Because five years is so obvious.


And so it begins

Two weeks ago yesterday, I lost my job. Or I should say, they told me to get lost because it's not particularly accurate to say I lost my job. I know exactly where it is. It isn't hiding under some couch cushion or deep on some shelf piled over with crap. Nope. The job is exactly where it's always been. They just don't want me in it anymore.

I'd know it was coming for a few days. A former investigative reporter, I'm pretty good at getting the scoop, breaking the story, blowing things wide open… as they say. And yet, 15 days later I find myself surprisingly kind of bummed about it.

By way of background, I despised this job. I accepted their offer almost 3 years ago and at first, it wasn't such a bad gig. But as with most things, the bright, sparkly sheen of newness wore off. And that wore me down. The gray, soulless cubicle. The oppressive fluorescent lighting. The booboisie I was made to toil beneath. The ever-changing job duties that somehow left me doing the exact kind of work I'd always sworn I'd never – never, ever – do. 2001 Marta would be so disappointed.

Which is why this vague sadness after being told to hit the road is so surprising.

Wouldn't you think every day now would be a party? A celebration of the end of a GoTV-induced depression that always sat like a rock in my shoulders? Yeah. Me too.

I can't tell if it's the fact that my ego got a little pummeled. Or if it's the full tilt panic that creeps up like bile from the depths of stomach up into my throat whenever I try to think about what to do next. Or if it's the fact that lately, the most interesting part of my day is watching our robotic vacuum cleaner circle the house wondering if it will get hung up on all that which poses an obstacle for the little Roomba.

"Oh my, I can scarcely handle the suspense! Will the Roomba make it back to its dock, cleverly avoiding the treacherous kitchen cabinets where it might get stuck???"

Maybe it's all of these things.

Now each day I wake up I tell myself, "Today will be the day that I'll finish all the things I've been meaning to finish for so long! Today that script will be done! That closet will be organized! Those dogs will get all the exercise they need!" But for some reason, each night I realize I've fallen farther behind the goal. Farther behind than before even -- because now there are so many more expectations… Free time, the time away from the 9 to 5 (or 7 or 8) grind, is now loaded with so much pressure and expectation because there's so much of it in my life. All the excuses that come bundled in that tidy package of employment – "Work has been so crazy this week" are gone. Lost, like my job, I guess.

So now when the mascara comes off, and the doors get locked and dogs get their nighttime chewies and lights turn off, all I got is the raw, suffocating self-awareness that tells me the reason things didn't get done is all on me.

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