Today was T-day. "Termination Day."
Luckily, the only thing terminated was my employment with Yahoo. Since I was told months ago that my "termination date" would be November 3rd, part of me has felt quite paranoid that this would turn into some cosmic set up--that I would toil away through the last weeks of my (now dead-end) job, only to wind up smashed by a truck or killed by a heart attack at 35 or felled by some other Morissettian irony on my last day. But with just two hours left until midnight, I'm now feeling fairly confident that I will, indeed, live past T-Day to experience FF-Day (First Freedom Day).
Since I've known this day was coming for a very long time, it's not nearly as traumatic as it could be. Of course, since the "no more work from home" policy was announced, there's been plenty of trauma--for me and for all of my family. But there's also been lots of time to work through it, mostly get past it, and start turning my mind, heart, and creative energy towards other possibilities.
It's been difficult, though. Especially under Mayer, Yahoo has been an extremely exciting, challenging, and fulfilling place to work: I wanted to stay, and I fought to stay. And, frankly, I've been great at my job. It is very hard to lose a job, and it's even harder to lose one you're passionate about and have dedicated yourself to completely.
But today I packed it all into a box, sealed it shut, and a-fixed a prepaid shipping label. The whole event was surprisingly calming, like a final washing and arranging of a body being put permanently to rest. Over the last few weeks, while writing cover letter after cover letter and tweaking endless versions of resumes, I've reviewed countless charts, files, and power-points attempting to recall those major accomplishments and big moments from the last five years. It's surprising how many things we toil over desperately, only to forget so quickly as the newest initiative takes hold. In these final days, I also considered going through my email and attempting to make it appear I'd kept an admirable and orderly inbox...but it didn't take long to realize that was a hopeless endeavour best abandoned. And then today, as a final act before packing the box, I imported all those family photos and videos from the iPhone.
This last act of closure was the one I was happiest for. Since smart phones descended on our household, we do take a lot of photos, but we never go back to look at them or organize them. As these refuges from my phone imported, I just sat and watched the images flicker by, there and gone in a millisecond, children flashing and laughing and growing in front of me--two years worth of three children's precious childhoods reviewed in moments. Here, too, so many things I would have forgotten, and all I could feel was gratitude for the quiet moment watching and remembering.
And then I arranged it all carefully, and stood back. Five years of work, hope, excitement, frustration, inspiration, endless phone calls, friendship, travel, long hours, learning: now reduced just to this, the bones:
Assembled there like that, it's suddenly so much easier to say goodbye to.
In fact, looking at it now, it's hard to understand how it commanded so much of my attention and took my eyes so much away from these three little guys and their totally awesome dad.
So here's to First Freedom Day, and every day after that!!!