When I started this blog, I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t spend too much time blogging about my job, because let’s face it – it’s uncool to blather on about office politics, especially when there’s no way I can be as funny as TV writers who have already tackled that comedic arena. I also think this was because I wanted my blog to say to the world: “Look world! I’m not all about my job! I have other things that I care about! See, I blogged about them!”
So it’s been tough to figure out how to blog about the last few weeks. See, last Thursday, I told my staff and colleagues that I’ve decided to leave Walton Arts Center. Not tomorrow or next week, but later this summer. In one day, I moved into that weird place called “transition”, and everything looks a little different now, like I’ve put a new filter over it, or maybe taken one off (can you tell I’ve recently discovered Instagram?).
When I first started to say the words “I’m leaving”, the emotions were varied. There was sadness, because the people I am leaving are good people, with whom I’ve shed tears, laughed in joy and taken real satisfaction in our efforts to make our little corner of the world better.
There was also fear, because, for quite a while, I’ve seen myself as “Jodi from WAC.” I moved to Arkansas for this job, I have done it for 8 years, more if you count the hours I spent when NOT at work thinking about work. Though I know I’m supposed to be more balanced, magically constructing a life of meaning, home-cooking, exercise and a robust social life, the truth is that I find a lot of my identity via my job. And I’m ok with that, because my job and my field are inspiring and fun. So what happens when suddenly, I’m not what I’ve been for 8 years?
As it turns out…that’s not even a real question, because I am what I’ve been for the past 8 years. I’m still me. I still love the arts. I still love WAC. I still believe that the arts are essential to our future. I still believe that Northwest Arkansas is an amazing place where the arts can and have already made a huge impact. None of that has changed, and really, neither have I. Because guess what? I am more than my job. Lots of people have told me that, and I think I’m just now starting to understand it.
Today, on an absolutely stunningly perfect Saturday, I’m ensconced on my couch with my windows open, enjoying the breeze after spending the afternoon outside with my dog and my friends.
And maybe I’m just high on sunshine and fresh air, but I’m at peace. Change is the only constant. It can be scary, but it can also be right. And once all of the emotions have swept by, it’s time to evaluate what’s left. For me, it’s a sense that this was the right move, that I’m going to be ok. I’m going to be more than ok. I’m not going to be Jodi from WAC anymore; I’m just going to be Jodi. And that’s enough.