“Well, I have good news and I have bad news and it’s the same news.”

I recited the words in my head like a mantra; as if I was afraid that I might forget them. I’d been reciting them all morning, working up the nerve to walk into my boss’s office to actually say them. I’d planned to do it right away in the morning, but didn’t want to ambush her right the minute that she got in. Then I thought maybe I’d do it on my way to lunch when things were likely to be quiet, but when the time came I thought that maybe it would be better to put it off until afterwards: that way I wouldn’t be doing it on an empty stomach.

It had been easy to procrastinate.

“I have good news and I have bad news and it’s the same news: I’ve been offered a new job and I need to put in my two weeks notice.”

Why were the words so… slippery? Why was I so afraid of having to say them? It felt important for me to say them in person: I liked my boss and respected her, and an email felt like a cowardly way to break the news. I’d follow up with an email, of course: it was already written and saved as a draft in my email server so that I’d have a paper record of it. But saying the words was hard.

Oh, yes, by the way I got a new job: a production assistant position on a Paramount Animation feature in the script and editorial department. I’d taken a half day a few weeks ago in order to interview, and the offer came in like a breath of hopeful sunshine just before the weekend. I didn’t want to tell anybody about it until the paperwork was signed: afraid that if I spoke my good fortune too loudly that something would happen to take it away from me. But I felt a sense of relief: as if I were being released out of some kind of suffocating box where I’d been struggling not to tear myself apart with frustration.

I finished my lunch, screwed my courage to the sticking place, and forced myself to do the deed. My boss was sweet and disappointed to see me go, but not surprised.

“We had an inkling.” She said: either from the the fact I’d been taking afternoons off a lot lately, or from the fact that I could be seen crying uncontrollably at my desk on a regular basis. I’m pretty sure my co-workers refer to me as The Crying Girl behind my back, but I suppose that’s better than The Farter or The Nosepicker. They’re all perfectly nice people, but they can be as shady as a grove of oaks.

So I unlocked a level of adulthood: giving a formal two weeks notice to an employer. Before this, all my jobs had been temporary, self-employed, volunteer, academic, seasonal or project based.

Once the deed was done, I felt a twinge of guilt: I was leaving a good job: the work was easy, the stress level was low, the co-workers were amicable, and, of course, my boss was lovely. Other employees had been at the company for decades, and it was easy to see where the loyalty came from, it was a good job, it just wasn’t good for me.

A part of me is nervous about the change: I’m going to be plunged into a completely different world with completely different people and a new commute as with new responsibilities, but a bigger part of me is glad- I’ve needed this change for a long time. Maybe now I’ll be able to escape the feeling of being trapped in a holding pattern. Maybe now life can begin.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on September 10, 2019.

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