I recently started a new job, leaving behind a complicated workplace where I’d spent a little over a year and come to bond very deeply with my fellow inmates. Saying goodbye — even knowing full well I’ll see everyone again the very next time happy hour is convened — was unexpectedly painful. Why, I wondered, as a full-blown adult who has had my share of long-term employment, did this particular separation hit so hard?
The answer came to me as I lay in bed reading a few nights after my farewell party, a haze of melancholy still hanging over me. That night, I turned the pages of a novel I’d been savoring, slowing my usual pace to enjoy the beautiful flow of language. Then, unexpectedly, I reached the end. It was one of those paperbacks with the sneaky reader’s guide housed at the back. I wasn’t anticipating the final page and the story’s close left me feeling adrift, unwilling to let go.
I closed the pages, turned the book over in my hands. [Read more...]