I did a stupid thing today: I visited my ex-firm’s website. When I got there, I checked out the Community section and realised that I had been erased; unsurprisingly, all references to me have been removed. And the Community News page, which provides short updates about recent projects and activities, featured several initiatives that I had dreamt up. It’s really true: that isn’t my job anymore. The world keeps turning.
It sounds daft, but I almost feel like I’m in mourning for my lovely job. I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to work there and develop the community affairs strategy into something that is now a source of great pride for the firm. It was wonderful to do something that ticked so many boxes that are important to me: it made me happy; it gave me the chance to use a wide range of my skills; it enabled me to spend every day dealing with fantastic people, both in the firm and externally; and it made a positive difference to the world, helping the schools and charities that we supported and, by extension, the people that they were set up to support.
I am going to set up a community engagement initiative of some kind in New Zealand, and I know that it will be amazing to be able to use my expertise to help people in my own country. However, this will take time – the kind of things that I want to do are likely to be different to what is already happening here and I will need to get myself organised. For now, I’m left missing the day-to-day ritual of my job. I honestly don’t know how people can choose not to work. I can understand it if you’re at home with little kids or something (far busier than any job, from what I’ve seen), but aside from that… no. What do people who don’t work talk about when their spouses come home in the evening? I miss talking to people all day. I guess that I could fill my day with coffee dates and the like, but I fear that I would discover that I only shared a surfeit of leisure time with my fellow coffee-drinkers and had little else in common. I guess that I could go to the gym every day and fill my hours with exercise classes. Actually, I should do something like that – this enforced idleness is a good opportunity to get in shape once again.
Essentially, I miss having that sense of shared purpose with my colleagues. I went to work every day feeling fortunate to have that job and I was never sad when holidays ended: there weren’t enough hours in the day to get through my wish-list of new projects. Now, I miss contributing to something more meaningful than cleaning this shoebox of a serviced apartment, or making dinner.
It isn’t a surprise to me that I’m feeling this way. In a couple of weeks we should have our rental house organised, and then I will start making my plans. For now, I think I should call time on the whole ‘exilednzer’ thing and stop thinking about my old life and, by extension, what I am missing about it. Time to hit the reset button and focus more fully on my new life – after all, it’s going to be awesome!