Did you think I died? I think at various points today I was sure I would, or had, and what existence followed was merely an aftereffect as the brain processed out its final synaptic flashes. But, I think I must be fair and say that I did survive telling my boss I was quitting.
I was calm enough on the way in. Not quite sure of how or what, but I knew this is the day that all of this pent-up worry and emotion would be released. But that was the problem. Boss asked if we wanted to meet right away, so I grabbed my letter and went into her office and shut the door. I stood, if not tearfully, than obviously with great emotion, at her desk and told her that I hadn’t had to do this before so if it was possible, could she just read the letter? I sat down as she read it, and as is the nature with over-worriers, she confounded me by telling me first that she was just glad I wasn’t sick and that she was so proud of me. She was, as is her way, so capable of effusing this warmth that you want to question or find saccharine or about putting a front, but you realize, as it washes over you, is completely genuine. She insisted there would be a party. She talked about the calendar and let me know that I mattered enough to her that this wasn’t perfunctory. It was a really positive experience.
But then, she asked me to keep this under my hat until the board could be notified and with her schedule, that meant, I couldn’t tell the co-workers or post on facebook or tell the volunteers out front. So it, essentially, didn’t feel real. I went to lunch with the coworker and her husband and groused about work angst as would be usual, but it remained lodged in my gorge.
Finally, afterwards, the drink I setup with two colleagues (scheduled when I thought I would be free to discuss my departure with the whole world) turned into dinner and I told them what was going to happen and again, they responded with a kind, unselfish desire to see me do well. I love them so terribly much. There were hugs and memories passed around, and still, it feels private, impossible, unreal. That moment before the Wile E. Coyote realizes he’s going to fall extended indefinitely. I keep waiting for a meltdown. A sobbing episode. I mean, to me, this is a moment that warrants it. But I just….I can’t. I can’t believe it. I can’t feel it fully even though my heart and spine and soul are starting to itch for want of acknowledgement of this breakup, this loss, this ending.
I have been too cool. I must be feeling something because when it gets profoundly quiet, on the ride home in the dark with a sky flashing erratically with heat lightning, despite no cars being behind me, I feel my heart start to race and panic and I smite my forehead and guide the car through the intersection and wait in the nearby gas station parking lot until it passes, the tremulous feeling leaves my hands. Not worried, per se, because it does and my sister’s offered to get me frozen yogurt at the other end in celebration of what feels so damn anti-climactic. I drive off, ignoring the interruption because I have a strength which supercedes it.
You really are the only person that can glorify your own life. Steer the boat, whatever the fuck you want to call it. Tomorrow, we’ll tap the glass with the hammer once again.