I haven’t wanted to work at my second job for a while. Last year I didn’t have a choice but to stay (or find something better, which seemed harder). When I started my new day job last August, the need for secondary, part-time employment waned enough for me to really consider quitting.
It was hard letting go, though. I worked there for over six years. I worked there even before I met Clark (a time that sometimes seems too far away to consider). I’d spend hours getting drunk in the bar downstairs when I was 22. My position there was one of the first things I told people when they asked about me, one of my defining factors.
I could tell I wanted to quit in my brain, but my body would tighten up whenever I thought about actually sending the email or making the phone call. But this is the place where Clark used to ride his bike to visit you! This is the place where you printed out the necessary papers to apply for Clark’s Medicaid! This is the place that ordered food trays to be delivered to Clark’s funeral! This is the place that you stood, crying and watching Neko Case sing two nights in a row when Clark was almost dead because you had to do something that was only about you or you would lose your mind!
No one who works there still even thinks about those things, or thinks about me in that way. These things are mine alone, along with my decision to stop working there and move on. It can still be that place even if I don’t go there as often. And if I decide, after a while, that it’s just a place — that’s OK, too. I still keep my relationships with some of the people, which is important to me, so it will stay that way.
As these ties to Clark and the past begin to fade, I temporarily panic over what that says about me or my identity. I think, though, I’ll soon be comfortable with thinking the loosening of these knots and their eventual undoing doesn’t mean anything bad.