Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Storm tracking 

I grew up in hurricane country, so I know this feeling.

The storm is brewing. Clouds building on the horizon, a charge in the strangely greenish air; you can see it coming from miles away. The waiting is the worst. You do what you can to prepare: tape the windows, buy batteries and water. You don't leave, because this is your home. You wait, and hope that, when the storm hits, you'll be able to ride it out.

The storm finally hit my architectural firm last Tuesday. One of my coworkers gave notice that he was leaving. He did not bring the storm; his was simply an evacuation notice. And, as forecast, the storm came in the following day.

Due to economic climate change, the storm that finally hit my office has been all too common in the past few years. We're finishing up existing projects. We have no new work. We've been struggling with this for a while. Fortunately, this storm is localized. Our main office in California has more than enough work, and the extra has been a lifeline for our office, at least for a while. At this point, however, things are looking bleak.

The lease on our office space runs through January, and it appears that our Seattle office, where I have worked for the past three years, will close by the end of the year. If I want it, there is a job waiting for me at the office in California. It's good to feel wanted, and to know that I have that option. My husband and I have thought of moving back to the Bay Area, which is where we lived prior to moving here. There are many considerations, financial and otherwise. If we decide to stay in Seattle, my very well-connected boss will help me find another job with a good firm here. One way or the other, this storm is bringing big changes.

So, right now there's lots of wind and rain, and I'm feeling constantly buffeted. (Not as bad as the cancer tornado we had earlier this year... but, damn, I'm tired of being blown around.) Because I have been through a storm or two before, I do know what to expect. Eventually, the eye will arrive. There will be some calm, and clarity, and decisions will be made. Of course, there will be rain and wind the other side of the eye, but, in time, this storm too shall pass.