I've worked for Onion, Inc and The A.V. Club for 15 years, 13 of it as a full-time writer and editor, and I've identified myself very heavily with the job, to the point of basing a lot of my significant life choices around it. For the most part, the tradeoffs have been worth it — I've gotten to work with a lot of immensely talented, tremendously intelligent, highly dedicated people who've taught me a lot about writing, editing, and critical thought. But I didn't realize how much other people identified me with the job until I quit.
It's been exactly as though I faked my own death and am attending my own funeral. So many of the people contacting me via Twitter and email have taken a past-tense tone of "We loved you and you will be missed." It's slightly awkward — I'm still right here, guys — but given how often we only see the negative side of commentors, how often people only speak up when they're angry or disagreeing — all the compliments and praise and well-wishing has been incredibly touching. It isn't just strangers who know me through my writing, either — I had some long, fascinating conversations yesterday at our send-off party with people I've barely talked to before. And I've gotten some phenomenally kind and complimentary emails from people I know but rarely see, or have worked with in some capacity over the years. It all amounted to a This Is Your Life episode, stretched out over the last 24 hours. It's so easy, writing for print and the web, to feel like I'm operating in a vacuum. Yesterday, I was reminded that people care, and it was incredibly energizing.
But this was the best part for me. This makes me think I peaked yesterday: Some stranger who's clearly very well versed in our website made this as an instant response to yesterday's announcement.
I'm-a feelin': tired