Alone in the Big City

Talk about taking the plunge.

A little over a month ago I got a phone call from a major broadcast television equipment manufacturer offering me a job if I could move from Tallahassee to Jacksonville, Florida.  All of that is really another story that I should really write about sometime when I am motivated, but suffice it to say that I accepted the job, and am at this moment sitting sit a stark efficiency hotel room on the south side of Jacksonville.

My wife & daughter are still back in Tally tying up loose ends and finishing up the school year.  I, however, had to come on ahead and start with my new employer this week.  I started my new job two days ago and so far so good.  It’s a little strange being in a new workplace after fifteen years with the TV station in Tallahassee.  Back home (well, back at what used to be home and what will soon just be “that place I used to live”), I was the proverbial big fish in the little pond.  I knew everything there was to know about my job, and quite a bit about nearly everyone else’s job.

Here in Jacksonville, I’m just learning.  I hate not knowing exactly what I should be doing, and when I’m not sure what to do and sit idle, I feel like I’m loafing and letting them down.

And then there’s the loneliness.  I understand why depressed and lonely people could commit suicide.  (Now, before you plan an intervention, I’m not at all suicidal any more than I’m homicidal, it’s just a topic of discussion!)  I can’t remember ever feeling this alone.  I’m in a town where I know absolutely nobody, I don’t know where anything is, I don’t have close friends at work to talk with throughout the day, and I don’t have my family to come home to.  This sucks.

I feel like a ghost walking the earth.  My presence is inconsequential, and if I just vanished, no one would know the difference.  Of course my friends and family back in Tally would beg to differ, I know, but they seem a world away at this point.  It’s almost a surreal sensation.  This must be how drifters feel — never at home, always isolated, feeling no connection whatsoever to the people and faces around you.

I can’t wait to feel normal again.

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