I never thought this would happen but here it is: I have accepted a full-time job at a software company. It’s the same company I used to work for before, doing similar work on the same team. I have contracted there twice within the last five years but never thought I would go back full-time.
My head is saying “What the hell are you doing, Vera? This doesn’t make any sense.” But it feels right. I feel like I am being pulled by an invisible cord, and all I can do is move forward.
Work had been slow for me all year, and right after Burning Man I went into overdrive looking for work. By the middle of September, I had a few different things lined up when my old manager offered me a short-term contract position. I responded YES and declined the other offers, not really understanding why but knowing that it felt right. During the first few days back in the old office, I felt the familiar sense of deadness and imprisonment. But then something else started taking over, this feeling of warmth and coziness.
I started having lunches with old co-workers that I have known since 2003 and realized how comfortable I felt around them. I started noticing all the comfy couches and chairs and nooks in the office. I started hoping that they would let me work part-time when practicum starts next year. I started realizing that I am much better at self-care now, and that if I need a walk or a stretch or change of scenery in the middle of the work day, I will let myself have it. I started enjoying having a place to ride my bike to every day and being around other people.
I had been unspeakably lonely in the last few months. I couldn’t have enough lunch and coffee and dinner and study dates to escape the profound loneliness that comes from working at home by myself or working in an office with strangers at best. This independence and freedom had been working really well for me for a while but I needed a change.
School had been a nice respite: Three days out of every month I am around some of my favorite people all day long. But there were still the weeks in between. Weeks full of silence and solitude.
Then two different people approached me to carefully inquire if I would ever consider coming back full-time. They were sure I would say no. When I said that I was thinking about it, they seemed so pleased, I was seriously touched. Like, my heart warmed up. I never thought I could be so lonely that working in a cubicle again seems like a good idea but that’s where I’m at. I feel more connected now, more connected to myself, to humanity and to San Francisco.
Things I love about this unexpected change:
- I have a place to go where I feel like I fit in.
- I still care about that technology.
- It’s a sign that I can change my mind.
- Free coffee, tea and apples.
- The other German who wears all black.
- I can keep pictures of my niece on my desk.
- I love getting up early and riding my bike one neighborhood over.
- I have a lot of fond memories in this neighborhood.
- People seem to really appreciate me at this company.
- I won’t have to worry about money for a while.
- I might even invest in a new bed.
- They are willing to work with me around my school schedule.
- Healthcare benefits, paid days off, stock options and a 401k.
- I like the privilege of having a badge.
- It’s nice to be around smart, financially stable people.
Life takes a funny turn sometimes. I’m not going to fight it.