Let me start by describing the scene.
It's 2AM, and nearly every light in the apartment is on. That's not on purpose, mind you, but it seems to have just happened.
A lone figure dressed half in pajamas and half in street clothes hovers over a tiny laptop, which is resting on the dining room table, quietly ticking these very words into it.
To his left is two letters, a glass of milk, and a pen.
Well, I am rarely very far from a glass of milk when I am home, but I am just describing the scene.
Life presents moments of significance all the time. The ones you have forewarning that they are coming are comparatively rare. The ones where you can choose when they happen are almost nonexistant.
The letters are mutually exclusive. Two offers of employment. Only one is going to be signed. The other will be cordially declined with a phone call and thank-you note. I know the authors of each letter very well.
They're each from one of my bosses.
If nothing else, 2001 has been a year of change. The new millennium has brought about many instances of people reexamining their lives and making changes where they felt it is needed. I have known of many people, myself included, who undertook this task voluntarily. That it is happening in the first year of a millennium is not considered, by me at least, to be an accident.
For those who chose to sit such an undertaking out, September 11th has forced their hand in reexamining life and what it is, was, and should be. Not that it is a good way to do it, but it certainly has brought those along who weren't otherwise so inclined.
But that is neither here nor there.
"It's been a year for divorces," one of my bosses said. I couldn't disagree on that one. The partnership that I have served under for nearly six years is dissolving in less than two months, and those of us who work for the now terminally ill corporation have been trying to figure out just what in the hell we are going to do with all of our newfound free time.
Oh yeah, there are bills to pay, too.
I suppose I could be a lot worse off. In a shrinking economy, I am being hotly sought after by each of them to, once again, create something new, as I did back in early 1996 when this company was starting.
It's not so simple, though.
Each is looking for whatever they didn't find out of the prior partnership. Each is heading off in different enough directions to make comparisons of what is to be, difficult, if not impossible. One is aligned with a larger corporation, the other is starting small, yet again. I find my own advantages with what each one of them is doing, and respective fears as well.
I find that I am not the hungry 23 year-old that I was the last time I did this.
Just approaching the halfway mark of the first year of my 30's, I am far more philosophical than I was, and far less trusting. The well of faith in the future is dry insofar as work is concerned, yet overflowing in my personal life. This is the complete inverse of 1996.
It's nice, if not odd.
My phone has been ringing non-stop for the past two weeks, as each of the partners (and/or their minions) woo me toward their way of thinking. What started as an ego-trip, and a fun game of "who da man", has become stressful and tiresome. I find it's a lot like dating, but on the receiving end of the suitors, and I am not entirely used to this.
They have each bought me flowers, and taken me to dinner. They have made grand promises of a wonderful future. Sooner or later I have to get into bed with one of them...
I just want to know who will respect me in the morning.
So, to stop the insanity that I didn't entirely understand had completely stressed me out, until it was pointed out to me, I chose this weekend as my own, self-imposed deadline.
In fact, I am sitting here, now, ready to finalize my choice.
This has not been easy, and I will never know if it was the "right" one until it is too late. Oh sure, there are lots of promises of "and if it doesn't work out you could always change your mind", but in reality, these offers are butterfly wings: once they are touched they are never really the same again.
At least I know I won't starve.
I just finished my milk. I am picking up the pen.
I just signed one of the offers. It's 2:22AM.
If you'll excuse me, I need to get some sleep. My turn to make the phone calls tomorrow.
There goes another one of those changes. At least I saw this one coming.
I'll let you know how it all works out.
:::::posted by erratic :: 08-something PM EST linky