I thought when I tendered my resignation I would feel relief. Since April, I’ve been working all day at my “real” job and then I dedicated early morning and late evening hours to Green Chair Stories.
I stopped going to my small group. I haven’t cooked in literally months. I can’t remember the last time I really exercised. I have sacrificed time with my friends, church and husband much more than I would have liked.
So I expected to feel relief. But you know what I felt? Deep, soul-crushing sadness.
“But my friends are here!”
“Do I really want to leave? Is it time?”
“Couldn’t I maybe do both jobs for just a little while longer?”
“I haven’t been that busy…”
These justifications and others flew through my head. Then I heard my husband sarcastically laughing at all of them. I know it was still the right decision. I know there is a Plan with a capital P in all of this. But it just feels too soon.
When I started Green Chair Stories, I expected to do it for about a year while keeping my job. What I didn’t expect were the phone calls and emails from people I already knew who wanted photos. I thought I was going to start from scratch, building up clientele and convincing strangers to hire me. I never considered that my friend group was already clientele.
And oh, how wonderful they are. I’m so grateful for them and their support of me in this new endeavor. I just had no idea they would come so quickly.
It’s taught me yet another lesson in expectations. Even when they are exceeded, it can cause sadness. For me at least. Any deviation from the expectations and all of a sudden I’m a mess.
We had a going away party at work yesterday. I cried before it to try to get through it without embarrassing myself. I didn’t make it. A room full of people said nice things about how they were going to miss me and I just stared at them with eyes full of tears, nodding my head like an idiot, not being able to say anything. (I knew if I spoke, a BIG, ugly cry would come out. No one needs to see that.)
Here is what I wanted to say to all of you wonderful coworkers yesterday:
You are the reason I stayed and you are the reason I am so, so sad to go. Yes, our work was ultimately very fulfilling. But it was all of you who made me laugh on tough days, who encouraged me that what we are doing is worth it. Who showed me that structures and policies and people aren’t always perfect, but we aren’t serving those things. We are serving humans. And we are all in it together. And those imperfect structures and policies and people are necessary pieces of a really good, life-giving puzzle. Without the imperfections, I don’t get to do what I do. And without you guys, I would have never had the energy to do it for two years.
Thank you all for investing in me as an individual, a fellow believer and as a professional. I don’t know that I will find work as satisfying as ours elsewhere or coworkers quite as lovely. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will miss you all!
I don’t write this to be depressing. I write it because it’s the truth. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m sooooo excited. And ya know what?
I will be. Maybe even on Monday. But today? I’m staring at my last 16 hours working for a great place, where I met great people and did great work. I’m sad. And that has to be OK for today.