Expectation leads to disappointment. If you don’t expect something Big, HUGE, and EXICTING, usually um, I don’t know…

—The Books

Site maps. Search engines. Keywords. AdWords. WordPress. SEO. All Systems Go. Gmail. Web trail. Bounce back. Google. Spam. Spider. Web. Writer. Tool. Skilled word technician. Landing pages. Heat pumps. Sump pump. Professional optimization. Content. Context. Convolute. The obvious. Word choice.

“Daddy’s Payday is not enough” —Wilco

My 33rd birthday heralded the countdown to a return to full-time work. After a year of freelance writing and working from home, I wasn’t sure what to expect other than a regular paycheck and a landslide emotional/artistic adjustment.

No more 1am phone calls with friends on the West Coast. No more cheddar and whatever I have in the fridge omelets, made with the kind of culinary design that can only be accomplished at a leisurely pace. No more furniture devoid of cat urine (this one was actually a surprise). No more late night creative writing sessions, whenever I damn well pleased.

When I was offered the job as the full-time Web Content Writer for a local marketing company, the project manager who hired me told me that there wasn’t a single day she woke up and didn’t want to go to work. One fortnight, two missed Shabbat services, and a classic manic Monday later, I would have to agree with her. Still, it’s not what I expected, not in the least.

“Govern Your Thermostat” —Hired Content Gun

I spend my days writing, editing, and improving upon the paid-by-the-word, and verbose writing of the hired freelancers that I have now replaced. The margins of those tasks are filled with learning about the HVAC (heating, ventilation, & air conditioning) and plumbing business, and the terminology used to describe and increase the traffic for our clients’ websites.

Today, for instance, I beefed up on water damage restoration, which I’d actually experienced first-hand when my basement flooded twice since last Spring—once during the initial spring thaw, and again when Hurricane Irene unleashed havoc on Vermont. All very useful information, in other words.

I also added “geographical language” to sites for some of our clients who are struggling to maintain their business, and cushioned the content for another site in progress. Then I topped off the day with a few 300-word blog posts about home energy audits and cost-efficient heat pumps.

Quite a productive day, all in all, but not exactly where I thought I’d be 25 years ago. As an eight-year-old, I don’t ever recall saying to my elders: “I want to grow up to be a refuge from the academic and creative writing world in a small marketing company based in Winooski Vermont that builds websites for heating and plumbing contractors.”

The Universe laughs at its own mysterious ways.

Every morning, I can see my office building across the river from the bus as it makes the final descent into Winooski. There’s something oddly soothing about it. Perhaps it’s knowing that on the second floor of the planked wood and brick building, a group of people who appreciate my work as a professional writer, and who will support me in whatever ways they can, are waiting for me. That as soon as I walk in the door, they will look up from their multiple computer screens and flash a “good morning” smile.

It is not the life I expected—coming home from a salaried 9 to 5 job that I actually enjoy to a dark house and a cat who cannot quite fill that empty space in my bed built for two. Nonetheless, it is my life now. It is a cinematic glimpse that cannot be expressed with words alone. It is the “garnered wisdom that has never died.” And it is a love story that takes patience and faith to tell.

All I have to do now is nod to a co-worker’s remark, “You must be the new girl,” and continue to hover over a quiet, yet dramatic sentiment about expectation and the smell of content…