Wednesday, June 6, 2012

left on the night stand...

Dear Corporate America,

The last seven years have been truly wonderful. I'm grateful for the time we shared. But I think we need to start seeing other people.

You've been such a comfortable and accommodating partner, you really have. I'm not angry, and I still care about you very much, but I need to set out on my own now. It's complicated, but necessary. I know we saw most of this country together. From a University campus to Tennessee mountains, to Idaho dogsled rides and Vermont log cabins...but it's time. You know it, too. This has been a long time coming.

Right? It shouldn't come as any shock. You've noticed how I've been drifting, haven't you? Wasn't the whole "I need to get my Friday's back" the last nail in the coffin? That and calling in late to repair fences and meet up with farriers? You knew the excuses when you heard them. And you knew in your heart this other guy just took over, swept me off my feet. I fell in love and I can't pretend anymore.

See darling, people just change. I'm not the girl I was out of college, clutching to dog-eared copies of HOW magazine and driving to her first big design job in her red Jetta. I now have a pickup truck full of dog hair and sheep poo and it is dented as all get out. There is nothing left from Ikea in my home. I still design, sure. I do logos and websites every so often, but I dabble and you know that. I haven't gotten off on design in years. Even that ol' Helvetica lowercase a doesn't get me going anymore. Okay, maybe it still does a little... but nothing that sustains me. Nothing that can sustain us.

The truth is I fell for someone else. That rogue cowboy out there, the guy on horseback tipping his hat into the sunset. Yes, him, Self Employment. He's what I need right now. He gives me the space and independence I need. Let's be honest, you were pretty clingy. I mean, yeah there were great benefits, but....every day? 8 hours together without a break? I need room, dammit and he's an artist. No, he doesn't hold my hand in doctors offices but he the guy who was by my side when I got into the fix that landed me in the emergency room in the first place. It matters.

It's over. You just need to accept in I know it seems early, and I know you had other plans for me right through my thirties, but this is something I need to do now. I can't pretend anymore, and I can't keep going through the motions of this dead relationship. It isn't fair to either of us. You know that. You know this isn't right, baby. And if you're angry, or confused, take heart in this timeless truth:

It's not you. It's me.

-j

68 Comments:

Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

Yes.

June 6, 2012 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger From the Country Farm said...

:-)

June 6, 2012 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger Christee said...

That is the best break-up letter ever! Hang tough!

June 6, 2012 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm SO very pleased for you, sweets. You've come a long way, baby. ;)

June 6, 2012 at 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Diana Carlin said...

Derp... I think blog commenting area hates me.

"I'm SO very pleased for you, sweets. You've come a long way, baby. ;)"

Was from me... Diana in North Idaho, Goddess of All Things Chicken. lol

June 6, 2012 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger Sue Steeves said...

Truly inspiring!!!!!

June 6, 2012 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

*Smile* :)

June 6, 2012 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Finding My Roots said...

I LOVE this... I love the part about not being same girl you where leaving college.... I am not the same girl ether and is it really fair to think we would be? Should I base my life on the person I was at 22 or the person I am now? Have a great break up with your former significant other!

June 6, 2012 at 11:34 PM  
Blogger Ink and Dirt said...

That was amazing!

June 6, 2012 at 11:52 PM  
Blogger Maery Rose said...

Oh how I wish I could write such a letter. I'll be happy if I actually get to retire at this point. But the dream still lives.

June 6, 2012 at 11:56 PM  
Blogger feathers217 said...

Well Said Young Lass , Well Said

June 7, 2012 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger PansWife said...

It's hard to leave The Nanny Corporation, but having done it myself I think you will have no regrets. If we had a national health insurance program, with everyone paying in and everyone being covered, I think you would hear a great sucking sound as masses of people would abandon their work cubicle for more independent and rewarding lives. Wishing you a Happily Ever After.

June 7, 2012 at 12:24 AM  
Blogger Noël McNeil said...

That was great!

June 7, 2012 at 12:36 AM  
Anonymous Heather Alicia said...

He needs to face it-You're Just Not That Into Him.

June 7, 2012 at 12:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About time someone had the nerve to do what you are doing!
Congrats.

June 7, 2012 at 1:27 AM  
OpenID krondorfcreekfarm said...

I like to think that I slipped out the side door of my legal career while everyone else was having morning tea.....

Congratulations to you and good growing :-)

June 7, 2012 at 2:31 AM  
Blogger Craig Rigby said...

It takes a strong woman to have gone where you've been. It takes an even stronger woman to be where you are now.

Congrats! The world needs more women like you!

June 7, 2012 at 5:28 AM  
Blogger Craig Rigby said...

It takes a strong woman to have gone where you have been.
It takes an even stronger woman to be where you are now.
Congrats Jenna! The world needs more women like you!

:)

June 7, 2012 at 5:29 AM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

Best of luck today, Jenna!! You can breathe a big sigh of relief tonight ~ a glass of homemade brew and a good book by candlelight will do wonders for the soul. We're all waiting with baited breath for tonight's blog entry.

