I feel sad at the ending of a six-and-a-half-year part of my life; I feel excited about the possibilities in an unseeable future opening up before me; I feel grateful for the professional experience, personal growth, and rewarding friendships this job has provided me; I feel irritated at the sheer amount of packrat's-nest stuff I had to drag out to the car this evening.
I am, in essence, feeling a lot right now. This evening as I left work, I sat down in my erstwhile office, at my already-rearranged-for-somebody-else desk, and just felt. Then I said a little prayer, shed a little tear, picked up my dirtless bamboo plant (which is the only thing I couldn't pack in a box, being alive and all, though for how much longer I can't say) and said farewell to my long-time role as Staff Secretary. It was a little bit like the lights going off at the end of the last episode of a sitcom... but more like just going out to the car with a bamboo plant in my hand and a tear in my eye.
And it's not like I'm never going back... I have a negotiations meeting on Monday, and there's my farewell party on Wedneday, and I'll be working on an upcoming election next week, and then I'll continue to do odd jobs and help out my replacement for as long as I'm available.
But there was a poignancy and symbolic importance to the act of packing my boxes of stuff, going through the cabinets and shelves and drawers, gathering my personal pills and lotions out of the restroom, separating my personal coffee mugs out of the breakroom tray, unpinning my personal cards and photographs from the bulletin boards, retrieving my personal decor items from the walls and side-tables, pulling my personal books and magazines from the conference-room stacks.
It was more than just packing, I'd packed when we moved offices last September, and I've been periodically bringing home boxes of stuff from my desk every time I've had to clean up my workspace over the last six years; this was a removal of my entire person from a place that has been a major part of my life for a rather long time. It was like moving out of one's childhood home, or moving out of one's first apartment, or moving out of a marriage... a little sad, a little exciting, a little reflection-provoking, and a little irksome.
Now I'm looking forward to having a little time off. I applied for unemployment insurance online this evening before I opened this post, and though I am quite sure I made a number of mistakes in the application process (they asked so many questions I didn't know how to answer), it's good to have that off my mind. I hope the insurance comes through, and that my next job doesn't start too soon... I'd really like to have more than my planned two weeks to decompress and get caught up with things at home, like my laundry and my writing. I'm thinking (if the insurance comes in) that I'll list my availability date on my job-applications as June 1. That'll give me all of May for R&R.
But if all I get is two weeks, I am looking forward to experiencing my next job. Even if it sucks, it will at least be exciting and new, an opportunity to learn and feel and grow. I'm getting all fidgetty and giddy just thinking about it.
I'm going to go to bed now; it's almost midnight, I started writing this a while ago but have been taking time out to eat dinner and upload some new images (like the one above, and the one below). Now that I'm unemployed, hopefully I'll be able to keep up with you better, maybe add to my galleries (I've upgraded my webhosting storage space, so I have plenty of room for more beefcake), and maybe write about something besides work again.
Hugs and kisses!