crusty on the outside, but nice and soft on the inside.” I thought this was amazingly appropriate and a lot better than the usual “she’s kind of an asshole until you get to know her.” He came up with that description when I cried at work because another coworker was leaving us and it was weird for all parties involved. Normally, I’d opt for being stabbed with a blunt knife before crying at work.

I didn’t cry when I left my first company after being there for seven years, but I did have this odd ‘I am never going to go through this door again’ feeling on my last day. It was a bit like leaving college. I’m going to try not to cry tomorrow because that would be weird and awkward and nobody wants to deal with that kind of gawky self-consciousness at work. So I’ll do my job, make some self-deprecating remarks, try to be funny and go about keeping my shit together while I say goodbye.
I’m going to miss it.

Onward and upward.