The past year has been especially hard. Tim has heard me bellyache nightly that I wouldn't survive another day. Dozens upon dozens of oysters and many bottles of wine have been the sole witnesses to the things you say only among friends who really get it because they're living it too. There have been many aspects of this job that left me feeling frustrated, disrespected and resentful. The time to leave came and went long ago but a rough economy made it difficult for practices to expand and there weren't many jobs to pick from. I had to stay put in order for my family to survive and for us to eventually move on to better things.
Survive another year I did. Finally, my last day is here.
Preparation for my departure has been ongoing this week. Tim and I hauled boxes filled with textbooks and notes to the car Sunday night. Conference proceedings and precious emails are loaded onto a zip drive. I've erased my computer. Also erased were nearly 8,000 emails - I don't think I ever permanently deleted one since my first day. I've been slowly telling clients that I'm leaving and recommending other doctors I think they would be a good match with. My keys, swipe badges, parking permit...it's all turned in and my exit interview is complete. Everything is done - neatly buttoned up just the way I like it.
Saying goodbye is awkward. It makes me uncomfortable in general. Other people too I think because I've gotten cards and found letters left clandestinely on my desk. Though we've spent countless hours together over the past years I know deep down that I'll never see some of these people again. They know it too. I hugged a lot of people today. Other people and I silently agreed to pretend it was just another day.
It hasn't fully hit me yet but I know it will soon: I don't have a job outside of my home anymore.
I am free.
I am free.