Parting: Sweetness and Sorrow

PARTING: a time or occurrence when people leave each other

I agree with Juliet.  Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Yesterday’s parting was no exception. It was extremely sweet and extremely sorrowful. 

Yesterday was my last day in the office before beginning my transition to fuller-time writer.  It was a parting from a firm that took a chance on me when I was young and inexperienced and trained me with grace and patience.  It was a parting from co-workers I’ve known for more than a decade – folks who long ago crossed the invisible line between colleagues and friends.  After drafting my farewell email and a handful of personalized thank you notes yesterday morning, I had to take a break to hike to the nearest drugstore for mascara to reapply.  There was sorrow that came from knowing my colleagues will not disappear from my life but will have a much smaller role. 

Yesterday wasn’t just a parting from people.  It was also a parting from less tangible things like security and status. Yesterday was a goodbye to regular paychecks, nicely furnished office space, business cards, letters after my name, billable hour reports that provide an objective reporting of my productiveness, and so much more.  There is sorrow in the realization that I have spent so much time and energy climbing a ladder that didn’t get me where I wanted to go. 

So, there was sorrow.  But, there was also sweetness.

Yesterday was a day full of tender words, kind gifts, and a happy hour celebration full of laughter.  I spent my evening reading and re-reading the sentiments, compliments and well wishes in the card that accompanied the beautiful journals and pens the firm gave me.  It is rare to get to see yourself as others see you. And when others take the time to let you know – with love, kindness, and a great deal of gracious overlooking – what they admire about you it is a sweet, sweet treasure. 

There is also sweetness in the intangibles that this transition offers.  I’m giving up some security and status, but I’m gaining freedom, passion, inspiration and possibility.  

Letters still matter – just not the ones after my name on my business card.  Now it’s the letters I put on paper that matter.   And, thanks to my beloved colleagues, I have beautiful paper to put those letters on and a seven-year pen with which to write them.

I wake this morning comfortable with the conflicting sweetness and sorrow of yesterday’s parting and ready to embrace the possibility in this new beginning.

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