"You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place, I told him, like you'll not only miss the people you love but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you'll never be this way ever again." Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in
Yesterday was my last day of work. (I'm still trying to process this latest development.) It's something I've known was coming--at times prayed vehemently for--but now that it's over, I'm a little bit shocked, and a little bit overwhelmed.
First, let me say this: I've loved my job. The person I was when when I started was so different from the person I've become, and in over four years, I've matured and grown through opportunities that I never thought I'd have. Four and a half years. Four and a half years--for someone in their twenties, that long is practically a lifetime. I've spent more time working there than I did in college, in high school. So to say I'm conflicted is a massive understatement.
I am really looking forward to this new life adventure. The prospect of everything new is tantalizing and thrilling. But I'm leaving a really, really good thing. My co-workers are more than colleagues, they are friends. Fierce, fierce friends. My work is (was) challenging, exciting, and meaningful. I can look back and see my thumbprint on so many things and think proudly: I did that. That was me.
We had a going away party yesterday. There was cake and soda and a lot of hugs and well-wishing, and amongst all the "good luck"s, I realized that I have been incredibly fortunate to have been a part of such an amazing team. People say that government workers are soulless, apathetic slackers. Are there people there just to collect a paycheck? Sure. But my experience has proven that most people aren't. These people are dedicated public servants working towards better. Better schools, better policies, better communities, better elections.
Next Monday, I will be in a Uhaul instead of at my desk. Really, I'm not so sad about missing a Monday morning as I am about never being able to work with these incredible colleagues again. That I will never get to turn around and chat with A, swap books with E, or catch hell from G is a little devastating right now.
Beginnings are often scary, endings are often sad, but it’s the middle that counts. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.