Revisiting the Library

I went back to my old job a week or so ago. I was once a proud librarian/librarymans, working basically weekends at this job that offered me my first real experience at a position I sought myself (I was promoted from page to library clerk during my stay there). It was the first time I dealt with the public, dealing with problem patrons and the library fines they incurred over time. It’s been about 18 months since I had the job. I had stayed away for being bitter for being laid off. There were a lot of things I didn’t agree with, especially in upper management. I had plans to lash out at them, but with some time quietly gave me the chance to ponder the choice and decide against it. Visiting my old job. Former librarian.So on my day off, running errands had me passing by my previous job. I went in and visited the library and my former coworkers. There were previous visits, sure, but this day, I spent a considerable time talking to people and observing my former workplace in a different light- from a workplace to a patron. And its as if nothing has changed. Well sure, it’s only been about 18 months, but I had expected to see something… more to be changed since I was laid off. It’s as if it lived in a snapshot of time, and I was simply revisiting the snapshot, looking into it as if I were Alice peering into the looking mirror.. It felt like I had been laid off only a few days beforehand. It felt eerie, in a sense, to see the regulars still visiting the library, the same people picking up books, reading magazines, or using the computers there. As if nothing happened recently. Children I remember seeing had grown older- but the same patrons still were there, greeting me as if nothing had happened. I went back to visit a chapter of my life that never changed, or if it had, I couldn’t see it my brief time visiting there. And I still don’t know how i feel about it, to be honest. It’s frustrating to see what was a huge part of my life stagnating, but at the same time, almost welcoming to see it never change. I went through the stacks I used to organize as a page, getting a sudden urge to organize a western book that had been placed in the fiction section. I ultimately did, out of courtesy, but it was ultimately my own mind reverting to a much quieter time in my life. In the end, visiting the library so far out gave me closure. I came into work the next day eager to tackle the day’s challenges, knowing that in some way, the previous chapter of my life will always be there in one form or another. Because, in the end, it’s rare for changes to occur in such a sleepy little place.

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