Friday Jams #11

Warning: this post is of a very personal nature, and it’s pretty long. But I’m happy to put it out there, because I am a person who gets a solid case of ‘the feels’ sometimes, and the best way to get through it is to put it out there.

First, here is the Friday Jam without explanation.

Second is a tiny retrospective of my ‘feels’ surrounding the last 6 years of my life…

Today is my last day at my first post-college job.

I was an intern here while in college, and fortunately impressed them enough to get hired upon graduation into a terrible recession. I remember waiting tables after graduating, but before getting a job in my chosen profession. The day after the Dow dropped 700 points in mere hours, I was working a double and no one came in for lunch. Our first customers didn’t get seated till after 1 pm. I remember thinking “how am I ever going to find a job…” and shoving the panic down into the absolutely terrified depths of my student loan repaying knotted stomach.

Then, with the help of my former supervisor, I interviewed here and got an offer. I remember collapsing with relief on to the futon couch at my then-boyfriend’s apartment when I got the call. I had a yearly salary. I had benefits. I could stop the stress of living on tips and hoping I still qualified for my free commonwealth care health plan. I started the day after Columbus Day in 2008. I was so psyched that my first day was a paid holiday! I got my own desk. I had an email, a voice mail, and business cards! If I was sick, I could call out and still be compensated. If I wanted to go on vacation, I could. Paid vacation! What?

It’s been almost 6 years exactly. I’ve learned and grown so much that even I am surprised by the person I’ve become sometimes. I couldn’t be more thankful for all the opportunities I was given. But it turns out after all this time this isn’t the profession for me. I’m moving on to something different, but it’s something I couldn’t have found or done without these past 6 years.

As I was cleaning out my email earlier this week I found a note from my grandfather, who passed away almost a year ago exactly, dated October 2008. I forwarded it to my gmail in some weird effort to hang on to real words he typed to me about how proud he and my Oma were of my latest accomplishment. I know how proud he’d be of this latest accomplishment, but I wish I could just tell him about it… I digress.

Re-reading this email got me thinking, of course. It’s like that saying “Day to day everything seems the same, but when you look back it’s completely different” (or something like that). This job has been the consistency of my life for the last 6 years. I’ve gotten up every (week)day and come here. I’ve had 3 different apartments, countless roommates, and was in a totally different relationship when I started here. My friend group was different – many of them have since scattered across the country, or we’ve just plain lost touch. Even physically, I was different. I weighed over 200 pounds, ate crap, and barely worked out… earlier this year I ran a half marathon.

I’m different. My whole life is different. And it’s about to change a whole lot more. Monday I start a new career at a new job. It’s bittersweet to close these doors, but I’m looking forward to what’s coming.

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