Thursday, September 07, 2006

Well, Now What The Hell Do I Do?

So, I'm back in the office. Yay. I went home for Labor Day, and while I was there, I interviewed for a job.

I'm a bit leery - the HR person told a completely different story that the quality manager which differed from the story told by the operations manager. I had to wait for almost 45 minutes for them since a meeting was running over. They still haven't defined the job, or gotten approval for the req. It will be a minimum of 3 weeks before I hear anything, either way. Their systems are in even worse shape that the ones I deal with now and I'm not sure about the culture of the company. In addition, I've learned that when you work for this company, you essentially sell your soul to the company store - they own you. If I am offered this job, and take it, I will be taking the job almost solely to get back home. Then I learned that they have the option of moving you every two years - and they usually do. So, if I take the job to get home (assuming one is offered), I could be in a worse place in two years when/if they ship me even further away than I am now. And, given Ohio's economy, I can't really count on finding something else to replace the job and stay in the area. This requires deliberation. Part of it is that I'm really good at talking myself out of things. I don't like change, I prefer my own comfy little rut, thank you very much. Even for things that are good for me, I am more than capable of dissuading myself from nearly anything that requires a change in the status quo. So am I really that worried about this new opportunity or am I just being my typical cowardly self?

And, lately I've had to face something fairly unpleasant for me to deal with: that my life has, without my knowledge or approval, shifted from there to here. It seems obvious that it would, now that I'm trying to be clear-headed about it - I mean, I'm here so of course my life would be. But... it wasn't supposed to happen like this. My life was there - my friends, my family, nearly all that was most important to me. I had nothing here to hold me, and I've spent the last three years essentially counting the days until I could go home.

Recently though, I've come to the realization that things have changed. I've essentially lost contact with the circle of college friends that meant so much to me when I lived there. I was in their weddings, threw their baby showers, helped them move - all the things you do with people who are friends, that you think will always be friends. We've been reduced to me emailing them to say I'll be in town, and an emailed response that they'll be on vacation and will hopefully catch me next time. The part that really makes me sad is that I'm not particularly upset by this. When I do visit them, it feels more like I'm there 'cause I think I should be instead of because I want to spend time with them. I do still have friends there, very close ones, and some family - but my brother moved three hours closer to here (so it only takes me five or so hours to get to his house, and eight or nine to get home). My best friend's parents just sold their homestead and moved to Nashville to be near their grandchildren. Everything that felt so important just seems to be sifting through my fingers like sand.

At the same time, I've begun to realize how important the people here have become to me. I have a circle of friends here now. The last several weekends in a row have been booked solid - and my calendar is filling up for the rest of the month. We started out having lunch together in the cafeteria. Then we'd catch the occasional beer after work. Now, I know their families, I've been to their homes, we have a shared history. We even catch crap from others at work 'cause we're "clique-y." When the hell did that happen?!? I realized all of this just recently when I was offered a job in this area. One of the reasons that I turned it down (aside from deciding that they were minions of evil, and I'd be consigning myself to purgatory to work there) was that I wasn't ready to leave here. Not because of the job itself - that is also hellish - but because of the people.

Adding to my confusion is that I'm actually *gasp* contemplating dipping my toes back into the dating pool - for the first time in nearly 11 years. I'm still about half convinced that I'd rather just be the crazy old lady with a million cats. What am I thinking?!? My ex called last week, and we talked for an hour or so - for the first time since January - and here's the weird thing: I felt nothing. We were together for ten years. At one point, I thought he would be The One. And all I felt was a mild pity for his situation.

I don't, as a general rule, view my workplace as a happy hunting ground the way so many of my coworkers seem to, but there is a guy here. Something may be developing. I haven't felt this rush of possibilities in a long time. You know that sensation, the uncertainty - it's kinda like growing some exotic plant from a seed. The seed has germinated - there's that cute little baby sprout. Now, do I nuture it along or decide that's not the variety I was after and let it wither? *sigh*

So, what the hell do I do now? Stay here at this company? In this role or try for another one that interests me? Stay in this area but move to a different company? Nuture the seed? Or continue to try to get home and pick up my life there where I left it? Can I? Do I want to? Gah.

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