Well. That happened.
Let it be said: my job was driving me bonkers. The long weekend hours, the lack of recognition or potential promotions, the processes which eventually got to be more work than the work itself. I gave them some ultimatums in my head which, when broken, was the first nudge.
The second nudge was an old co-worker/dear friend begging me for help at a different company. I didn't know much about said company, but it sounded as though there was a Gnat-sized hole in that department. I applied.
And finally, all those damn inspirational quotes fortune cookies keep poking at the sore spot: Be bigger than your circumstances. Dare to fail. Embrace change. Fear mediocrity. Get out of your comfort zone. GO DAMMIT DO IT NOW.
Finally, with a tickling feeling in my gut, I pulled the cord. I accepted new job. Gave two weeks notice at the company I had been with for almost nine years. There was bewilderment, congratulations, and commiseration. There was a sort of frantic hand-off. I turned in my badge and (squirt) gun. And then, just like that, I couldn't get back in even if I wanted to. There was a sad realization of betrayal, as if my loyalty was worth not much by the end.
I decided to put a nice hard stop between the jobs, and I celebrated by riding my bike. I boxed up my pink sparkles and trailer, hopped on Amtrak up to Portland, reassembled everything in the station with a multi-tool, and turned southbound along the Pacific Coast. There were a few picture perfect sunny days, the wind at my back, the redwoods and waves equally whispering encouragement as I zipped by. Most of it, unfortunately, was a study in meteorology, fighting late April headlong gusts and bone-aching rain. The hours of pedaling became a zen meditation, with no one to talk to, all regrets having been addressed, all future plans made, and was left with nothing more than the chorus of a song stuck looping in my brain's forefront like a mantra. There was camping, there were brewery-stops, and there certainly were many hundreds of thousands of calories demolished without a care. There were hardly any other people at all. Good thing I like my own company, to be sure.
706 miles and two weeks later, I spent the weekend with my husband and cycling team camping out in the woods, again. They raced, I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and filled water bottles. It was pretty awesome. On Monday, I drove into my new job.
Now, I'm not sure what the future holds, and it's a good-sort of exciting. It certainly beats the doldrums I had let myself slip into of the last few years. There are new habits to form, new people to depend on, new inspirations and plans to be had. My switch back to a normal 5-days-a-week schedule has been spectacular, as I discover that hanging out with people I love seems to trump having extra days off. So far, I am very glad I did all this. I mean, I haven't failed yet.