Monday, January 23, 2006

Departure

I haven’t been updating my blog very much lately. But let me explain. We’ve been quite busy, you see. Todd and I just bought a dive shop, and I will be leaving the corporate world very soon to enter the world of self-employment and business ownership.

This is a huge life transition for me, and I am excited and nervous about it all at the same time. There is the uncertainty of owning a business, and my paycheck will depend more on how well I manage that business. There are other people now counting on me for their livelihood as well. Both of these are very scary things. But there is the excitement of owning my own shop, making my own rules, setting my own dress code, and making every day "Bring Your Hounds To Work" day.

I have 7 more business days left working for the big insurance corporation that I currently work for. On Friday I left my co-workers in Saint Paul, Minnesota, after spending the week there training all of them on what it is that I do all day long. Then on the 31st I will leave my workplace in Rhode Island for good. So, I am leaving someplace related to this job twice, basically. This part is strange, but atleast I'll get 2 cakes in my honor. And I love cake.

On the way back to RI I started to think about all the life transitions I’ve had. On every life transition I try to freeze a moment in my mind that will define the end of one phase, and the start of another. When I was getting married, I took a long look at the bare ring finger on my left hand, just moments before Dad escorted me down the aisle. I wanted to remember what that finger would look like without a wedding ring on it, because it is my goal that it will never be bare again. I’ve yet to remove my wedding ring for even a second, and do not plan on ever removing it. When I finished graduate school, I wanted to remember what the worn marble steps felt like under my feet, as I walked down them for the last time after my last class. When I left my study abroad in Sydney, Australia, I froze the vision of the Sydney skyline in my mind as we drove along route 2 to the airport. I still remember that grey, chilly July day, as we drove by a bank’s sign that displayed the temperature of 6 degrees Celsius. I told myself at that moment that I always want to remember that it was 6 degrees that day.

So, what will I take away from the last days of my corporate life? What’s that one thing I will try to remember before leaving the rat race for good? I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with that one thing that will forever be in my mind as the thing that will remind me of corporate life. The faces of the friends I’ve made during this time, of course, will be in my mind. But what’s that one thing that I can take with me that will be the defining thing that I will never experience again once I leave here for good?

I cannot come up with anything.

I have decided, instead, to come up with something from my corporate life that I’d like to forget. I looked around my cubicle at work and I want to forget what it is like to sit in a cube for 8 hours each day. I am sifting through my email, and want to forget the acronyms associated with the insurance industry and this company. (Not that I ever really learned what they all meant anyway. There are so many, and I often get hung up on trying to remember what all the letters stand for.) I want to forget all the processes and procedures I’ve had to follow to get things done at this company.

So it’s been decided. This life stage will be about forgetting, and not remembering. I do not regret my time spent in corporate America. It’s allowed me the opportunity to do the things I really enjoy outside of work, like dive, camp, sail, etc. But now’s the time for something different, and I am starting with an erased mind, ready to learn all I need to learn about being a small business owner.

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