Today is Friday. Normally on Fridays, I drag my butt in to work, sometimes for a perfectly timed meeting at 9am. I ask you, you in their right mind would book meetings for 9am on a Friday? My coffee hasn't had a chance to take effect yet, and that can be a real ugly scene. Where was I? Right. Today is Friday, and normally, I head into work, looking forward to the weekend and all the joy it brings.
But today was different.
Today, I stayed home. I slept till 10. I made coffee and heated and frothed up milk to put in it. I sat in my pjs long past noon. Was I sick? Was I on vacation? Was the office closed due to a broken gas line? Was I avoiding the sloshy trip into the office? No.
I suppose I should explain. No, we have no time. Let me sum up.
In 2000, after trying to figure out how I was going to figure out what to do with my life, I fell into a job at a financial institution. I figured it would do till I came up with something better. But the years passed, and my job changed, and I grew to, if not love, then at least really kinda like what I did. I enjoyed my colleagues, and I felt like I was learning and challenging myself. True, there were the semi-regular middle of the night rude awakenings with me shouting out "No! When you include any product information, it becomes product penetration, and that's totally different!" or "The Shift key, the one you use to make the big letters!", but all in all, I was happy.
Recently, everything came crashing down. The financial institution decided it needed to cut jobs, and mine was one of them. I had always considered myself undefined by my job, but I learned the hard way that this isn't true. For a while after hearing the news, I felt that if I wasn't an analyst-whatchamejigger, I was nothing. What the hell was I going to do now? For a while, it felt a bit unreal. The past few months have been trying. I've alternately not been able to sleep, or found myself sleeping 12 hours straight. I've been manic and depressed. I've been overly peppy and lethargic. I'm sure I've been a treat to be around.
Then I got to thinking, did I really want to be an analyst-whatchamejigger? And if not, I still had to answer the question: What did I want to be when I grew up?
Following some good advice (thanks Dad!) I started reading books on changing your career and pouring over course catalogues, trying to see if anything popped out at me. And little by little, something did. I didn't want to do what I'd been doing for the rest of my life. Finally, after many hours of soul searching and pouring over job ads, I made a life changing decision. I decided I was going to go back to school full time. This will mean major changes for me. No more financial freedom, because anything I earn will be a pittance. No more nice apartment, because I can't afford to not work full time and keep it. No more, well, no more of the life I've been leading for almost 7 years. While this is terrifying, I'm still really happy and excited about this new challenge. I made the right decision, and I have to thank my old employers for forcing me to make it.
So over the last few months, I've been packing up books, sweaters, cds, doohickeys and the like from work and bringing them home. I've been bought more coffee than should be good for a person (thanks guys!) and I've been given touching cards and heard kind words from all my co-workers.
Yesterday was my last day. Today was day one of the rest of my life. And I spent it lounging around.