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  • scmullett

My new office

Why I quit my job, left San Francisco, and sauntered into uncertainty.

There is no such thing as a weekday anymore.

No lumbar-supported office chair, no calendar notifications. I still have my purple backpack and a fraying computer charger, but I changed every other detail of my life over the last 6 weeks.


It began in my old reading corner. I huddled in its armchair on the ripped dark brown leather, petting the white fur throw that made the rips seem "edgy" instead of "sketchy."


I gazed around the room I built with a fresh-from-yoga contentment. I cooed over my plants - T-Pain, Ice Cube, and Chamillionaire (the money tree). The gold vintage mirror replayed memories from the hottest day of the year - the 6-inch frame braced under my wet arm for far too many blocks. My fingers grazed the edge of the champagne cork nightstand, oversized and overeager for another two-mile journey hoisted on my hip. My arms were sore the next day. Cork is heavy.


My fingers spred wide on the wood arms. This was my spot, with secret spider web friends my roommate insisted I kill, and a constant window sill battle with the outdoor's ivy. We're still on good terms.


You see, I moved four times in 365 days, within a 3-mile radius. The drive for change kept uprooting my home life and testing different briar patches, yet I could never find the right fit. I'd squirm in a sunny Haight apartment, or shiver in a large NOPA flat. I rode the hills of San Francisco until I finally slid into this Victorian home, onto a plateau of ease. My routine was in place. My bus stop was on the corner. My favorite park was my backyard. I had settled.


Steady work, savings, and surrounded by sweet beings. Content? Yes. Happy? No.


I let my eyes drink in the comforts once more, and then listened to the little monster inside whisper, "tear it all apart."


It was at that moment that I went into my kitchen and dropped the news on my roommates. I would be leaving in 30 days. I'm also taking the Keurig.


Next I told work, friends, and acquaintances in passing.


It wasn't real yet, but the more people I told the more dominos I placed upright.


The nearly weekly panic episodes dialed the numbers of my exes. They were overly-optimistic safety nets that could keep me in place, keep me from leaving. I told myself that if there was something still there then I could extend my sublease, find another job in SF - it'd all be good! But over each catch-up beer I felt the flicker of hope die out. They were the same faces with the same problems. All I could concentrate on were the fizzy bubbles in my beer rising to the surface - freely gravitating towards breath.


I said farewell to friends and colleagues. I went to each milestone location to feel it all once more. One more visit to the photo lab on Polk. One more yoga class at Grace Cathedral. One more run to Ocean Beach.


Then I loaded up an SUV and watched the dominos fall in my rear-view mirror. The buildings, the hills, and the eucalyptus trees thunderously folded into one another. I pressed on the gas hearing clangs and booms, ropes severed and notebooks sealed.


I traded in every comfort imaginable for a very large question mark, and here it was before me. An empty, endless road with no expectations. Just my backpack, me, and the little monster pressing my foot to the pedal.

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