my time at the opera ended this morning, early -- 7 AM, before anyone else was around -- with the placement of my key card on my desk and one last lap around the building, one last nuzzle of the costume shop cat.
I have done so many crazy things at that job. planned parties, played roles onstage, made backstage sound effects, ran titles, stayed in the office until 2 AM working on parts, stayed in the office until 2 AM drinking, laughing, crying, hunting down weird instruments, teaching myself crazy things (synthesizer programming, latin). I've run up and down the riverfront shirtless to advertise events. I've had panic attacks, I've lost sleep, I've had sometimes two months or more without more than a day or two off. but mostly, the job was about my colleagues, the people who became my surrogate family: incredibly hard-working, hilarious, wonderful people who have gotten me through tough times and have been a huge part of the best times. I love them, and can't imagine not working with them. I will miss them immensely.
I won't talk about why I left. I'll say only that I have a history of toughing it out a little too long: romantic relationships, injuries, neighbor conflicts, the ant problem I had a few years ago where I only called the landlord when they started crawling across me in bed. I tend to think that the problem, whatever it is, is me. I think I can fix it. I try really hard to fix it. but sometimes it's just time to go.
my new job, which is here in town, has normal business hours and will provide me with a significantly larger salary. I can't help but think of it as finally getting back to my life. of all the things I haven't done in so long that I've forgotten I even like doing them. hiking. spending weekends at the barn. having weekends. having adventures: going camping, going swimming, having evenings to cook and play games and take walks. having time, that most elusive of commodities.
it's as if I've been carrying a dead body for all this time, for so long I've forgotten that there was ever a time that I didn't. there has not been a moment not colored by work for at least the last two years. I look forward to finally putting it down. I'm not sure I even know how light it will feel on the other side.