What’s Real

My new job doesn’t feel real yet. I just don’t believe it. Did they really hire me? I don’t want to get too excited as of yet. I feel like I’m imagining this and I’m going to wake up from a very long and involved dream to a pile of work and a stack of missed deadlines and realize I wasn’t leaving after all.

At my current job—mine for almost three more weeks—I already feel like people are moving ahead, trying to figure out what to do to replace me and the other person who left last month. As they should. It’s happening for them, it’s real. Some people are freezing me out. Some people are confiding in me more than usual. I feel strange.

I’m moving from one big publishing house to another. There are overlaps. Some people who used to work where I am now are there. Others came from there. People are telling me to look up different names I know I won’t remember. It is the same job title—there really isn’t another job title above mine unless I wanted to be a managing editor, which I don’t. The big difference in jobs is I am in mass merch now, and I’m going to trade. In the publishing industry that means something; I don’t think it means a thing to anyone else. For me, it will mean more time to do better work. I am also hoping I get to work on a bunch of YA novels, but I don’t know what projects they’ll give me at first. For now, I am so used to working too quickly, eating on my feet, doing twelve things at once, my heart thrumming anxiously for hours on end until it feels natural to work like that, it feels normal to pop Exedrin pills like Tic-Tacs, to always have everything marked urgent. I have no idea what the new pace will feel like once I’m in it.

I want to go to the new job now, just to say hi. Just to tell them how excited I am. Ask, can I get started on reading anything now? I want to dip my toe in, get a feel for the water there.

Three weeks is too far away.

But for the job I am in now, my job still for those three weeks, it’s not long enough. I feel so responsible, so guilty for leaving them, I’ve been staying later and working like crazy, trying to submit as much copy to design as possible so I can leave things in a good state.

I am not exactly sure where I am at the moment. Is this happening? Is this really real?

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ALSO: Looks like I was about to get another job offer from another company. This is a strange time.


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