Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Back to the Keyboard (or Where the Heck Have I Been?)

With a nod to the new year, I've taken the time to clear off some posts and devote some energy to this blog, which is linked to my website. Please bear with me as I get cranking again. The past seven months have been a long and winding road. Here's what has happened ...

My epiphany (some call it a revelation, others call it a nervous breakdown) occurred at a restaurant in December while celebrating my anniversary and crying about my cat, Deb, who had to be put to sleep that day because apparently she had been hit by a car and nobody -- NOBODY -- could fix all the awful things that had happened inside her little orange and white body. Not even if she could have been airlifted to Auburn University. So I ate a bite of triggerfish, choked back tears and announced, "I'm very sad about my cat."

It wasn't until the third glass of wine that I realized (and verbalized to my slightly embarrassed husband across the table) that I was certainly justified in being sad about my cat and now who was supposed to sit outside my kitchen window each morning, I want to know? And by the way, my job was making me crazy.

How could that be possible? I was Mary Richards, for Pete's sake. I could turn the world on with my smile. I could take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. Love was ALL around me.

I'll tell you how it's possible. I was a square peg; the job at the magazine was the round hole. I was trying to do something that I shouldn't be trying to do. Like ceramics. Or baking homemade bread. These are all good and noble things, but what do they have to do with me? The only part of the job I wanted was the part I had no time for, and that was writing. Ew, that sounds egotistical. So what I mean to say is that the writing part is the part I enjoy most, not that I'm any better at it than anyone else is. But as most people in magazines will tell you, editors don't really get to write a lot. And that's very unfortunate.

"So, quit your job ... and pass the salt?" Idiot. People don't just up and QUIT jobs like that. They marinate in them. They lose sleep over them. They develop stomach issues because of them. I am HONORED to have this job, I told him. Still, as I kept eating triggerfish, I tried to process what my life would be like without that job. And without my cat. I couldn't bring my cat back to life, but I could have my life back without the job.

Fortunately, I was just bold enough to admit, hey, this isn't for me. Maybe I am spoiled. Maybe I am old. Maybe I am too set in my ways. Whatever I am, I am smart enough to know when to call it a day. So I did, that very next week. I submitted my notice, returned to my home office and resumed my freewheelin', freelancin' life.

That was last year. Or two weeks ago. And now it's 2008, and I'm back to the drawing ... er, keyboard. Yea, me!