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5 years of Mondays

The final countdown has begun. My last week at work.  After 5 years of Mondays at this job, this one will be my last.  It’s surreal.

My coworkers have been so kind and creative.  The goodbye piñata was particularly awesome. My replacement will be great.

I’m ready to move on but don’t feel the need to escape anything. I love my job and have a boss that values me. I work at an organization that makes a difference in the world for good. I’m surrounded by a diverse group of smart, globally focused people. Through my job I’ve made friends, even if just over email, with people all over Latin America and I’ve often been humbled by their dedication to improving their countries, often at personal sacrifice.

Of course, there have been moments when all I could do is roll my eyes at some of the office drama.  And was frustrated when I got sucked into it myself. But that happens everywhere and certainly won’t end with this job.

I started this job too young to rent a car without a special fee and ended feeling like I was a professional.  It wasn’t my first job, but the first place I felt like I was working toward a career.

It’s going to be strange leaving on Friday. Turning in my key card, taking home the trinkets my coworkers have given me from around the globe, finding an adoptive home for my plant and space heater.

I’m leaving this organization even more committed to the mission than when I began – which I think says a lot in this town full of jaded people. Not necessarily more idealistic, but more practical, more skeptical, and more hopeful than ever.


Democracy is finding proximate solutions to insoluble problems.

Reinhold Niebuhr

So, two cheers for Democracy: one because it admits variety and two because it permits criticism.

E. M. Forster
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Chris & Dani #

    Oh wow, do I know that feeling you are describing. When we left D.C., I too had a job at an organization I care about with a mission I felt deeply attached to. It’s definitely a bizarre experience to leave a job you actually like and step into the total unknown. Do you have something set up already in Nicaragua? If not, live up those days of no work, explore and write and explore some more. It’s totally worth it in the end when you start working again, even if it seems hard-going in the moment.

    July 27, 2010
    • stmemory #

      Thanks for your note. I loved your posts about unemployment: from career girl to temporary housewife! I’ll be reading and rereading those when I get to Managua. My employer is going to keep me on as a consultant for a few specific projects, but it certainly won’t be a full 40 hour a week thing. So I’ll have time to look for other things, and hopefully do what your suggesting – explore, write, read and take pictures! I know I will work again eventually, so I’m getting more and more comfortable with the idea of taking a break. I think if I hated my job I’d be so happy right now. But you’re right, it’s a bit strange to walk away from a job you love.

      July 29, 2010
  2. It’s Friday, and that means that the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up – and you’re on it!

    Here is the link:

    (If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)

    July 30, 2010
  3. Rebecca #

    By the way, MA, this is a great post. You put into words so many things I’ve been thinking about leaving.

    “I started this job too young to rent a car without a special fee and ended feeling like I was a professional. It wasn’t my first job, but the first place I felt like I was working toward a career.” – 100%. I really feel like I grew up here. And the last paragraph – perfect.

    You need to write a book some day. You have a way with words!

    August 16, 2010

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