I think we have to feel our way.
It’s strange how this blog has different purposes, different levels, different meanings for me. And I realize now that one of those meanings was a real venting mechanism for all of the frustration and self-abnegation I felt as a result of my former job. Sitting in my new office, thinking about how best to organize things, it was hard not to be overwhelmed by the quiet. At the old job nothing was ever quiet. My door was always swung open to absorb the first wave of needs, panicked hollering of co-workers, and women curious as to whether or not our public restroom (which my office was directly adjacent to) featured “one hole or two.” It made me hyper-aware and for all intents and purposes, a bit ADD about meeting the “live” needs of the office along with my regular tasks.
Today in the new office nobody rang for me. Nobody lingered at my doorway to see if I’d printed off an email or assembled a graphic for them. As I waited for them to connect me onto the network of computers, to set up the new email, etc, I looked out the window, checked my phone, looked through paperwork and folders and found the silence I’d spent so long craving, omnipresent. And not less than a bit terrifying. All the time to think the things I was more than able to avoid because I was so stressed about the things I trying to balance. Hell, I could figure out my novel in these spare, quiet moments if I wasn’t really aware of how shitty all my ideas are. It made me think for a half a second that maybe I made some sort of mistake. This is, actually, the first time I’ve contemplated this side of the job change. To not think about the leaving and think instead about where I’ve gone. Which is a small office with the sorts of problems my former small office had and the sorts of benefits and charms it had, aside, of course from the workforce that considers one another best friends and family, instead of just co-workers and people who want to go home at night and put their feet up.
But the new office also comes with the particular complication that my therapist (ex-therapist?) would have noted and I would have set aside simply because I needed so desperately to get out of my work situation of having my sister there. My sister who will read this. I shouldn’t write about work at all. But at the same time, if I don’t write about work, will there be some sort of void I can’t fill except with posies and bullshit day after day? Will I have to start talking about bodies and dieting and self-perfection again?
I don’t know. Maybe there’s something to be said for it when I come home today desperate to EAT ALL THE THINGS AND ABSORB ALL THE GRAY AND UNCERTAINTY ALONG WITH ALL THE FROZEN PIZZA. Maybe there’s at least some time and some quiet for that.