I've alluded to it previously, but here it is, straight away: I'm taking a job as a non-barista.
Specifically, I'm going to go work for a publishing company, editing academic journals. To some, this may sound quite dry, but I'm actually very excited about the prospect. I adore language, and the chance to work with it in a real and tangible way sounds rewarding to me. But academic journals? Wouldn't I rather edit something more vibrant and interesting? Well, no. As it turns out, academic writing is fascinating to me. It's a chance to pour over and aggregate a nearly endless sea of knowledge and theory at the bleeding edge of contemporary thought.
And the pay? It's better. Because of course it is. There is a health care package too, which is nice, just in case.
I say all of this, and it feels almost like I'm apologizing. Like I'm uprooting my previous identity and trading it in for an expanded arsenal of polo shirts and khakis, like I'm succumbing to "The Man", man. And I don't know, maybe. Maybe I have to trade in my black jeans when I buy the khakis; maybe I have to start listening to the twee acoustic garbage that passes as alternative rock these days, rich urban kids in suspenders playing twangy pseudo folk. (If you like the sort of music I'm describing, sorry, and know that you probably hate what I like, and that's ok as well.)
As I write this, the clock is ticking past midnight, which means I'm now 25. I'm another year older, taking - and I loathe this term - a "real job" which - and fuck this too - "uses my degree". I'll dress differently when I go to work; and the work itself will be very different. I will have a goddamn cubicle.
But fuck, I am excited about this. This is neither an apology nor a contradiction of some notion of who and what I am. I will not stop listening to scary and violent sounding music because I - ahem - "sold out". I will not gradually let myself slip into some malaise of mediocre fitness, of just working out to keep my heart beating with tolerable efficiency. I will run more and run faster; and that will be as true at 35 and 45 as it is now.
That's the future.
As for the past, there's a lot there, but I don't have the words for it quite yet. I feel like there's a 5,000 word post to be written on the subject, or perhaps just 5. I need a little bit of perspective to know for sure, because right now, all I can say is that I've loved this work, and that I'll miss it.
As for this blog, I plan on continuing it, in some fashion. Obviously, there will no longer be a focus on "baristing", since I no longer will be doing that myself. If that means you're checking out, cool, and thanks for reading. If you stick around for whatever comes next, I hope it's worth your while. I've been flattered that this small slice of the internet has gained the traction it has, and that I've been able to share some words with some people - all anyone who writes really wants.
So thanks, Coffee Business. I'll see you around.