Since I am unemployed for the next 5 days, I am traveling back to Maryland today to see the folks and chill (literally) in the mountains for a bit. No place can refresh me like home.
Saying goodbye to the staff at AAM yesterday was interesting - and such a dichotomy from the last time I departed a job. When I worked at Empower back in DC, I loved the company, loved the people, and actually dreaded my impending last day of work, knowing it would be difficult and emotional. But then I had a heart attack 2 weeks before my last day, and just never went back to work again. I felt, in effect, robbed of the farewell party, the hugs, the laughter and the fond memories of the place and people I loved.
Yesterday was quite the opposite. I didn't like AAM, but I did like some of the people. For the most part, everyone was very complimentary and sweet to me. And when I thought about it, I realized that I probably will be a missed presence around the office because I was different: I talked to people outside my department, I didn't dress as conservatively as the other men, I laughed a lot and actually had a sense of humour. But most of all, I was true to myself. I must have added some element of fresh air to a somewhat stale environment. So for those reasons, I believe they will feel some sense of loss, even if it's a slight one.
Of course I will miss Amy and Melissa, my co-workers. But I also know I will see them socially and meet for lunch now and then. And I will miss talking to my boss, too. But even as I walked away from AAM, I could feel this heavy burden being lifted from my shoulders; this thing that seemed to have been dragging me down was no longer doing so. I felt free somehow.
And what better way to express my freedom than by jumping on a plane and taking off for a few days (remember, I was an english major - symbolism is very important to me). So I return home to charge my batteries and pretend that last year or so at AAM never happened. I will place myself back at my parents' house following my surgery in September '05, ready to move to Chicago to start a different chapter of my life with much to look forward to. Only this time I am happier, healthier, and certainly wiser.