It’s 5:14 pm on the last Thursday in December 2017. I return home feeling mentally heavy, and ambivalent. My eyes are wide open, searching, but also energized, looking for direction. Then I robotically text my brother, best friends and boyfriend and say, “I can’t believe tomorrow is my last day at work.”
My exit interview took place two hours prior, but I didn’t really hang out with the idea of leaving my job until now, when I vocally report to myself, “Jade, tomorrow is your last day at the firm.” Mind you, I told dozens of people this information over the last few weeks, but I stand here dumbfounded, processing the information as if I’ve heard it for the first time.
I scan my apartment physically, taking a deep breath in each room, as if something about the pace and pattern will help me take stock of how I feel.
Then I realize I feel f*@king scared. And fear, my friends, is motivating and paralyzing and distracting all at the same f*@king time.
I walk into the kitchen and open the fridge to shell out a couple scoops of mashed potatoes from Christmas. I take a few bites and then catch a quick glance at a bottle of California’s finest red wine on the bottom shelf. “Do we go with wine or yoga this afternoon?” My body and mind craved a sweet, steady vinyasa flow, but my little heart strings asked, “Can we have ourselves a bit of a toast and moment of reflection? You need to chew on this one.”
Here I am, chewing. Brewing. Stewing. Ruing. Recycling the thoughts and feelings through my veins as fear pushes energy and adrenaline back into my circular thinking pattern.
What am I going to do next? I don’t exactly know. I’m working on it. I’m figuring it out.
All I can do for now is raise a toast:
- to the colleagues, friends and family I leave in the old role
- to the positive imprint I leave behind
- to the team I hired, grew, advocated and fought for
- to the fear of not knowing what happens next
- and to the accompanying motivation to cultivate the next chapter for myself