On Leaving

I am about to resign and the residents can sense a change in the air, like a storm brewing in the distance. It feels cooler and calmer than usual as everyone hunkers down, preparing for what, they know not. Some are lying low, so low in fact, I wonder if they still live here, while others are bringing little gifts, payment for information that is not forthcoming. A pumpkin flavored snack cake was just delivered by a man.

“I had a whole box and thought I would bring you one,” he explains with a crooked smile.

I take the snack cake without giving anything in return other than a sad thanks and retreat into my office. This leaving is a selfish business; I am trying to embrace it.

I am looking at the snack cake as it sits next to a mocha-choca-so-much-caffeine-you-go-crazy-latte that another resident dropped off earlier in the day and try to piece the clues together. My first thought is they are trying to poison me. Dismissing that thought, perhaps too soon, I move immediately into the realization that they know. There is a leak amongst my inner circle.
Somehow the residents know and they are giving their tokens of gratitude. It is humbling that from people who have so little they still find something to give.
They are a unique crew that I will miss and am still not entirely sure that leaving is the right thing to do. Will my replacement take care of them? Will he or she chase after the maintenance man to ensure that air conditioners get installed and not pawned or make time to share a cup of coffee with the coffee drinkers in the morning? Will they listen when they ramble or just shoo them away?

Then I wonder if I will like where I am going? Will I get my time off approved for summer vacation? Will it be work into which I can throw my whole self, the best parts of myself or just the here-for-a-paycheck self? Maybe I will have something left for me at the end of the day and can take up new pursuits like glass blowing and raising baby squirrels?

It breaks down to if it is a greater risk to stay or go. There will be regrets either way if I look back and think what might have been but I can’t spend time in that loop. I refuse to ruminate and stress over the same stress twice, says my stronger self. The decision has been made and my selves have to reconcile.
Puney Bones meet Brave Woman as she steps out of the shadows.

It’s move on or bust, so goodbye, sayonara, adios and farewell, my friends.
Until we meet again.

-Jessica Mayo

Comments 2

  • Been there, felt that, but could never had written the feelings with such clarity….beautiful

  • I relate to your story very much at this period in my life. I enjoyed reading this, as it is always a nice reminder that we are all human, and face the same battles that may appear to be meaningless, but can be the most meaningful in our lives.

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