The Beginning

It actually a lot more depressing than I expected it to be.

Today’s my last day at the company I’ve worked for for eight years. Eight years is a long time. It’s funny how I think of college as my formative years and yet I’ve been with the company twice as long as that.

And I know I need to get away and I’m excited to move on. But still…

I’ve spent the morning so far throwing away eight years of paperwork; tossing out ninety six months of accumulated documents, reports, proposals and the like. I cleaned out my desk and took all my pens and post-it notes, all my scissors, staplers, and letter openers back to the supply closet. I’m putting a big part of my life… away.

It’s a strange and unpleasant cocktail of a surprisingly-sad-to-leave flavored with why-did-I-stay-here-so-long-anyhow.

And while all this is going on, I’m still getting random requests for a one-off query or a hey-how-do-I. I feel like I’ve just broken up with someone, am over at their place gathering my things, and all the while they’re making plans for us for the following weekend. No. Don’t you get it? We’re through!

I pass people in the hallways today and they give me a look that makes me think they think I’m sick or something. They tell me ‘good luck’, but in their eyes? In their eyes I see pity. It’s the same thing that led to an infuriating conversation I had with a coworker a few weeks ago. He honestly didn’t understand why I’d want to leave corporate America; why I’d want a job that took me away from middle management and out from behind a desk. Buddy, the fact that you can’t understand that is exactly why I want to leave.

And so, soon enough, the things from the last eight years that are worth bringing along will be packed in a 8×22 box that says ‘Office Max’ on its side. I’ll walk around the building and shake hands and say my good byes. Then I’ll come back to my desk, email my good byes to the people on vacation. I’ll shut down my computer for the last time, hand in my security badge, and walk out.

I’ll call my wife, tell her that I love her, and tell her that her husband is now unemployed.

Then I’ll go to the NTB and have my tires rotated, realigned, and balanced. (I have a big drive ahead of me.)

And then; then my life begins.

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