I quit my job. I’ve quit it for several reasons, but this is the one that really rocked my boat and inspired me to leave.
Towards the middle of July, my boss called me upstairs for a quiet chat. It turns out she had discovered my secret double-agent identity, that of a sometimes-sex blogger. She didn’t know what to make of it, she said. If clients found out, there could be problems. If so, she told me she didn’t know what her reaction would then be, nor what her cause of action might be.
I was concerned. Very. I didn’t know what I would do. I needed a job. I asked her if I had reason to be concerned. She said yes, in a roundabout way. She asked that I never write about my job, nor mention where I worked. I agreed that I could at least abide by that.
After hours, though, I approached friends and told them how concerned I was. I began asking myself how important my blog was to me, and whether I really felt like working where I thought I might have to put a cork in things and keep my mouth shut. I wondered whether I should get myself as far from my blogging life as I could, especially if it was going to be some stigma following me around for the rest of my life. I started wondering a lot, about a lot of things.
Still, I needed a job. If biting my tongue put food on my table, then that was the first concern. Complicating matters, though, is that I love most of the job. The bustle, the people, the chaos… it all works well with my personality. The more I began to think about it, though, the more I realized how much work was having an impact on my will to write. Worse – my writing, I thought, had seriously gone down hill. It wasn’t creative. It wasn’t inspired. Hell, I wasn’t creative. I wasn’t inspired.
I spent the next several weeks slipping into a funk. I had taken the wrong job, I began to think. (I had two to choose from; an opening came up in my old job the very day I was offered the one I’ve been working.) I was realizing now that I had taken a job that seemed right for me, but instead in was turning my life into everything I didn’t want.
And now I had to censor myself. It didn’t matter that, in my eyes, this blog’s more about me and my wrapping of my own head around the world and my ongoing journey of becoming myself, and not so much about the sex, but hey. Semantics, I guess.
My mind wrought with all these thoughts, I was just barely keeping my head in the game at work. I certainly noticed that my job performance was slipping something fierce. I chalked it up to fatigue.
The thought began to occur to me, however, that maybe all this fogginess I was enduring was because of this prolonged writer’s block I now acknowledged I’d been suffering. Maybe, just maybe, my focus would improve if I could get the writing thing happening. With that thought my priorities began to shift.
It was perfect timing then that my holiday was to begin on Aug. 25th. With my holiday in mind, my boss called me in for a “plan of attack for fall” meeting. At the end of the meeting she again brought up the blog and apologized for leaving me hanging, but reiterated that she still didn’t know what she would do if it got found out by clients and brought up as an issue. Dirty sex blogger…
Afterwards, I walked out of the meeting and into the street, heading off to find some lunch. Sure enough, there I saw a film crew shooting in a nearby store. “Sigh,” I thought. “I sure miss the film industry. Why’d I leave, again?” But I morosely put those thoughts out of my head and instead began planning for how to be organized at the office in the fall.
I got home that day, checked my email, and saw a letter from one of the best post production facilities in Vancouver’s awesome film industry, asking me if I was interested in a position they had available. They had my resume from when I was looking for work in ’06 and held on to it, it would seem.
Was I interested? It took 30 seconds for the answer to hit. Fuck, yeah. After a few emails back and forth, a job interview was lined up.
Then it just so happened that my first day of vacation, Saturday, coincided with when I was having my old bosses over for breakfast. I told them all the drama about work and this job interview and how I thought the time might be ripe for me to make a change. They were more than sympathetic. They gave me encouragement. They agreed that it sounded like my situation was precarious.
With their kind words ringing, I headed in for my job interview. Well, I didn’t get that job (and I’m now happy about it for complicated reasons) and went in to visit the old bosses again Wednesday and thanked them for the support while telling them it was a bust. That’s when they offered me my old job back.
I went camping, pondered it, decided to go for it, came back, and I quit. I’m thrilled with my choice and I’m looking forwards to reprioritizing my life and getting back to my creative roots.
Now, I want to address something before anyone jumps on my soon-to-be ex-employer’s back. A) I’m fucking lucky she’s the honest kind of person she is with the integrity she has. She didn’t need to tell me she knew. She could’ve fired me then and there. Instead, she let me know where her thoughts were, and has been great about my resignation. B) I could have had a fight worth fighting if I wanted to do the whole “freedom of speech” argument, but I decided I couldn’t do that to them.
Why? Because I’m not a hypocrite. I believe I have the personal freedoms to live my life as I see fit, and in the free world I want to live in, employers should have the right to hire the kinds of people that mirror their values and lifestyle (within reason), provided it doesn’t infringe on others.
Freedom is a difficult thing to balance and you sure as shit can’t ask for yours at the cost of denying others’ theirs. I’m mindful of that in my life.
My old employers not only know about my blogs, but approve of them and have read them. I have nothing to hide from them after working closely with them for seven years. We’ve been through some bullshit together and we’ve always emerged well and on the same page. There was some instability in the industry that coincided with when I barely survived a serious scooter accident that should have killed me, and I was sent into a couple years of trying to find out where my passions lie in the world.
After some trials, travels, and tribulations, I’ve decided that (for me) work is work, and the easier it is, the better it pays, the less I need to do of it, the better the rest of my life is. I’m not looking to prove myself in the corporate world. All I wanna do is write, I guess. You can keep your rat traps and rat races. I want all the trappings of success, just not the trap. This job I’m returning to gives me the work-life balance I need and the flexibility to pursue other avenues while working hours that work for me. It caters to writing’s spontaneity and unpredictability. Everything about that job caters to writing.
And now I can do just that. Oh, and get this: My first day back, September 24th, is seven years to the day that I first started there.
Anyone who tells ya you can’t go home again doesn’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.