So yesterday was my last day at the California State Parks Foundation, a month shy of 13 years. It was a somewhat drawn-out parting of the ways, with two parties (one in L.A, and one in San Francisco), a lot of loops to close, a lot of documents to be drafted and sent out before I left, and a strangely quiet, low-key final day at the L.A. office.
I think for most Peace Corps volunteers, leaving their jobs is no big deal – they are just working somewhere temporarily while waiting to leave. Some really hate their jobs, some may like them but know there’s something better out there. For us older volunteers, many are retired, so they’ve already gone down the path I’m on. For me, leaving CSPF was a huge, major decision that took me a few years of introspection and heavy thought. It wasn’t just the leaving of a career and professional home, but all that came with the decision – selling the house, finding new homes for my pets, financial and professional repercussions – just taking a huge risk. Some days I feel very excited and challenged, other days I question my sanity, honestly. But, as I’ve said in this blog before, hey, the ship has sailed!
So, here are a few images to share of the parting of the ways process. I was very touched by the kind words and gifts shared with me as I leave. In line with my vow to be totally honest in this blog, it was also interesting to see who showed up, as it were. There were some who didn’t. By “showed up” I am not being literal – I just mean made an effort, of any sort, to reach out and make a gesture. In most cases, I wasn’t surprised. There’s a tendency here in L.A. to gush and profess everlasting affection and friendship, but when an actual effort is required, no matter how small, people are just so busy …. you know, the traffic, meetings, obligations …. I won’t miss it.
Here’s to those who did show up! There were many of you, and I am grateful for your friendship and support.