Tuesday, March 21, 2006

525,600 Minutes

One year ago today I started my new job in California.

Ten days before that, I did something I hadn't expected to do. Ever. I left DC, with an uncertain return date. I left behind some of my closest friends, some of my most wonderful memories (and some of my worst), and I deferred progress on achieving some of my most cherished hopes and dreams. There is a DC-shaped hole in my heart, and some days it eats through me with Agent Orange-like efficiency. (Ohmygod, what have I done?!?!?!)


I gained a lot, too. I'm doing a job that I love. I'm experiencing a part of the world I never expected to. I'm learning things about myself that I wouldn't have noticed in my go-go-faster-faster! DC life. I'm writing a frickin' blog!

A lot happened in the past year. Steve graduated from college. Liz left for Africa. Grandma died. Liz came home from Africa. Numerous friends got married and/or had children. Most of these events required a plane ticket, which I gladly sprung for, when my schedule allowed.

At work, change was just as prevalent. I'm on my third boss since taking this job. One of my two California-based colleagues took a new job. Several DC colleagues are no longer involved with my project. They've either left the organization or taken on new challenges internally. Project timelines and benchmarks and deadlines shift faster than the oddsmakers can keep up with. Same thing at Banana. I'm on my third Head of Store in a year, we've had numerous other managerial changes, and my two closest BR friends no longer work there.

All of this serves as a reminder that nothing endures but change. (You can thank Heraclitus for that little gem. I probably need to tattoo it on me somewhere I see daily. Or eighty-five times a day.)

This year has just flown by, and I anticipate that trend will continue, and I'll be back home in no time. Yes, DC is my home. I just happen to live here, for the time being. It's a strange existence, having lives on both coasts. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Unless you're some kind of masochist, in which case I think wearing pointy-toed 3-inch heels on a daily basis ought to do the trick.

My relationships with my high school and college friends haven't really changed, as I've lived far away from them since graduation. And at graduation, people expect to go their separate ways and keep in touch the best they can, and we have.

Leaving the DC crew, though, has been a different experience. These are people I used to see every day, or every week, or run into randomly on the street. Since I left, people have moved out of DC, gotten married, had a kid, and changed jobs. And that's just Jon! We've all had to adjust to this new arrangement, the three-hour time difference, the sporadic visits, my crazy schedule even when I am in town. Some relationships have fared better than others. For those that are surviving, I'm thankful. For those that aren't...well, we'll see. Nothing lasts forever. (No, DeBeers, not even diamonds, so eff you.)

The question of the day is, How much longer will you be in California? And the short answer is: I have no idea. If there's one thing I've learned from this whole experience, it's that one can't plan anything. Or maybe you can; I can't. Moving to California certainly wasn't part of The Plan, but here I am! My new approach: There's always A Plan; but The Plan is always subject to change.

Helen Keller said, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable."

I intend to do just that.


At Tue Mar 21, 06:48:00 PM PST, Anonymous Kathy said...

The year has gone by quickly. Talking about movies last night...there is a song in the movie Rent about 525,600 minutes. Great movie if you ever have time to check it out.

At Wed Mar 22, 06:22:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So when are you coming back? :) Are you still going to NY?


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