January 15   Serendipity

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I had a really good week. One of those rare great weeks that I can’t even remember the last time I had one. And I don’t mean a week in which something awesome and unexpected happens. I mean, that the whole week rocked.

Monday I had to tell the boss I had given notice and that Friday would be my last day. I’d been kinda dreading it because I wanted to avoid discussing it. He’d been away since about 8th of Dec so… yeah it went how I thought it would go.

Tuesday though was the team’s farewell lunch for me and M, who was also leaving. It was really lovely and my face hurt from smiling for the rest of the day. A couple of past team members came along which was so lovely for the opportunity to catch up with them. And we both were given a voucher for a manicure/facial and I got this frog, which is a bit of a work in-joke. I think it’s hilarious and I’m going to take it to work and put it on my new desk.

And then when I got back to the office, reception called to tell me I had a delivery and when I wandered down to collect it, I discovered that C had sent me flowers and chocolates to wish me good luck on my change of job. And everyone agreed that he is a great guy and a keeper. But I already knew that.

Wednesday and Thursday I spent tying up loose ends, writing handover notes and filing and trying to mentally and emotionally move on. I’m kinda sad about leaving this team and the work. I’ve been there 4 years and I feel like I accomplished a few biggish kind of achievements and worked towards progressing some weaker areas. I networked a lot and met a lot of really great people, both in my agency and outside it. And I’m going to miss my team. Though M is also leaving so the team is kind of splitting up in any case.

Friday was my last day and I spent it really manically trying to finish up memos and letters to pass on to the others to just wrap up and send out. And I packed up my office and we had afternoon tea and then … then I left. And I couldn’t really believe that I had given them my keys to the building and was actually leaving. There were lots of hugs and that was the moment that I finally realised it was real and that I was sad. And J gave me the gorgeous card up in the top photo which says “Well-behaved women rarely make history”. I’d gotten a really lovely group card and so many people said so many beautiful and well meant things and then I got this follow up one from a teammate who I have I guess gotten really close to only in the last year or so. We’ve had so many heart to hearts and she held my hand at work through Swancon. So sad to leave her but also so touched that she really “got” me. Isn’t that what we all want in life, to be understood?

C had dropped me to work and so had picked me up, and attended the small farewell afternoon tea so I had him to leave with and not feel really down about having left my team. And we headed off to do more shopping and then to have an early dinner at the Daily Planet before meeting Marianne and Jonathan to see Ira Glass! I had been so looking forward to this. We headed up to the bar to hang out, wondering if they might come up there but they didn’t and then I couldn’t remember if we’d booked our tickets to be seated together. We hadn’t, as I recall now, we’d just talked about it online and both bought tickets at the same time. It was only then that I realised that we would just be at the same event together but not actually *with* each other. So we went in and were looking for where our seats, they were 3 rows from the front and C turned to me and said, “really?” and all I could do was shrug and say, “I’m a REALLY big fan”. And then … and then you won’t believe it. Our seats were right next to Marianne and Jonathan. Unplanned, pure coincidence, utter serendipity. And in that exact moment, as we sat down next to our friends and C settled in for 2 hours of watching someone he’d never heard of speak, I knew that the universe was smiling down at me, and that everything will be be ok. That I am in the right place, at the right time. Finally.

And I just loved Ira Glass. It was a fantastic performance. Really interesting and engaging and so very very enlightening, not just on how they¬† put the show (This American Life) together but on what they intend for the show to be and a lot on good storytelling. I got a lot out of it – first the buzz of inspiration to want to go home immediately and throw myself back into TPP but second, he had a lot of interesting things to say about storytelling and on building momentum and how to seduce your reader/listener to not put the work down/turn off the radio. Since I’m currently reading novel manuscript submissions and thinking about that a lot, it couldn’t have been a better time to immerse myself in the careful musings of such a great storyteller/editor. And it made me realise how the asking for only 3 chapters is really a great submission process because, I should NEED to ask for the rest of the manuscript because I NEED to know where the story goes. And if I don’t, then that’s not a project for me. I also really got a lot out of how he spoke about the show and how he thinks about what it is and so on. I think you do need to know what your intent is from the outset. If not what it will end up being, at least what it is that you set out to do. Because that should underpin every decision you make after that and should allow you to constantly check back in with whether what you are doing now is consistent with what your project model or philosophy is.¬† At the end of the day, when I’m stuck on rejections, I do this, I look back at what TPP is and what I see that it should be, and if something doesn’t fit with that, then it’s not a project for me.

After the show, we headed off for coffee, the four of us and just hung out and caught up. And it was the perfect end to a damn fine week.



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