Friday, August 17, 2012

Crossroads

I left my job in August 2009 because it broke me. The late night hours alone. The shift in schedule. And a manager whose style of management left me feeling like, well, frankly, like a worthless piece of shit.

So one day, calculated so that my first day off would coincide with the first day of my sister's visit from San Diego, I quit. I quit saying I didn't want to be a web producer. That I wanted to write. That this wasn't for me. And they let me go.

I spent 15 or so months as a freelancer, writing and web producing for national food, news and business publications. It was hard to be that alone for that long. And hard to keep the work coming as bosses changed, budgets changed and rules changed. I got tired. And COBRA was running out.

And just then, S.W. had a job for me at Ziff Davis Enterprise. And I became what I am. Writer, editor, web producer for business technology sites. And it has been a windy road. We've had ups and downs. And some things were easier than others. It's hard to be evocative yet vague enough to make sure those you worked with and cared about are protected so that you can talk about your feelings without offending or being misunderstood to offend... I valued everyone I worked with. I truly did. But it was never the job I wanted. 

But going to work with N. and F. every day. That was the best thing that ever happened. When N. would laugh too loud to get my attention to read me something. When I'd gasp out loud at a Gawker post to gush about it with them. When F. asked me a question about "Die Hard" and I was all "Dude, there's a boy right there... Why are you asking me???" 

We had fun. I confess I wasn't in love with my work, but going to work was fun. 

Then, on February 2, we were sold. Twenty-six of us survived the transition. The other 100 or so did not. Some stayed for two weeks. Some for four. But in the end... For seven months I tried very, very hard to keep doing what I did. To keep these publications running smoothly and to keep the readers oblivious to the chaos behind the scenes. 

But today. Today my boss, bless her heart, she told me she got another job. She was leaving us. Our captain, who two days before had told me it was time to abandon ship, jumped. 

I am not angry. 

I am not bitter. 

I am deeply conflicted about what I should do now... 

I want to write many things. I have novels and romances and nonfiction pieces in mind. I have a memoir I have mentioned enough that you're probably all angry at me for still just talking about it. So. Two people today said to me that if there is some kind of higher power, it's tired of me resisting it and I should really just fucking write. 

But the rest of me is practical. I might get a better job title, but at what cost? I have been full of despair for seven months. Left to do this job alone, do I even want to bother? They've been cruel since day one. Do I give them more? I don't know. How much more is worth it? Is any more worth it? I'll make it a while on my own... And friend editors have offered me work. 

My gut is telling me one thing and common sense is telling me to wait. But I'm worried about waiting. I'm worried about what happens to me in this crap new world. 

I want to go back to writing, and writing for myself. I think that is what's in my bones. But it's scary. I ran out of money last time after about 15 months. But by then I was also lonely. But also in really great shape from having made working out a part of every freelance day. I never got that back in staff-world. 

This piece isn't graceful or enlightening. I'm brain-dumping into the void trying to give myself permission to do the scary thing. The un-wise thing. 

Everything in the universe is enabling me to be something I'm fighting tooth and nail. 

2 comments:

Michael S. said...

You're only fighting it tooth and nail because it's terrifying. There's got to be some kind of balance where you've got a day job that pays the bills while you're writing the Great American Novel. Which will be great, by the way.

princess kanomanom said...

Do the scary! Do the scary!

Also known as the wise.

:)