I will be starting a new job in a few weeks. It’s a job with higher expectations, and that excites me. But it also makes me nervous, because…well, higher expectations. I need a higher standard, I need a more sophisticated work space, but it’s also going to be a different pace. Not in workload, but culturally.
I embrace it, but now I’m just in that weird liminal space where employees who have given notice find themselves. I’m being uninvited from and frozen out of things. I’m wrapping up my current job as neatly as possible and trying to disconnect myself. And I can disconnect myself from some things. The politics – wow, was that ever easy to let go of. Sitting in a meeting yesterday and listening to some of the new challenges for the data people for 2015, I kept thinking, Thank god I don’t have to deal with this.
What I do have to deal with is leaving behind people I genuinely like and care about.
Believe me, I don’t like everyone I work with, but I can say that I honestly like most of them. Everyday I’m surrounded by people who care and want to do their best, who want the best for this university, and who are genuinely distressed when leadership undervalues them and/or takes us in a direction they don’t agree with. Everyday, I’m surrounded by people who have challenged me – some in good ways, some in not so good ways. But even the people who challenged me in negative ways contributed to something positive in that they taught me how to deal with negative situations more effectively.
No two ways about it, I’m going to miss these people, even the challenging ones. And though I’ll never tell them this, they’ve unknowingly contributed to me being able to get into a better headspace over the past few years. When started here, I was not in a good place. I was coming off of a rough year, a bout with depression, a job that was completely toxic, and several personal relationships that were not contributing positively to my life. I came here feeling pretty battered and worn down.
In my last job, people tended to want to tear each other down. But here, I met people who built each other up. Very quickly, battered and worn down was replaced with energized and capable. And I’m leaving here not only feeling like I am up to a greater professional challenges, but wanting more professional challenges.
But…this leaving is not like the profound relief I felt leaving my last job. This leaving feels like a loss in a way that other leavings haven’t felt. Usually by the time I leave a job, I’m already disengaged. That didn’t happen this time. I never disengaged here – I’m not leaving because I was miserable or disengaged. I’m leaving because I need to grow, and I can’t do it here anymore. I’m all I’m ever going to be here, and I don’t want to stagnate. So I still have a lot of Feelings And Things about this place and the people I’ve grown so familiar with over the past few years.
But it’s like the poem says, “Every choice is a loss.”
Now there’s a tattoo I might need to get.