I've worked at the same place since college (except for the 94-95 school season).
I spent my entire 20s and 30s there.
On the last day i was in the office my boss said that he felt like he had raised me from a pup.
What i'm getting at here is that my job was all i've known for a long, long time.
All you have to do is look at my blog's tag cloud to see how much i loved it and how central it was to my existence.
Losing it was like losing a chunk of me - a BIG chunk of me.
It was like losing my identity.
Almost a month later i am still struggling with the loss, finding myself starting to say "my museum" or "at work" or "we"and having to remind myself that i am no longer a part of that community.
I've had a job since i was 17; sometimes 2 or 3 jobs at a time in fact. The longest i've been unemployed was a horrible 2 week stretch in 1995 that i luckily don't remember very well.
I was at a loss of what to do or where to go or who to be.
As you know, Douglas whisked me away to Las Vegas so that i could by turns dazzle and distract myself and mope in luxury.
It was good to not be alone.
After a week we were able to start talking about what i should do. He asked me a lot of tough questions like what did i want and what do i love and what would i do if i could do anything and what are my dreams and what keeps me from following them. Sometimes i over thought things and became distressed. Sometimes i had no answers. But all of the talking led to some epiphanies and the formation of a plan.
This is a hopefully comprehensive short-term plan to help me get to a long-term plan.
Besides my former profession, the things i love the most- that truly move me- are art and charitable service.
In part one of The Plan i focus on my art by reestablishing my Etsy store, participating in several craft shows/fairs and finally looking for a permanent physical location to house and sell my wares.
Part two of The Plan has me volunteering at various local organisations. What i really want is to save the world, but that is simply not practical. To make a real difference, one has to have a specific cause, population or idea to champion and by volunteering at places like the Maryland Food Bank, Art for Heart and the Red Cross i will try to see if the non-profit world might be my next step.
The Plan is set for a six month duration (August-January) as that is long i can afford to give myself over to chasing my dreams. I realize that six months is not very long and that especially the art portion won't take off big in that time frame. However, it will let me at least dedicate myself to trying and getting some things established that i haven't had the time for until now.
Who knows what will become of me in February.
I won't even speculate.
I do have two backup plans, though - move in with Ron and become a server at the Eldersburg Pizza Hut or move in with my Grandpa in Ohio - so no matter what happens i feel confident that i won't end up homeless.
The next six months will be the chance i've been waiting for or unmitigated disaster.
Either way, it is sure to be an adventure and probably a good story to tell at family gatherings 20 years from now.