I saw my cousin at a family gathering recently and she said "what's this about a new job? You update Facebook all the time but nothing about this!" And that got me thinking about the process of breaking personal news.
Maybe it's just me. When I have big news I need to roll it around in my head a bit before speaking it. It's allllmost like worrying about jinxing it... but not exactly. This process (of changing jobs) has been just about two months in the making, between applying and interviewing and waiting and giving notice and wrapping up. It's an excruciatingly long time for me to have news. I want to handle it right, release it the right way. I hate having secrets but am loath to tell anyone, hate the attention of making announcements but am dying to talk about it.
When I was pregnant the last time, Scott and I sat together the morning I discovered it and I said "let's just wait to tell people." He agreed. It was our third (ultimately unsuccessful) pregnancy and I did not want to go through the whole roller coaster again, just in case. I hate having to un-tell news even more than the telling. So with our secret sealed in between us, I went off to work. Scott called me when I reached the bottom of our hill- about 2 minutes later- and said "I told someone." I get it, I understand the need to tell, to let it out, to let someone in on the lonely turmoil that is having news.
When I was leaving my last job, it was a quicker process (blessedly) but still, I was going to work with my colleagues and making plans for the future that I knew I would not be a part of. My spiritual director said "you're not lying, you're not keeping secrets. You're cooking something up with God right now and it's not ready to bring it out of the kitchen."
When there's news, there's suddenly a proper procedure. Who needs to know right away? Who will have to hear this directly from me, who will be angry if they hear it from someone else? How can I time the announcement right so that I'm not having to say goodbye for a painfully long time? Is it okay to tell the people I'm leaving that I'm really excited about the new job? Although this is something I'm going through, grief that I have to face, I have to acknowledge that the people I'm leaving behind are sad, too. How am I to accept that grief without being... I don't know... self-aggrandizing? How am Ito be okay when someone doesn't seem all that sad that I'm going? It's all a delicate balance, and fraught.
Still, through this whole process I've felt the strong hand of God on my shoulder, directing my steps like my parents once did, pushing me through the crowd at the fair. I remember the feeling of not needing to be able to see the path ahead or even know where we were, because my much taller parents could see what I couldn't, and would push me in the right direction. All there was (is) for me to do was keep walking. So here I go! It feels good and scary and exciting and unreal and promising and hard. And now you know.