No longer and not yet
Today is the first day of my “no longer but not yet” space.
I just left a job that filled my every waking hour for almost 14 years. I woke up today with no intention - other than just “being” in that no longer space.
And yet, I couldn’t go cold turkey. I woke up with an idea about the budget and had to send an email. Then I noticed, I was still the administrator on the company facebook page; had to send a text message to take care of that, too.
How long will it take before I wake up without thinking about something or another about my last organization; the place where I felt like I grew older faster the last three years.
During my last days on the job, people kept telling me “it must be bitter sweet” … this ending. It made me mad for some reason. I think the “bitter sweet” is an overused cliché that simplifies what one feels leaving a job, a marriage, a home, a friendship. It is never as simple as “bitter sweet”.
I don’t feel “bitterness” for having stayed in this job for as long as I did. I should have left at least five years ago. I am still contemplating why I held for on so long! But at the end it was a choice I made and feeling bitter about it won’t change anything.
I don’t feel “sweetness’ for having finally left. I do, however, feel relief for finally leaving this job that was no longer fitting! It was like an old heavy cloak I wrapped myself in trying to get lost in it hoping that if I make myself and my feelings invisible, I can survive! But I couldn’t. The pain of staying became bigger than I can carry. At the end, it was neither bitter or sweet. It was a big long, overdue “exhale”. It was a beautiful “yes” to a new adventure!
Now that I am done, I don’t want to just start a new chapter. Starting a new chapter of the same book feels like self-betrayal. A new book beckons and this is the preface.