It’s been a month since I left SpanishPod and my decadent expat lifestyle in Shanghai. I’ve actually spent most of the month thinking about it, analyzing it, missing it, and missing the people I was close to. Even missing the work.
I’ve still been getting some of the automated forwards from the SpanishPod’s “Contact Us” link, and for a month I was happy just to forward them to Leo. But recently it started to bug me, getting those emails all the time–I haven’t figured out why it’s bugging me yet, but it really does. So I sent a message to Leo asking him to have my name taken off the forward list.
I’m not sure why, after a month’s of forwarded messages, they didn’t take the initiative to fix the auto forward without a request from me, but whatever. It’s time to wash my hands of that place and move on, and not worry about it.
In fact, I’m not even going to worry about a pirate site I’ve come across that has all the subscription spod lessons available for free download. I personally don’t stand anything to lose by people pirating my work but Praxis does, so I will leave it to them to go after the pirates.
For a year and a half, I let that job become my life. Around summer of 2008 is when my disillusionment with the job/life really crystalized, and by December of 2008 I was really starting to feel alone in a roomful of people. Luckily for me that’s right when I started to figure out who my friends really were–and who they were not–and by the time job offers started coming in April and May, it was hard to keep myself from not throwing myself at other companies.
I left for a better opportunity and for a change of scenery. I do have some sour memories of Shanghai and there are definitely some people I’m glad to be away from, but it won’t help me at this point to bring that stuff to light. What I will say is that the team and I made every effort to show our best faces to the public and to the subscribers, and that the chemistry you could hear in our podcasts was based on a the friendship and genuine affection we had for each other. However, it wasn’t the piece-of-cake, goof around, hangout-with-your-friends and have-fun-for-money-job that many listeners, visitors to the office, even some of my close friends, assume that it was. In fact there were times I felt it was more petty, more unjust, and more unecessarily cruel than my high school teaching job.
Anyway, all that’s over now, and I’m letting it go. I want that place and those people to be out of my mind. Now if I can only get those auto-forward emails out of my sight…
I did have a few good friends at work as well a life outside of work, a circle of friends I was just getting to know. I was sad to say good bye, but mostly grateful for the fun times I had. There were a few people who made it clear to me that we were going to stay in touch and be friends forever, and that we’d pick up where we left off someday soon. However, I’m surprised by how distant I feel from all that now. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.
That’s the trick, isn’t it–when you leave town and turn the page on a chapter of your life, you’re turning the page on the sweet passages, as well as the sour ones.