Is anyone else familiar with your first night of sleep after a painful breakup?
I am. And no matter how many times I go through a breakup, that first night of sleep is always the worst. Inevitably, I wake up at arse-o'clock in the morning, and am struck by my new reality, which results in a gaping hole in my heart, with hot tears trickling down my cheeks, with a hundred thoughts and a thousand regrets.
Last Saturday, I kind of went through that again.
It was a new feeling, though, because I hadn't broken up with anyone, or been dumped. Not with a person, anyway. But I had left something the night before--after a flurry of last-minute deadlines, after a big going-away party, and amidst sincere and sometimes tearful speeches, and generous gifts, and more than a few chuckles over shared memories, I walked away from the job that I had held for the last 8.5 years. The first really stable job of my life, the first really substantial job of my career, the source of my emotional stability for the longest time, and I left it.
And so, at 5 AM Saturday morning, I awoke abruptly, my heart pounding, and while I wasn't crying or devastated, I was still...lost. I spent the next hour trying to go over all the final details in my head, all the jobs and duties and responsibilities and commitments, all the people that I had worked with. And then I thought about the next few weeks, before I start my new job, and really, the next...well, lifetime ahead of me without this job I had just left.
I'm like a moon who has lost its planet to orbit around, I thought, with maybe more than a little self-pity. I had lost my gravitational pull, the thing that had kept me on course.
Maybe I will have it again. Heck, likely I will have it again. It's going to take time, though, just as it took time for Fancy Desert Library to become the center of my Universe. And I suppose, in the meantime, I can only concentrate on avoiding what Eldest Sister conjectured when I gave her my "moon lacking a planet" hypothesis:
"Well, what happens when a moon loses its source of a gravitational pull? It continues to spin pointlessly until it veers of course and crashes into another planet and kills millions of people."