Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why I'm not complaining today

This past Friday I experienced a calm, the likes of which I can't even remember. It makes me sad to think that there is something about me that prohibits me from ever feeling right, and calm, except perhaps in short bursts. Maybe it is really a good thing, that I don't rest, but it is nice, very nice, even if only for a short burst. I'm enjoying this short burst.

Friday morning I gave notice at the job I hate.
I'm accepting a position in a totally different job, in a totally different industry. There won't be anything calm about this, once I get thrown in to the wolves. I fully expect a steep learning curve and a few months of hell while I get up to speed. But for now, I am calm. I feel great. I did a little sewing, and I even enjoyed it.

My new career will start in two weeks, and I don't really know where it will take me, but I'm satisfied that it will be somewhere different. I must have already proved my point, that my degree wasn't wasted, that there is indeed a career for a Fashion degree. There are better careers even, ones I didn't feel like pursuing. Partly I think I didn't want to finally burn that bridge down, maybe thinking it would be a failure. Actually, I don't regret a thing about my college choice, I only wish that I would have been able to do the coop degree with USF, but they thought they knew me better than I did. Screw the Jesuits; they know nothing!

My time at the Academy of Art was some of the best time I've had in my life. I would not trade it for anything. It was the first time I was ever good at anything. I was, really, really good at it. They wanted to send me to France. I didn't go; I'm stubborn, and a creature of habit.

Now I'll be doing something new and challenging, and if I've judged it well, I think it will be something defined by my own work and talents and potentials. I suspect this will grow with me, and be limited mostly by me. Maybe I'm just overly idealistic. Whatever, but I'm calm. For now.

When I gave notice Friday morning, my boss told me it was his worst nightmare. Later, he came back and tried to offer me significantly more money, and a "directorship down the line" with staff, and whatnot. I had to say no. I'll sacrifice the ($15K) for the chance for growth and more later. Financially, this makes no sense. I could very easily stay in my current place for many, many years. The current company has a culture of keeping people forever, growing old, retiring in place. I could make some money, sit in my desk surfing the internet, doing the same thing over and over, learning nothing, growing old and brittle...

Instead I'll be tripling my commute and taking less money, and working hard and risking failure. It just feels better.

It's been so long since I had a coworker I liked, since I felt like a human around the people I see every day. I haven't had a single review since I started at my current job (4.5 years). The culture is a bizarre one of secretive non-communication and finger-pointing. I can't think of a single person to miss, or to be kept in touch with. I can't wait to start fresh, and tell that one story about the time I totaled my first bike (will it get a laugh?), or bring in some homemade brownies, or commiserate about Catholic high school, maybe have happy hour with a coworker, or... something. Anything new and real would be nice.

I'm done with a chapter of my life. I don't think I'll miss the apparel industry.. It made me feel trapped more and more the longer I stayed in it. I started wishing I'd gotten out long ago, couldn't I have gotten so much farther?
Now I can.

I feel calm.

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