June 7, 2012 at 6:00 AM  
Anonymous Pooh Overalls said...

I love it!! I hope I can leave a similar note for corporate America in the next few years. It's a suffocating life and that good looking guy in the cowboy hat, refreshing as a cool breeze....I'd follow him anywhere. ;-)

June 7, 2012 at 6:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo, Jenna! Today's the day! There will be bittersweet moments today as you say goodbye, and the future will no doubt hold some moments of panic (it always does, and it would whether you were still at Orvis or not). But you are listening to that still small voice inside that knows "It's time." Yes. Yes. Yes. We are all cheering you on. It's been so much fun watching CAF unfold over the last few years. Can't wait to see the next chapter.
Pauline in Ithaca

June 7, 2012 at 6:44 AM  
Blogger Lisa D. said...

I'm just curious, but as you hinted, the job you left did have benefits attached. How are you dealing with leaving those, particularly medical coverage? In my mind, this is a great impediment to self-employment. Do you have any plans in place for this?

June 7, 2012 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Thank you all! Here I go!

June 7, 2012 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I am buying my own health insurance plan when my current one dies out. I may keep my current plan a few more months while I shop for another, but I won't have a lapse in coverage.

Also, I think if health insurance is the only reason you stay in a situation it's a red flag to start looking for alternatives. health insurance for me isn't about regular treatments or prescriptions, it is a backup for trauma or accidents, I can cover the occasional appt and check up for less money than a high-premium plan. So I will buy a plan with a high deductible that could cover me in the chance of boken bones and accidents and trauma but not looking for someone to buy my pills or cover dental cleanings. It is the choice I made for a life on my own terms. I don't dare make that choice for anyone else.

June 7, 2012 at 7:07 AM  
Blogger jonkatz said...

Beautifully written. Congratulations.

June 7, 2012 at 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Bravo! Looking forward to all the stories that will come soon.

June 7, 2012 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger daisy said...

Ha! You know you'll be better off without him...
Enjoy where this road is taking you.
;0)

June 7, 2012 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Melina said...

I used to go to the bookstore and head straight to the design section now I always find myself in the farming and homesteading section. I still have a design aesthetic. I just rather use it to design a rabbit tractor or a flower garden than a poster.

June 7, 2012 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Good for you Jenna! Rock that farm!

June 7, 2012 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Well, at least you care enough about Corporate America to write a letter. That's very gracious of you; per.

Happy graduation into the next phase of your life.

June 7, 2012 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger PansWife said...

Jenna, Have you looked into the Healthy NY Program, http://www.dfs.ny.gov/healthyny/index.html, you might qualify. It's much better than the catastrophic plans which have a lot of small print and I've found are pretty expensive and useless when you need them the most.

June 7, 2012 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I have looked into it. I make too much money to qualify for healthy NY. and since my income fluxuates with possibilities like book deals and such I could make no money one month, and a couple thousand the next (if I got a book deal) and that would make me grossly overqualified. So no Healthy NY. But I found a plan I can afford around 300 a month.

June 7, 2012 at 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are hilarious. As your podmate I wish you the best BUT WISH YOU COULD STAY!!!! You are irreplaceable!

June 7, 2012 at 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Dagny said...

That was the classiest resignation letter ever! After reading yours, I began to think of mine (2 years down the road).
Inspirational. Thanks.

June 7, 2012 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Pit Stop Farm said...

Bravo.

June 7, 2012 at 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Jane said...

This ranks up with the introduction to Barnheart as one of the most enjoyable things I've ever read. Good on ya, Jenna!

June 7, 2012 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Oxray Farm said...

I love this! Congratulations Jenna, you've more than earned it!

June 7, 2012 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger bellananda said...

just the very thing i'd have written back in march, if i'd had your excellent skills at prose. enjoy your last day of being shackled; you'll soon be freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! :D

June 7, 2012 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Barb Davis-Pyles said...

LOVE this!

June 7, 2012 at 10:16 AM  
Anonymous cowgirl said...

That's the best "Dear John" letter ever.

June 7, 2012 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Sassafrass said...

HOORAY!!! Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life!!!! I secretly need that breakup letter to go viral-ITS AWESOME!!!

June 7, 2012 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Wittgenstein's Watering Can said...

Love it!

Living in the UK it's interesting to read the comments about health insurance. We have the National Health Service, so no paying for doctors appointments or hospital visits, and if you're in Scotland you even get prescriptions free (what a great place, home of the kilt and free medicine!)... so yep that side is probably easier here, but there's plenty of other things keeping people stuck behind desks when they'd rather be doing something else - "security", pensions, fear, expectations (mostly other people's).

Well done for making the leap :-)

June 7, 2012 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Amen, sister.

June 7, 2012 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Just what is a Clair? said...

Sooooo excited for you!! I found your blog again after it seems like forever reading MADE FROM SCRATCH. I love how you take charge of your life. I think you are super inspiring to so many dreamers out there. Yesterday me and my mate bought a huge binder full of all sorts of organizing supplies and started dreaming about our big dreams again. These dreams are so possible! A ton of work! SO MUCH WORK!!! But totally possible. Yay you! You are gonna do it! And you are going to totally rock! BEST wishes!!!

