You know when you've felt prepared for something for such a long time that when it finally happens, it shocks you anyway?
For months the editorial departments of the area small-town papers have been an anxious hive of arched eyebrows and dark smirks every time the publisher or other upper management announce they'll be stopping by.
Print media is not exactly the place to be at the moment. We've seen what's happened to other papers across the country and we don't have to ask for whom the bell tolls.
As one of the newest additions to our little group of papers, I've never felt particularly secure.
And yet, finding out that my position is to be the collateral damage in the latest round of cutbacks still came as the kind of shock that makes your blood roar in waves behind your ears. I could only nod and smile and make jokes as the management-types apologetically slid an envelope across the desk to my outstretched hand.
They could have at least delivered the news via fortune cookie or something.
While there's no denying I've heard that little whisper urging me to move on to the next thing, I intended to do so at my own pace, hopefully with a new job and a place to live secured.
The best laid blah, blah, blah.
Believe me I know that things could be far worse. When I look back it will be clear that this was just one more opportunity in a (fairly thin) disguise.
I will be determined to land on my feet.
But for now, I'm just reeling.