I got to go to Boston this past week. Our office hosted a series of meetings over two days, and I was encouraged to go. It was really interesting, even if a bit out of my wheelhouse. I was able to make some face to face connections with people from across the company. And some new people who really need my help. Overall it was not a waste of time, but I felt under-needed, and a bit out of place.
My boss also was at the meetings, and she encouraged me to go so we could go back to Boston. She and I were walking around Boston University/Comm Ave, which was dusty and dirty, and under so much construction, and full of students. She screeched at the top of her lungs that she just loves this filthy dirty place that is emerging from winter and not into spring and is just a mess. A gorgeous mess! We stood on Comm Ave and looked towards the skyscrapers, the views, the vistas, and lamented that DC just isn't interesting to look at.
And this was. We were joyful in our souls, standing by the Agganis Arena and just smiling. We must have looked like freaks.
She gave her notice the week before last. This is her last full week with us, and I'm not here in the office on Friday. We knew this was coming. She's fought the great fight here for good things for our customers, and for our team, and she's run to the end of her journey.
She's off to different pastures that I hope are better and more fulfilling.
I truly am happy for her. We made this move here together and she told me when we were all debating what we'd do back in 2017 that she couldn't do this without me.
For what its worth, we had a great run, and I'm glad that I stuck with it and we came down here.
But now I'm feeling a little disjointed and not scared at all, or worried, but sad and kind of defeated. I am tired. My job is tiring. I love it, but it takes a lot out of me. They told me when I took the position in May of 2014 that people never last longer than 2 years in this seat and I had a "Hold My Beer" attitude. I have no real desires to climb a corporate ladder or jump from job to job to increase my salary and get my title to grow. I am not joking when I say I love what I do.
But yeah, I'm kind of exhausted. So I can only imagine how she feels deep inside and how she had to make the move.
While we were in Boston we got the old crew back together. My co-worker R was already in town for PAX, so we figured it was a great time to gather us all up again.
We all met up at a pizza/bowling alley in Somerville, and there was much fun and chatting. I didn't get to spend a great deal of time with some of the folks, but, I got to spend time with quite a few. On my way out at the end of the evening (for me - I didn't want to have too much to drink and not be able to get back north safely) one of my former co-workers and I got to have a minute together. She had gone off before our office closed to a great opportunity to do her dream job in Scrum/Agile development. She's training people all over the world, all over the country, and training people in-house in Boston on how to do the things they do. She is a beautiful, fun, radiant human being.
She and I hugged and she took my hands and asked "How is your soul?"
And I almost burst into tears right then.
Great question. How is my soul? I asked her what she meant, and she told me that I always had the best, kindest, willing and joyful soul in the office "I just want to make sure that is still the case!"
How incredibly kind and thoughtful. I told her, well, to be honest I'm not sure how my soul is.
Right now the thing feels a little weary and battered and but not broken. I'm not sure how it will do in the coming weeks once my boss doesn't work here anymore. But we'll go on. We'll go on. I recalled reading about Neil Peart's "little baby soul" and how shattered it was after the deaths of both his daughter and his wife in a very short period of time. He got on a motorcycle, and left. And each step of the road trip was a step in healing. With plenty of tears along the way. "Ghost Rider" is an outstanding book if you're looking for a good read.
I don't have the luxury of being able to get on a motorcycle and leave. And certainly, my situation is nothing like what his was. Mourning the great love of your life and your child all at one time is enough to break anyone. I am in a lot better shape and a great place in the universe, believe you me.
But yes, I too have a kind of a soul that once was big and bright and exuberant, but right now it feels more like the tiny spark that is left. It's been squished. And it hurts.
I didn't realize how depressed I maybe am.
I pondered these things for the weekend, and did things that helped bolster that little baby soul and make it feel bigger and stronger.
Hanging out with Jess and drinking beer with her and her friends and laughing hard, and meeting the new girlfriend and new boyfriend of two of those friends. Seeing friends from church like Beth and Kara, and playing with both of their dogs. Talking to their kids, and we all call each other "lady" no matter if we're boy or girl, going back years now. Those kids are in 11th and 10th grade. Seeing my parents, listening to my mom tell stories to my kid, and my dad was sleeping a lot but still nice to see. Breakfast with Amy, a full more-than-an-hour massage therapy appointment with Sue. And seeing the Boy Scout troop. Going and seeing the Troop brought me great joy. It isn't like it was a few years ago when all the moms would stay and hang out and talk. But there were a couple mandatory moms there, and mandatory dads, and a few of the boys still in the Troop moving towards their Eagle ranks, I was truly happy to see them.
And all the fun I had with Carrie. The mandatory Newburyport Sweatshirt trip was needed. I am so happy to have a new fresh one. Breakfasts, her going to pick me up at the wrong hotel, going to the beach, driving around Newburyport and just talking. Just having the time to not think about work but to talk about all kinds of shit.
I felt pretty rejuvenated there, until about 10:30am into my workday. My little baby soul, it's hiding in a corner.
And I'm looking forward to when I get to go back.