June 7, 2012 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Just what is a Clair? said...

Sooooo excited for you!! I found your blog again after it seems like forever reading MADE FROM SCRATCH. I love how you take charge of your life. I think you are super inspiring to so many dreamers out there. Yesterday me and my mate bought a huge binder full of all sorts of organizing supplies and started dreaming about our big dreams again. These dreams are so possible! A ton of work! SO MUCH WORK!!! But totally possible. Yay you! You are gonna do it! And you are going to totally rock! BEST wishes!!!

June 7, 2012 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

"It's not you, it's me."
Funny, that's the line I used to leave my first job. :)

A good friend of mine once told me that the minute you've become irreplaceable, that's the minute you should start looking, as it's not a healthy relationship for you or the employer. I didn't understand it for the longest time, but now I do.

Your current state brings to mind a quote I've always loved, from CS Lewis's "The Last Battle":

"It was the unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried: "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia so much is because it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!"

With luck, - S.

June 7, 2012 at 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear me laughing and high-fiveing? I love the letter left on the night stand. Hope Corporate America has a box of tissues.

Here's a quote I think fits your situation: "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

You go girl!!

Diane in North Carolina

June 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

Great letter! I wish you the best of everything in your "separation".

June 7, 2012 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger J.D. said...

By the time you read this comment, your life as a full-time writer, farmer, and mistress of your own destiny business woman will have begun.

Hope you had a liberating exit interview.

So, what's next?

June 7, 2012 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger MIB said...

Jenna, I emailed this link to you earlier this week, but I figured I'd post it here for everyone else: http://zenpencils.com/comic/18-lao-tzu-watering-your-dreams/

June 7, 2012 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

Well done!

June 7, 2012 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger greendria said...

Awesome post!

June 7, 2012 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger LeaningDuckFarm said...

It is not pleasant to be envious. No, not at all. You are an inspiration. "Everything is free now"...

June 7, 2012 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

And the starting gun fires! WOO HOO!

June 7, 2012 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

One more day to go!!!!! Do you a spot picked out for your fishing trip yet? I bet you'll hardly sleep tonight.

June 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger jules said...

I believe that the change you'll feel most is on Monday morning, when you don't have to get up and go to an office to work.

There is a commercial where it shows sunrises on people's first day of retirement. Maybe you could do that: take a photo of your first sunrise of your new, self-made life.

Congratulations Jenna, and best of luck in your stay-at-homemade life!

June 7, 2012 at 4:36 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Absolutely magnificent! Cheers to your new found freedom - scary and exhilarating as it is. <3

June 7, 2012 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

I just realized THIS is your last day. Oopps! And it's over! Here anyway, it's 5:30 almost. Now you are your own boss.

June 7, 2012 at 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna -- good fortune and success in your new life!

You might like to look at these (if you aren't already):

http://www.yesmagazine.org/

esp.

http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/shannon-hayes

also

http://radicalhomemakers.com/

-- Joan

June 7, 2012 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger HelenB said...

Good luck.

June 7, 2012 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

That letter's a piece of art "Madonna" (sorry Outlander reference!) Congratulations and may Monday mornings become your new favorite day of the week!

June 7, 2012 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Rosie said...

Congratulations Jenna! Well done!

June 7, 2012 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

Dear Jenna,
Really enjoyed reading your letter to corp. America.
Beem there, done that with the exception of writing a letter that would knock your socks off.
Now I'm ready to read the "rest of the story" on your terrific Cold Antler Farm Blog as you continue to
chase your dreamsE.
Best of everything to you in all you do, & undertake.
Thanks for the memories so far, &
Ronnie A Very Happy X Seat Weaver.
http://www.chaircaningdirectory.com

June 7, 2012 at 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Raining Iguanas said...

"Perfect"

June 8, 2012 at 12:05 AM  
OpenID sailorssmallfarm said...

Yippee!

June 8, 2012 at 1:59 AM  
Blogger Deb Naydan said...

Godspeed, Jenna!

June 8, 2012 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Knit Picky Knitter said...

Love it!

June 8, 2012 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Alix said...

I wasn't going to comment, as my comment doesn't really relate, but I'm trying to stop censoring myself.

This:
"Also, I think if health insurance is the only reason you stay in a situation it's a red flag to start looking for alternatives. health insurance for me isn't about regular treatments or prescriptions, it is a backup for trauma or accidents, I can cover the occasional appt and check up for less money than a high-premium plan."

Makes me so sad. My partner and I had planned on doing exactly what you are doing now when I was diagnosed with an auto-immune condition. Now my monthly prescription medication costs are more than our mortgage payment, so I'll basically never be able to be without health insurance again. I really envy those such as yourself who are able to take the leap to self-employment.

Regardless, congrats!

June 8, 2012 at 3:15 PM  

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