In early April, I walked into work to find an ominous truth hovering around my office: we were being relocated.
Okay — not relocated. I’m being dramatic. Our office was combining with another office, etc., and so forth, and my own individual workspace was being moved . . . across the hall.
I’m super close with my officemates, Sandy and Brandon, and we work together closely — so my first reaction was pure fear. I shifted my gaze between them, absorbing the news.
“They’re not going to separate us, are they?”
It was like waking up in sixth grade to the news of your best friend in the world moving across the country, where there’s no email or phone service or ability to accept courier pigeons. Even though I knew, logically, that I was going to lose my “own” office — the small, windowless cell I’d called “home” for eight hours a day since 2009 — I was less concerned with that than being stuck in . . . isolation.
As we all know, leaving high school and college behind usually means one thing: your social circle dwindles. We all have friends we love no matter what — people who will be there for us through thick, thin, ugly, silly — but as we get older, it becomes difficult to meet new people. My work friends aren’t just “work friends.” They’re my friends, pure and simple.
And if I got moved away from them, I was going to flip out.
The good news is this: my new office isn’t an office so much as my desk, telephone booth/bookcase and miniature refrigerator wedged into the corner of a much bigger room, but I’m still with Brandon and Sandy and — bonus! — we have a huge, gorgeous and glorious window. Where I can, like, see sunshine and trees in bloom and people in the parking lot. Where, occasionally, a bird flits past and reminds me that there’s life out there.
If you’ve never had to work in a windowless room, you probably think I’m crazy.
And if, like me, you’ve been working like a mole in a cave for years at a stretch, you realize how this is awesome.
So here’s the thing: I’m in this new space and have a blank wall behind me. A white, scuffed wall, but an empty one. One where I can put up pretty pictures and make it comfortable. In my old office, I was famous for having a London-themed space; photos of Big Ben adorned every surface. I brought many of those with me, too, but I don’t think I want to just hang all the old stuff up in the new place. I’m ready for a fresh start.
So I’ve taken to Etsy, that devilish and angelic mistress, for items to spice up my new work area. I’ve fallen in love with several prints but really want to take my time in making a big decision . . . this artwork will be with me for a while, I’m sure. And once I convince a coworker to help me hang stuff, I’m not going to turn around and ask them to help me redecorate again.
These are items I’m kicking around for the ol’ desk and wall, which is just begging for adornment. I love feeling like I can step right out of work and into another place if I so choose, so many are travel-themed! Also, quotes help me stay grounded and remind me to focus . . . and that’s important, too.
Shout out if you have favorites. Or tell me if I’m missing something. Or join in the lamentation regarding a lack of windows in your office.
I understand, my friends. Boy, do I understand.