After nearly a decade with my company, I left today for the last time. My co-workers, evidently hell-bent on making me cry, made me feel thoroughly loved and appreciated. It was horrible. Here I am, taking a big leap away from the world that feels all secure and predictable, and these people don't even have the decency to give me the cold shoulder and ignore me, so that leaving will be fun.
Indeed, instead, they took me out for a happy hour on Wednesday evening that lasted 5 hours, and they all asked me questions about Reiki, and listened, seemingly interested, to what I'll be doing, and were encouraging and wished me well and told me they'll miss me. Dreadful, with all the hugs and requests for my new business card and a going away card signed by my whole department and accompanied by a bottle of Shiraz that I'm drinking as I write this.
Then, today, I arrived to find a delightful card on my desk with a big magnet stating "Now is the Right Time", then there were those who stopped by to tell me good-bye and wish me well, some with gifts. Actual gifts! Oh, and the emails...and the IM's...I have to say I held up admirably but things started to go south in my final hour. I finally worked my way through, and deleted, every email in my inbox and when, for the first time in 9 and 1/2 years the inbox blinked at me, with nothing in it but a message "No messages to display", I felt a small knot form in my stomach. Then, when the time came to close everything down, and I had to take my laptop to Ivan, and Ivan hugged me and wished me the best, yes then, I pretty much lost it. I would liked to have stayed to give all my beloved IT'ers a proper farewell, but I was on the verge of blubbering so I sort of...ran away.
I thought I'd gathered my wits by the time I had my jacket on and my bag slung over my shoulder, but then I had to hand my keycard to Glynnis, and say good-bye to all the women in my department (it's not sexist, there aren't any men in there, which also isn't sexist, it just happened that way), and there was really no avoiding full-on tears.
I was forced to get things under control in the car when I realized there was truly nothing in there on which I could blow my nose. Then, when I got home, I found a card on the kitchen table from Steve & Joy, and it contained a gift card for 10 lattes at our neighborhood coffee shop. Then, when I stepped out onto the front porch, I found a bottle of wine from Stephanie, waiting there for me! Of course all these people are late-comers, as Rusty and Jen brought me a stylin' lunch box (since I'll be bringing my lunch to work most days, of course) at the beginning of the month, when I first turned in my notice.
So let's see, what have we learned? So far, I'd say it's pretty amazing, and annoyingly tear-jerking, how very sincerely people want to see the dreams of another come true. I think this is because, at the core of us, we recognize our essential connection to one another, and we all have to admit that too many of us while away our precious hours engaged in activities that don't make us feel happy. When we see one of us insisting upon doing mainly what does make us happy, the general happiness level goes up, and all the boats rise with that tide. Also, people are genuinely kind and supportive and that gets me choked up, too, but in a happy way, so I suppose it's alright. I'm feeling pretty good right now, sipping on my gifted wine. We'll see how things are when I wake up on Monday, and don't go to my office.