Saturday, March 27, 2010

Free.

I haven't posted in a while--deliberately, perhaps. Sometimes when you're trying to hold the pieces together, and prevent your threads from unraveling, it's easy to neglect things such as writing.

I'm not really in the mood for a long drawn-out recap of the past few months, but I'm pleased to say that right now, I feel at peace. Spring is here, both literally and figuratively, and it's refreshing to see fresh buds and green grass. Spring air has a certain richness to it--I think it's the scent of new life fighting for the sun. Even in a place with a warm winter climate, the spring season has a different light.

I haven't disguised at all that the past year has been challenging for me. Circumstantial, certainly, but I've also learned, firsthand, that the age of 29 is a peculiar lifestage period that forces you to question and simultaneously regret every decision you've ever made--unnecessarily, it turns out. It's a dark year, a long winter. Even though I'm still very much 29, I feel that I'm finally emerging. A switch was flipped, at some point during these past two months, and I feel more clarity about where I am. I know, now, it's going to be okay.

In early March, I tried quitting my job, but I told them I'd still work remotely for them until they found someone to replace me. Laptop in hand, I took off for North Carolina for a few weeks so I could sort things out. Subconsciously I realized that before I could move forward, I needed to understand whether I had made the right choice by leaving last May. I never felt at peace with the decision, and the fact that I took a job in Southern California, a place I don't care for at all, only served to confuse me more. To stick a cherry on top of the whole melting mess, C and I never resolved whether our relationship could still be viable. I needed to understand my choices by going back to the beginning.

North Carolina is a lovely place. I have great friendships there, and I grew up there, a lot. It was a period of my life I needed to have, but being back there reminded me why I left--it wasn't home, and I couldn't fully be me, there. Being with C, in that context, held me together for a while, but a person cannot be your home.

I left very much at peace.

Working remotely, it turns out, works. My company was pleased with the job I was doing, and I was pleased that I wasn't living off of my savings, so after some further negotiations with them, they've agreed to let me continue. I'll live in San Luis Obispo, (WAIT--DID YOU SEE WHAT I JUST WROTE THERE?) ahem, I'LL LIVE IN SAN LUIS OBISPO, and come down to the office here every other week for a few days. To top things off, I don't have to sit in a cubicle for 10 hours a day. I can work in my pajamas, in a kitchen, on the patio, in a coffee shop--do you see a pattern here? I suddenly have freedom. Amazingly, I like my job again. I've realized it's really not the work that bores me, it's the whole sitting-in-a-cubicle and feeling-like-a-rat-on-the-wheel part. I'm amazingly productive when I can sit in my own environment. Even better, I negotiated to be paid hourly, instead of a salary, so I'm much less inclined to procrastinate or waste time. I want to work so I can be done and enjoy my day.

And now? I'm relieved. I'm understanding the last months here with more clarity. As much as I hated living here, it turned out to be a good thing. I now have the opportunity to work from home--something I've always wanted to do. I'm very pleased I can still work for the same company--it's not my ideal job, in terms of working for something that improves the world--but I like who I work with, and I respect the quality of our work. Better still, I now have more free time to volunteer and work for causes I do believe in. So I'm quite okay with the arrangement. Yes, I'm quite okay.