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a new chapter…

October 22, 2010

today was my last day at work…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i don’t generally talk about my place of employment. i think it’s unprofessional.  and although i have many opinions about the place i worked at for over 5 years, i ‘d like to still keep those things under wraps.

this photo was taken of me, by d, as i walked into work early one morning, 5 months pregnant, and unhappy that he was taking my photo.  that brick building in the background was my home away from home.  and that familiar vehicle belongs to a very hardworking man, a past naval officer who perhaps is someone i will now miss with all my heart.  it is, i now realize, one of the only photos of my place of employment… which is somehow strange to me.

strange…

i spent 8 hours, 5 days a week in this building, and yet this is the only record that i was ever there… it feels so bizarre to have so much time in my life spent in one place, and yet so little recording the things that took place there – the things i learned, the friends i made, the tears that were cried, and the laughter that was uncontrollable, the holiday parties, and movies out, and dinners on the town.

i wanted to take a minute and reflect on this day.  because, really, it means so much to me.  i have always been so proud that my commitment to this company over the years meant that d could follow his dreams.  i love contributing to our well being as a family. i love helping provide the daily bread and butter.  it makes me feel like we are in a joint venture, each looking out for the interest of our family.  i think there’s something my father instilled in me when i was little – that hard work pays off.  that contributing to the family is one of the noblest things you can do, making sacrifices and toughing things out when the going gets rough.

i first started working 2 days after my graduation from college.  i had no idea what i was doing.  i had never worked for a company like this before.  i was living with d in a tiny, insect infested apartment on the bad side of town.  it was all we could do to survive each day – although somehow, it didn’t feel like it.  it felt like such an adventure.  over the years, my position at the company changed, and grew.  we now live in a beautiful house, in a nice neighborhood, with nice things.  d is in his last year of school, and we are momentarily expecting our first child. i really couldn’t be happier.

i left work at 1pm today, as i did every day since i scaled back my hours at the pleading of my midwives.  i was working too much, they said.  and it was taking a toll on my body.  so close to my due date, they asked that i step back a little.  i moved my quitting time from 4:30 to 1 in hopes it would help.  and it did.

today at 1 pm, i felt so bizarre.  i walked out the door, perhaps for the last time, leaving a wake of tears behind me.  coworkers hugged me, and cried as i said my brief goodbyes. no cake. no fanfare. just an almost normal daily departure.  yet this one was so different… i did find it a little strange that for as close knit as we are, that there wasn’t more ‘to do’ concerning my leaving.  i heard someone say, ‘not even a cake?’ and the reply was ‘what for?’ and i was a little disjointed… i felt so sad and pathetic and perhaps like so much of time spent had meant nothing… and now, i am faced with unending days of i don’t know what… and it scares me.

of course, i realize perfectly that everyone who reads this will immediately point out that i am still contributing to our family, and in a way that’s perhaps even more profound.  i get it.  believe me.  it’s not really an issue of contributing or not. it’s the type of contribution and what it means to me.  and i don’t like feeling like i’m losing that independence.  and i don’t like feeling that all i sacrificed for the company meant, what? a sad hug and a pat on the shoulder?

i want to feel real and authenticated in my daily life.

i want to feel like the things i do matter.

i want to be the best person i can be, at all times.

this is a new chapter in my life.  i have offered to the company, and to d, the possibility of working part time from home once my maternity leave is up.  i am still holding to this idea, although i have NO concept of what kind of time i will be able to dedicate to these things in 6 weeks.  so, it’s not necessarily over.  the door isn’t completely closed.

but it sure feels like it…

and this new chapter, this new thing i am bravely confronting, remembering all those women who have gone before me… it doesn’t feel so friendly yet…

i know in time that i will get used to this.  i will get used to the way things will be, and i will love it and barely remember what it was like beforehand.  but until then, there’s something very scary about the unknown.  i think we are all facing that in one way or another, and no one’s experience is any less valid. it is from these challenges that i hope i can grow, that we can all grow…

{thank you for allowing me this moment to reflect on working, and my departure from my place of employment.  surely, there are many of you who can relate. and i appreciate your support, and taking the time to read this simple blog.  it is an honor.}

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