I think the public library is my temple, my church. It feels like a holy place to me—so many voices whispering across the quiet rows of books.
Today was my last day at my office job, and while I could be talking about that milestone, instead, I feel like talking about the public library, how it fills me with a quiet rejoicing, an endless sense of possibility. Maybe it’s because the library is more concrete—it is what it should be—something that you can depend on, a safe place. On the other hand, endings are hard to talk about because they are never what you would expect them to be. Even when you want the thing to end (you’ve been praying for it to end), it’s still disorienting.
You may be asking yourself, “what do libraries and quitting your day job have to do with each other?” The answer is, exactly nothing, except the fact that today was the last day of my day job (the final tether was snapped, allowing me to become a full-time artist) and to celebrate, I went for a quiet afternoon in the public library: collecting books (I praise you Mary Oliver, I think I’ve fallen in love), reading magazines, and in general, breathing in that buzzing amount of knowledge and thought that hangs in the air above the stacks.
Before going to the library (my first act as a free woman), I had a nice lunch with my now former bosses and coworkers. They were just so nice, as they always have been, giving me a twinge of guilt for not liking the job better, or at least accepting it while I was there. This does not nullify the insanity of the job, or the insanity of me being in the job (as I was so, so, painfully wrong for it), but it’s almost sad in a way when you wish to run out of the building cheering, and jump on your bike like a bandit, and never look back, but instead your office takes you out to lunch and gives you gifts. I am thankful that they were so kind, but my conscience didn’t feel like I deserved it.
But now, I am free at last, and tomorrow marks my first official day as a full-time artist. Can I hear a hooray echoing out across the blogosphere? Technically, I’ll be leaving this weekend for my other big transition this Fall—getting married, so the rest of this week is going to be more of a tying up of loose ends than a beginning of a new career. But stay tuned as I am most definitely going to fill these next three days with as much joyful creativity as possible. I will be back tomorrow, with something creative, but will be announcing later this week a three week holiday for wedding and honeymoon.