Farewell to Isengard

Today was my last day at the job here in Isengard*. (Yes, it was of my choosing! I gave notice in early December but offered to stay until they found a replacement.)

Basically, as most of you know, I am a Joe Strummer kind of girl. The job was like being trapped in a Rush song. There were a few days where it was “Limelight,” tolerable if barely so. But most days it was ten or more hours of a Neil Peart drum solo.

Now, some of you are probably getting all huffy and muttering “why is she picking on Rush? Rush is awesome! Neil Peart is awesome! Drum solos are awesome!” And that is my point exactly. Rush appeals to many people, and I do not judge them (but I also try not to make social plans with them). It’s just… I’m a Joe Strummer kind of girl. The job and the living situation were a terrible fit, and I knew that going in, but I really thought I could adapt, that I could force myself to enjoy, or at least suffer bravely through, “Subdivisions.” Well, I guess I’m just too old, too set in my ways, too… “Lost in the Supermarket.”

In keeping with the name of this blog, in all truth there was not one day where, at the end of work, I could look in the mirror and give a bloody smile like mortally-wounded Helfdane in “The 13th Warrior” and say “Today was a good day!” (Sidenote: the ability to watch “The 13th Warrior,” albeit in 19 parts, for free on YouTube is so awesome. Huzzah!)

In any case, I mention my departure for two reasons. If nothing else, the job and how badly I fit it gave me great clarity about what I want out of this screwball career of mine, and I believe I learned a lot about myself (not all of it pretty, but that’s for me and my journal to chew on). Also, I can now make an awesome and crazyfast hollandaise, for what that’s worth (nevermind that I hate hollandaise even more than mayonnaise, which is quite a lot… I’m available for Sunday brunch bookings).

The other reason is more directly related to this blog… now that I’m free as a bird (and about as secure financially…) I’m making good on my threat to “go Gollum.” That is, to disappear into the Misty Mountains for a while and be in the wild. I waited more than 25 years to visit New Zealand, and now that I’m here I’m not leaving until I’ve ticked all the boxes on my to-do list.

So, while I hope to have some cool photos and interesting wilderness reports to post, I also expect my online presence, blogging as well as email and Facebook, to be more sporadic in the coming weeks. If I don’t put up new photos or answer your email, don’t think I’m ignoring you or in peril. It just means I’m out in the wild for a bit. And that’s a good thing.

*The area where I’ve been living for the past few months was used as the location for Isengard, home of the wizard Saruman, in the LOTR movies, and it is indeed one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, something I appreciated every day I was here. I’m grateful I had the chance to live and hike in so gorgeous a place. I’m also grateful I recognized the need to move on.


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