Usually when I have something I want to say here (in this voidy, relatively audience-less space wherein I occasionally put more moody thoughts), I have spent at least a few days with it in my head, developing some kind of structure or flow.
Not today! Not. Today.
I just felt a sudden overwhelming need to write something though. Right now, as I sit on the train in the tunnel between Fyn and Sjaelland. Because today is officially my last day of work in Copenhagen and I have a lot of feelings about it.
Like, the kind of feelings where you get in bed the night before and your husband says, “Are you okay?” and then you just start crying. Those kind, you know?
Yeah, so I don’t know how to explain this in a way that will cover everything. There’s a lot of stuff going on here. A lot of years of thinking and feeling things and it all coming together to this one, single day that I’ve now reified as the day that has finally come and I’m not ready and nothing will ever be the same again and I don’t like that idea at all.
And, though it may be easy to assume that these feelings are directly related to something along the lines of being super preganant and nearly unpregnant, or insecurities about impeding parenthood, or whathaveyou…really, all of that is just background noise (shockingly, I know) to the more looming thoughts I have right now about working and suddenly not working and being thrown once again into the possibility (however remote, as kind people try to tell me) that I may never be able to find a “real job” (full time, benefited, could support a family kind of job) again.
Because guess what? It’s actually really hard for me to type this because I’m really afraid of being judged negatively because of this…but…
I really, really, reaaaaaaally love working.
I love working.
I love working!!
There. Now you know.
I love it. I love it so freaking much. Even in non-ideal, non-dream kind of jobs, I still love it. Even with four hour commutes for non-ideal, non-dream kind of jobs (like the one I have now…for one more day…), I still…I still love it.
And I’m terrified. I am literally terrified to go back into the dark world I left from before I got this job. And I know, logically, that things don’t have to be like they were before in that era I refer to as “The Stupid Time.” In fact, they probably won’t be like that at all because now there will be a child around. But, I’m still so, so scared of falling back into that hole of feeling like I’m going nowhere, doing nothing, with no hope of climbing back out because I’m trapped.
I’m scared to death of feeling trapped, optionless – in whatever way that manifests itself.
Today is my last day of work in Copenhagen. And, as soon as I get to the office, everyone will warmly treat my last day with celebration and possibly pastries (as a sane Danish person would, since maternity leave is a time to be joyful and excited, not terrified). And I’m going to do my best to keep it together and smile and be happy too. I just wish that I really was like a normal Danish person today: someone going on leave knowing that there was always their desk and work and community to come back to. But, unfortunately for me, there isn’t something for me to come back to this time…and I can’t help but feel a little bit like today is going to be more about “Goodbye, forever” than “Hurrah! A baby! Hurrah for you, our forever co-worker who we can’t wait to see again!”
And that’s sad. That’s super sad.
But, I have my goodbye cards written and my (really hard to find) cans of root beer goodbye presents in my backpack. And I’ll wait till everyone goes home at 3:45 to pick up their kids. Then I’ll put my gifts on their desks, neatly center my access badge and key in front of my dark screen, take a good look around that big open-plan office, realize that I will very soon be forgotten as just another one-year hire (“What was her name again?”), and head out into the Copenhagen rain to get some comfort Thai for my last ride home through the orange and yellow forests back to my little apartment and my little (admittedly beautiful, but very hard to find employment in) life.
It’ll be okay.
It’s going to be okay.