After several years at my company I recently walked out the doors for the last time.
Saying “goodbye” often makes me feel sentimental. It’s as if our minds want to suppress the fact that goodbye is often forever, despite our best intentions and how much we enjoy the company of our peers.
At least while in school there’s a given departure date. You may not know what the future holds, but you and your friends all transition to that future — however divergent it may be — in unison, on graduation day.
In my first job after college I made fast friends with a group of fellow 20-somethings. We ate lunch together nearly every day and even developed a nickname — “The Circus” — after someone sent an email asking, “Where do you clowns want to eat today?”
We all started our careers on the same day, and bonded through shared experiences of transitioning to a new city, and the real world, and adulthood in general. On a subconscious level I knew things would change someday, but it felt quite abrupt when the first person in our group announced he was leaving for a new job thousands of miles away.
Since then I’ve grown accustomed to seeing work friends depart. Yet it’s still a bit jarring when someone leaves unexpectedly, and this time I underestimated the emotions felt while turning in my employee badge.
What I’ll likely miss most are the informal interactions with certain people. After high school, college, and my time at another company, life brought more experiences with a few close people. For some, keeping in touch was natural if not organic. But the overwhelming majority of people I met in those places I have never seen again.
So as I realize I may never live out certain elements of daily routines — chatting books with one colleague face-to-face at their desk, debriefing with another about football weekends in the fall, making industry puns with those who’ve been conditioned to endure my specific brand of humor . . . the loss of these things makes me feel something. The poets speak truth when they say the little things in life may be the best things.
Hopefully life’s next steps will bring equally gratifying best things, and I’m also hoping to make a bigger impact. Between now and the start of summer, here’s how I plan to serve:
- Reading Mentor: helping young kids cultivate a love of reading at an underprivileged elementary school.
- Writing Mentor: increasing my involvement with a local literacy org to help kids improve their writing.
- Books for the Blind: working with a local association to read books, mail, and other items to blind persons, and also escorting them through the city for errands and outings.
- Financial Coaching: enrolled in a nine-week budget & debt-management course as a first step to helping individuals make better financial decisions. I’ll also be apprenticed by mentors who have been doing this for years.
- Financial Advising: currently meeting bi-weekly with a few clients (read: friends) to discuss investing. Eventually I’d like to develop webinars and other content to provide recommendations to family and friends. The plan is to always offer the investment strategies that enabled this journey pro bono to anyone interested.
- Animals: gaining certification to handle foster animals and serve in whatever capacity the local shelter needs me. Because, dogs 🙂
- Remodeling: One day I hope to find time to improve the aesthetics of this site. Contact me if you know someone interested in helping.
— Feb 16, 2018