At six p.m. last night (I was still at work, of course), one of my higher-ups came back from a three-hour meeting at the bar next door to the office (we conduct a fair amount of business there) and said, "Well, you're cleared for takeoff" -- meaning, of course, that it's settled, that I can move to Portland and keep my job.
I'll never know exactly what went on during those three hours, but I know exactly how lucky I am, and how much my company rocks for giving me this opportunity. Amanda hiamanda showed up around 6:30, and we headed down to the bar, where my boss bought us a couple of rounds and told me that the only rule was that I needed to come back to Chicago to sing at the Christmas party. Y'know, my boss isn't half bad.
...It's been a difficult week, this week has been. I worked ten hours today, which is typical. I really like a lot of things about my job, but most of all, I love the people -- I love how crazy and eccentric we all are, I love the inside jokes, I love the shared culture that nobody outside of the company can really understand. But I've talked to a lot of friends about it lately, and I'm starting to think that working remotely is not only going to be a fun change, but it's going to be an absolutely necessary change in order to gain some needed distance from my job. It's a great thing to feel a close bond with one's co-workers, but I'm in danger of having no kind of work/life separation. I worry that some of my co-workers already don't. It's very easy to romanticize the idea of working for a startup, and I've been guilty of that. It makes it hard to even think about leaving. As you can see, I'm too emotionally bound up in my job -- which is why I need to step back. I don't want to work for the same company forever, but as it is now, quitting my job would be almost impossible -- the guilt and sadness would be overwhelming. I'm hoping that working remotely will give me just enough separation so that, should it come time to leave, I'll be able to comfortably do so.
Although, man. When I'm in Portland, I'm really going to miss the fun we have around the office. I'm a connoisseur of office humor. There'll still be IRC banter, of course, and I love that too, but it's of a decidedly different flavor. Humor that's spoken out loud is just different -- neither better nor worse, but just different, and irreplaceable.
But anyway. This is it, you guys. I'm moving to Portland! I can't believe it. Thank you all so much for being so supportive of me. And thank you, especially, Jim jwithington and Matt, for making me realize that this was possible, each in your own ways. You have no idea how much you've done for me.