Thursday, January 19, 2012

Originally written Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011. Scroll down four posts to the one titled "work" to see where I started to write about quitting my job...I only just posted them today, as I didn't want to out myself at the time.

Kind of flipping out now. Spent my entire day - literally - working on our transitional budget for the next two months. Provided there are no surprises (because there are never surprises, right?), everything seems to work out on paper. But I think I've told myself that before.

Turned in my official resignation Oct. 31, but was waiting to go public until we hit a certain budget milestone on a project at work. Didn't want to make any waves. Well, that milestone was met on Friday - which means it's time for me to take that final plunge.

Would take back the resignation for two reasons. One, I'm freaking out about how we're going to survive financially. Two, I'm starting to get sentimental about all my work friends, and how I'll miss hanging out with them every day. When I quit, I probably won't even be able to afford to meet up with them for dollar drinks at happy hour.

What have I done?

But then I think about what my next few months would have looked like at work (after all, they are paying me to actually work, not hang out and chat with my cool co-workers), and the thought of escaping that looming cloud of unease* is exhilerating. The thought of having the freedom to write and research as much as I want while the kids are at school, or late into the night...unfathomable. I can blog. Hook up with the writer's market. Pimp myself to the local paper. Whatever I want.
(*I just deleted the word "doom".)

I'll be free to run every last carpool, put my baby's hair in a bun for ballet, help my son with his ALP math and science homework. I can work on the PTSO newsletter for the elementary school, and sew costumes for my son's theatre company. Dear god, I might even be able to clean the bathrooms once a month.

But before I get my freedom, I have to clear out my H drive, which has taken me almost six years to fill up...find a way to tell my co-workers I'm leaving...transition my current projects...hello new friend insomnia...


I came up to bed around 9:30 tonight, and when Larry came up around 10, I was still laying on the bed, staring at the ceiling, thinking, worrying about how we would squeeze medical insurance and every incidental that I've not yet budgeted for into the $300 surplus I've weaseled out of the new budget (which, by the way, requires me to become an extreme couponer and never drive the SUV again).

"You okay?" he asks. "I thought you'd be watching the news."
I just keep staring, look at him briefly with a small smile.
"I guess no," he continues. "You're worrying about everything, aren't you?"
"Of course. How are we going to..." I start.
"Stop," he interrupts. "Stop now. We're doing the right thing."

Okay, he is amazing for two reasons. (Actually there are a million different reasons in any given day, but we'll stick to these two for now.) One, he is so certain in his resolve that this is the right thing for me to do. He believes in me so much; almost to a fault. He reminds me that 15 years ago I left my family and followed him to L.A., a city I never really liked, and worked full time so that he could pursue his dream of editing. I did it for him; now he'll do it for me. If he has to he'll get a second job, because now it's my turn.

I'm not sure there are a whole lot of men out there who would say this, and mean it, and then actually follow up on it. I know he would, he does, and he will; and I have to work really hard not to take that for granted.

The other reason is that he says "we". We are doing the right thing. We are a team. We make these decisions together. Agonizing, lengthy, difficult decisions. This time around, however, we haven't consulted anyone, even in our inner circle; so we know it is entirely our decision, not influenced by anyone or anything.

Now that the deed is done, we're starting to leak it out to those closest to us, and one of the people I have told is my sister. After her initial surprise, she said something that I keep replaying in my head.

"You guys always seem to land on your feet."

She's right - we do. But please god let us land on our feet this time, because we have three other sets of feet who are counting on us.

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