June 20th, 2012 10:40am
It Has Opened A Lot Of Doors, Maybe
I was laid off from my associate editor position at Rolling Stone yesterday. My boss who broke the news, who I like a lot, made it clear that my dismissal had nothing to do with my performance, and that everyone has always been really happy with my output, creativity and work ethic. It was just a matter of budgeting, and a new plan to consolidate print and web editorial. I’m not really sure how they are going to pull that off – I wasn’t the only significant web staff member who was laid off – but I’m not really worried about it. It’s not my problem anymore.
I have zero ill will for Rolling Stone or anyone who works there; I will still write for the publication. One of my first thoughts upon learning the bad news was: Aw, I really liked working here! At the same time, I was planning on leaving down the line to pursue other kinds of writing and working, so really, I don’t feel too bad about this. I’ll probably be freaked out about money for a while, but aside from that, I can put my energy into a lot of new projects and challenges.
I am sort of amazed by how optimistic and happy I feel in the immediate aftermath of losing my job. I enjoyed working at Rolling Stone, but it took up a lot of my energy. Both the job security and time investment was holding me back from pursuing things I wanted to do. So instead of getting upset, I feel relieved. The job prepared me to do very well in this moment. I haven’t felt this excited in a while. It’s aggravating to think about the money side of this, but I have a lot of confidence that I can make it all work now.
I keep thinking about this Malkmus song, “Jo Jo’s Jacket.” It’s basically about how he quit Pavement in order to move on with his life and career. I think it’s the happiest song he’s ever written. He makes you feel his thrill at the prospect of moving on. The song smirks off fear with silly jokes; but frames the real meaning in quotes from Yul Brynner and Bob Dylan, and a wordless chorus that is just like — “Wheee! Away we go!” It wasn’t my decision to move on, but I feel the same because, without realizing it, I know this is exactly what I wanted.
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