Anyway, as much as I liked working with most of my coworkers and helped design some fun projects, I'm glad not to be subjected to work triggers anymore. NO MORE WHISTLING! (YAY!!!!!) No more soda cans opening or silverware clanking on soup bowls. No more people chewing crunchy foods or tapping feet/fingernails/pens/etc in meetings. No more candy wrappers being opened near my area. But most of all... No noise of feet clopping on the floor above my head. Last week, I came into the office a little after 6 a.m. and was the first person there. The next person who came in walked through the lobby, proceeded to go upstairs but instead of going to the far corner of the room where his desk is, I heard [STOMP, STOMP, STOMP...] ten times above my head, like someone trying to get snow off of his boots. His desk is nowhere near the area above mine and instead of knocking anything off his boots at the entry vestibule like a normal person, I was bombarded with that racket from above. I swear he was doing it deliberately, knowing how sensitive I am to sound. (The whole entry area was dark except where I was working and we made eye contact when he started to go upstairs, so he knew I was there.) Whatever... As much as they tried accommodating my misophonia, the overall building's environment was not condusive for any kind of noise reduction. I pretty much had no hope there, on many levels.
But as I said earlier... All is good. I don't have to burn myself out anymore (to the point of insomnia or, when I could fall asleep, dreaming about work). I can go back to my dedicated workouts (something I stopped because I was so overwhelmed at work this Fall), maybe even do some consulting work so I can have better control over which (and how many) projects I take on. I'll definitely use this time to also work on my memoir so that, hopefully, I can finally wrap it up after my trip to London next month for the fMRI study. (Of course, over the next couple of weeks I'm going to have to be even more frugal than ever in preparation for the trip.)
Perhaps I will even take this opportunity to investigate other career paths. I've always enjoyed teaching graduate school students, in addition to speaking at professional conferences. I love seeing students achieve that "aha" moment when they get the concepts of the lesson. Their creativity and enthusiasm energizes and excites me. It makes me remember why I became very passionate about lighting design and 3D visualization in the first place.
Many people have told me I'd make a good professor, and I'll admit that during the past year and a half while I've been exploring my misophonia, I've come up with many ideas for potential misophonia research studies. Perhaps this layoff is a sign that I need to start pursuing that route...
At least I ended the day on a very enjoyable note. I had a very long hot stone massage already scheduled for this evening. (It was something I bought at the beginning of the year at a charity silent auction, but the car accident prevented me from enjoying it sooner.) It was very relaxing and just what I needed. Couldn't have picked the timing of that appointment any better - even though I scheduled it over a month ago!
Yes, 2014 should be a year of new beginnings and even greater possibilities... We'll see what happens!