(Let’s ignore the fact that the last thing I posted was video game absurdity exactly a year ago, okay?)
From mid-September to Thanksgiving, I was off on an adventure… of sorts. For work, I was given an assignment wherein I would need to be some place 50+ miles from my home, daily, with no funds to stay in a nearby hotel and the meager promise of local travel reimbursement to put up with the very special hell that is commuting in the DC Metro area. And they wanted me to participate in this for, at minimum, six weeks. That six weeks became nine, and then, eventually, ten and a half.
At the outset, I worked up a rough plan to stay with family during the week and come home on the weekends — you know, to make the transition “easier”. It was exhausting. The commute was long, the days were longer, I had a whopping two hours of free time at night and to cap it all off, I wasn’t home. And when I was home, I was tending to fun and exciting things like laundry and battling guilt that I wasn’t participating in home chores that piled up as my husband attempted to tackle them all solo. He did great, but we’ve never treated our chore division as one-sided, so it was an extra challenge added on.
The project itself was actually incredibly good and hella rewarding. I’d like to get that on the table early. Logistics from a project standpoint were an abject nightmare in the early weeks and once we swapped locations to alleviate those logistical challenges, the project flowed like warm butter on a biscuit. About the same time our project made the concerted effort to location-swap, I threw in the towel of being not-home during it. I still only had about two hours at home before I needed to prep for the next day and do it all over again — but I was home. Everything was a thousand times more manageable because I had my home, my cats, my bed, and my husband.
Meanwhile, the weeks flew by with the work. I learned a shit ton about myself, my job, and programming. I learned I hate being bored. I learned I kind of hate working alone. I’m pretty good at being self-directed and getting things done, but that capacity increases exponentially working with someone else or a team of someone elses. I learned I’m a much stronger common code/business rules programmer than I EVER gave myself credit for. Of all the things that were eye-opening, this one leads the list for me. Right behind it though is I learned I’m still, absolutely, an introvert — but that doesn’t mean I don’t get LOUD and won’t make an impact when I find the thing that really fucking matters to me and that I decide to get passionate about.
I’ve always always always known that I have this enormous capacity to be exceedingly articulate. I also know I have the tendency to keep that part of myself secret or simply don’t share it often enough. But I also know I did a thing that was REALLY hard — HELL, I volunteered for it — and didn’t throw in the towel, give up, or back down. I came out from it stronger, more confident, and dare I say it happier.
The thing about transformations, though, or more this one in particular, is that it wrapped me up and I experienced it to the exclusion of literally everything else. I have friends I see every week, like clockwork — that was interrupted for 3 months. They took two vacations and celebrated a birthday in that space of time. Both my nieces turned 3, my SIL had a birthday, my grandmother turned 94. Two pairs of friends moved. Into the same house, sure, but they packed their shit and moved. Blogs and comics I followed were left untouched for 3 months — I don’t even think I care about some of them anymore. My husband went through two month-end closes — something that is never stress-free for him. In 3 months, I can pick out 3, maybe 4 milestones that really signify the passage of time for me: 3 birthday celebrations and a game night/moving day. They all feel like a blink of an eye.
A lot happened both inside and outside my little cocoon, but I can’t help feeling like the first birthday celebration was a couple weeks ago, not months. That cocoon is time folding over on itself and wrapping me up in it along the seam. I know my closest friends have said they missed me and I believe them and I missed them too. I suppose, really thinking about it, it speaks more to those friendships like no time has passed at all. That we can pick up and do our best to catch each other up on what we all missed in that space of time.
All this to say it was great, but it feels super weird and how is it almost Christmas already?
EDIT: Someone missed me while I was off on my “adventure” and is very happy to have me home