A got a new job. After 15 years and half a dozen positions, I’m leaving the bank and I’m about to start a new venture altogether. It’s a bit fun and scary all at the same time.
For the first time in 15 year also, I’ve had to do the things that one does when starting a new job such as the usual drug testing and background checks. My mother remarked to me how good it feels to partake in such things without having to worry about the results, and it does, indeed, feel very good. It was just the extra icing on the cake to get those additional “welcomes” from the recruiter and my soon-to-be managers.
That said, I can’t help a tinge of sadness at these changes. For one, I’ll be leaving a boss who has been such a dear friend to me over the years. We’ll still talk and all, but I’ll miss sending her work memes just the same. What’s really hanging on my heart however is the thought that I’m really starting on a new part of my life and for the first time without being able to mention it to my dad.
With my parents’ birthdays falling on subsequent days, I’d always approached them as a time of some happiness. Joking with my father about being an old man and following it up with similar jokes to my mother to next day has just been something I realize I’d definitely taken for granted.
This time last year, I took both of their birthdays off. Now, it’s a time to think of the fact that I’ll have to continue through life’s changes without being able to tell my dad. My father worked in a lab that often did the drug testing for multiple companies and he’d always share stories of all the people trying their hardest to juke the system. After leaving my drug testing, the only thought on my mind was how much I wanted to call my dad and tell him about finally getting a new job and how I had to get tested. I would have told him about the site and what I’d observed and he would’ve told me several stories about his time in the labs. But, we don’t get to have that conversation, and it’s painful, I’ll say.
I think what’s fascinating in this life journey is how to handle my grief. I got through Dad’s birthday with no tears or really any melancholy outside of the ordinary. But it wasn’t until two days later that I sat replaying Mass Effect and came across a scene I’d played 6 or 7 times that I found myself just bursting into tears. Granted, it was an emotional scene, but not one where I usually cry. (“Legion, the answer to your question is yes.”) Subconsciously, I knew I needed to let it out and so I put on the North & South mini-series that I’d been avoiding for the last nearly two years.
North & South is a very favorite read and for a while there an annual re-read on my Goodreads list, and the adaptation with Richard Armitage does it extreme justice, though it does remove so many of the religious themes. The story is notable for the amount of family and friends the heroine loses over time, including the loss of her father. After my own father’s passing, I had to slowly re-engage with any media that referenced fathers. Even heart-warming moments on The Simpsons between Homer and Lisa were a bit too much in the beginning.
I usually cried watching (or reading) North & South, and I’ve not been able to bring myself to watch it since May 2020. I’d found myself watching a Jane Eyre adaptation from about 15 years ago to “reset” my mindscape after finally finishing The Wire (good God! what an amazing show), and then I decided to bring up North & South, because why not? I knew what was coming, but I pressed on anyway. After crying so hard that I had to pause and write a little, I think it’s fair to say that I did need some time to weep following my father’s birthday. Perhaps not on the day itself because others are so good to check in with me and make sure I’m okay, but I can probably expect that I’ll have moments like this in the future as well.
It’s hard taking new steps, especially when they’re not always wanted. I do my best to treasure what I can do, however. The Discord has helped me regain a writing streak and keep up writing over a thousand words a day, and I’m looking towards the future with renewed vigor and hope. After months of patience and lots of effort, God has given me what I’ve wanted. Noting that God’s got a sense of humor and that I’ve been given what I thought I’d wanted only to realize it wasn’t what I wanted at all, but I’m taking this rare instance to be optimistic for once.
Upon hearing about my new job, my mother told me the next day that it was the first day of my new life. I’ll likely find the same old nonsense at the new job, but at least it will be new nonsense with more pay and permanent work-from-home. This is going to be a real new venture for me. I’m sad to leave behind old ways and friends and I’m sad not be able to share this with my dad, but the optimism is there. These are first days in my new life, so cheers to myself for holding on and staying positive.