Today was the second-to-last day at my job. By the time I post this, it might be my last day.
In addition to finishing up last projects and creating a sort of roadmap to everything I'm leaving behind there - all written out in crisp bullet points - I went about the ritual of cleansing my computer. This computer was with me through it all - the hope that this job would be the right fit, the bursts of stress and activity, the long stretches of boredom and quiet solitude, and the growing knowledge that this job would never ever work well for me.
Today I went about erasing the evidence of my hiding places. Anyone with a job as solitary and dysfunctional as mine would need to develop some coping tools outside of frantically searching the help-wanted ads.
Most of my hiding places were blog addresses I had bookmarked. Lots and lots and lots of them. (I have not yet jumped into blog-readers or whatever it's called where you subscribe to a blog.) I went through the list and recorded some addresses for safekeeping, and let others go. It's strange to follow a blogger's life for over a year and then today I decide not to keep the address, knowing I will never look into her world ever again.
For some of them, the deletions were freeing, like getting a hair cut where you feel yourself getting lighter. No I don't need that healthy eating Paleo runner's blog. Or that one from when I thought I'd get really serious about weaving. Or that blogger who is talented but keeps posting pictures of herself modeling outfits. For others, I knew I needed to keep that connection. For those special gems, I thought of how much I've enjoyed their stories and want to know what happens next. It's strange but I actually care about these people I've never met, who without knowing it acted as a refuge in a strange part of my life - my coworkers in a weird job where I've had almost zero coworkers and almost zero supervision.
Tomorrow I need to finish the computer-cleansing by putting on a jump drive the files I'd created about what was to be my escape plan. I was going to start my own editing and writing business, with its own blog. This blog you're reading was supposed to be that, but somewhere in there I realized I just wanted to tell quirky stories - I didn't want to be a brand or run a business. (Though wow there are a lot of people out there trying to make money off of unhappy people who want to quit their jobs and be bloggers. E-books galore! SEO webinars! The clunky word of doom - monetization!)
At the time I made the never-launched website for what was to be my "business," I didn't know what the next chapter of this story would be. I was poking around in the dark, trying to find the way forward. Now I know that, at least for now, this is the next chapter: I am not starting a business. I am not pregnant (yet). I am quitting my job. I've gotten a new job, as a grantwriter, fairly similar to the job I had before I went to grad school. The job promises to be non-solitary, and the impression I have so far is that there will not be time to read multiple blogs per day. This could be really good for me. I hope I like it.