Emeryville Amy

This blog will be a combination of my favorite places in the Bay Area and abroad, memoirs, recipes, restaurant reviews and travel experiences.

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Location: Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area, CA, United States

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Finishing Up


This is my first day unemployed in over 8 1/2 years. It felt very sad and strange to walk out of work yesterday after turning in my keys and parking pass. I simply left a goodbye message on voicemail, locked up my computer, turned out the lights, walked down the hall to turn in my keys, hugged a friend with tears filling my eyes and then walked out into the warm late afternoon sunshine and into my future.

It's not as if I expected trumpets to play as I walked to my car, yet it felt like it was too quiet of a moment to be marking the end of a chapter of my life. I loved my job and the people it had brought into my life but knew that it was time to move on. A week ago, they threw me fabulous and affirming farewell parties and I had been with the staff at a retreat the day before. I had been told how much I was loved and cherished and appreciated and would be missed. It just hadn't quite felt real until that moment of walking out the door.

I remembered feeling a bit the same way in college whenever finals were finished. So much energy and concentration had been focused on studying for and taking the exams that it was a shock to the system to have them done. My last set of finals were especially brutal because I had all four of them back to back- morning, afternoon, evening and morning. I was exhausted by the time I turned in my last Psychology final (which I aced, by the way) and I felt like it would have been appropriate for a party to spontaneously erupt in my honor. I had finished college- hooray! But like everyone else I just walked home and waited for a roommate to come home so we could go out to lunch together.

My family and friends went out to dinner with me after the graduation ceremonies later in the week and we had a great time celebrating. But there was something about the loneliness of the quiet moment when the real change was occurring that took me by surprise. It was as if that moment felt more real than other times. I felt deep down that something very significant was taking place and that I needed embrace it quietly on my own whether I wanted to or not.

So, now once again, I find myself in the place of transition and I am excited and exhausted and sad and ecstatic. I feel overwhelmed with the prospect of figuring out all of the remaining details for my 2 month train trip in less than two weeks. And then I think about the million or so people in the New Orleans area whose lives have so abruptly changed forever. The changes in my life are tiny compared to theirs. I have chosen for things to be different and the changes are positive. They have had their lives torn apart. I feel incredibly grateful for all the blessings in my life and know that I need to be mindful of others who have so much less.


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