Everything comes around again, eventually.
Yesterday, a smell took me back a few years - to a time not forgotten, but now relegated to history. I work in a cinema, and one of the screens had the exact same smell as another I knew, years ago.
It was a nice (if strange) reminder of what had gone before. Sometimes it's hard to see the links to those first few days in the job, now that I've moved 250 miles away, and work in an entirely new team. I guess you could say that I have a sweet nostalgia for the before; but that's expected, as most people do. There's something more comforting about its story - because it's complete, and we know the outcome. Today is weird, because it's not over yet. Lacking an 'ending' of sorts, it's impossible to judge - but some months or years down the road, it will be accessible to read.
I suppose I'm more nostalgic than ever right now because it's coming to an end. It feels like enough. I started this cinema job seven years ago today. Bloody hell. I don't recognise the person I was back then, on day one, May 4th 2007. He was happy, in a relationship with a girl who he loved and he instinctly knew loved him back. He was writing, maybe not all the time, but enough that it satisified his writer's needs. He was naïve, yes, but naïve to his naïvity! Yes, he had so much to learn and so much to go through... but I kinda prefer the me from back then.
Over seven years, the company I work for has often been the main focus of my life - and it's changed me in a lot of ways. When I say 'a lot of ways' - some of those will be good, others less so. I'm certainly more confident, but at what cost? I feel like I've sullied my humanity more than a little. I think that part was inevitable when working in a Retail or Leisure industry - the customers are appalling, and the staff...! Well, we pay them peanuts, so what can we expect?
On my seventh anniversary of working in cinema, I'm choosing to look back on the two halves of my journey to this point. The first three and a half years as a staff member in Manchester, and the next three and a half as a manager in London. I've done a lot there; sometimes it feels like I've done it all. That's silly I think, because one's never done it all - but it should help capture how bored, unmotivated, and completing wanting to move on I am.
Six years ago I celebrated by watching the first film released during my time at the cinema - Spider-Man 3 - on DVD (I never saw it on release). Back then, I knew in my heart of hearts that I enjoyed my job, and was nowhere near ready to leave it. I don't know if that was the right decision or not - where would my life be if I had quit there and then, and moved onto the next chapter, six years early? Would I have concentrated on uni work more? Maybe, I certainly neglected it to focus on some aspects of my job, but I'm sure another job would have come along and caught my imagination. There's lots of potential ifs and buts, I suppose. The one thing I do think with a degree of certainty is this: I would no doubt have tried harder to get into the TV/Film industry, and may already be working within it if I'd quit earlier.
Today, how am I celebrating? There was a part of me that wanted to resign today, but I can see sense as to why I should wait first - wait for a new job to come along, so that I'm not leaving and having to nothing to move onto. I'm on a 2-10 shift today. Hopefully it goes well. I might just sit back after it's done and stick the Blu-Ray of The Avengers on. Another superhero themed celebration seems highly appropriate on this day of the year.
But mark my words - I won't reach an eighth year there, oh no. There's something coming, quickly and immovably in my direction: a change, or job and direction.
There's a new me on the horizon, just you wait. Watch this space.