I'd been meaning to do it for a while, but something kept stopping me from handing in my application for voluntary redundancy - that's 'voluntary' in the sense of 'there isn't really another option'. Something in my mind, probably, was telling me that perhaps this wouldn't happen, that it wasn't happening; maybe, somehow, things would be all right, and all this wouldn't be necessary.
But there it is. It's done now. I typed out the letter - in a futile, childish and utterly satisfying move, I put it in Comic Sans - and put it in an envelope, and there it is, it's done now, and finished. One thing ends, and another thing begins. Here I go, heading to the scrapheap.
Well, it's not a scrapheap really. As I've said before, I'm in a much more fortunate position than so many other people who are being made redundant at the moment, in that I am (relatively) young, able to retrain, don't have significant debts, have a (very) hardworking partner (who earns more than me anyway) who can keep us afloat while I'm mucking about looking for a new job, and friends and family have offered to help and so on, and so on. There really isn't anything to be terrifically scared of, and I am very lucky.
But anyway, it's not ideal. It will be strange, the next time I fill in one of those immigration cards when you go to a country outside Europe, not to be putting 'journalist' in as the profession - though of course, Hunter S Thompson memorably said journalism wasn't a profession in a quote I used to use as the header of the blog:
Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits -- a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage...
Which is about right, in many ways, though my own adventures in Lucifer's chosen profession have never really scaled the heights of Hunter, or anywhere near where I'd wanted them to go. No matter. It'll be a shame to leave it behind, when it happens. A shame not to be able to call myself a journalist any more, when that was something I'd always wanted to be.
But then, as you may have noticed from reading this blog over the past three or so years, journalism hasn't turned out to be quite the thing I may have thought it would be when I was a younger person keen to get things done and put the world to rights. Which isn't to say that there isn't brilliant journalism being done in this country and overseas, because there is; it just seems to be something that's done despite the industry, not because of it. But maybe that's changing for the better; we'll have to wait and see.
Scrapheap here we come. But it's not an unpleasant scrapheap; it's somewhere quite tidy and tastefully decorated. I'll come to enjoy it, and get used to it, and make myself at home. And then I'll begin to wonder why I ever worried at all about how things were going to turn out. Things will get better, and I will get used to it.
There's a strange sense of elation that follows the decision to quit something, to change, to move on, even if you've got nothing to go to. Like every possibility opens up, all of a sudden; like the world is a place where anything can happen, even if you might be sceptical of whether it will or not; like there is a hope that lights up even those moments when you feel like it's all gone wrong.
It's not so bad, after all. Not so bad, after all.
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