Eighteen years of magic.

I shouldn’t do that, I shouldn’t talk like it is over, but the truth is that it IS over. My job is not what it was and the people I work with now are not all family. I learned that in my heart tonight when I went to my boss’s going away party. Actually, there are several people from my department that are retiring. These are all people I have worked with since I was 23 years old–they watched me grow up, become a wife and mother, become a good human. I wish that I could see myself the way I heard memories about myself tonight. I don’t know how to separate that girl from who I am, just like when I went back to PSU a year later with a fancy job title.

I have loved my job hard for 18years and counting, but it wasn’t until the last few years of extreme change that we all realized how special our little team is. I have spent nearly two decades with pretty much the same 10 people who learned to coexist in harmony while still being kind good humans. We root for each other, we spend 40ish hours a week together, we are a family. Watching that dynamic slowly die as we have been absorbed by a larger entity has been devastating. I have been mourning this slow death as I would mourn the loss of a relationship, of a loved one–slowly, painfully, and with so much overthinking it would blow away any non-Capricorn mind. It has spurred me to look at what is bringing me joy or pain in my life and find a way to make this my most fabulous life. I’ve been changing for awhile, you must have noticed. Now I am at a place of peace–where I completely understand my value and more importantly, REALIZE MY WORTH. I am past playing games and if you aren’t on my side that’s ok—I promise, I will be ok without you. I am perfect on my own—that is what I have forgotten in the last decade—that I AM ENOUGH.

When I had children, I bought into the concept that THAT should complete me. Forever. And it did, for awhile. For a LONG while, actually. And then they grew, and *I* grew. I realized that I’m never going to be “complete”, that’s a standard of measure that is completely unattainable and only leads to getting more lost from who I really am. What I can be is me. The me-est me I can be. I am still learning how my past traumas have defined me, and now they help strengthen my future. They say that us Xennials are doomed for failure, but I only see all my dreams within reach if I’m brave enough. Take that step, trust the universe and just fall knowing that I will be caught by the ones that I love. The ones that love me for the ray of sunshine that I am.

No matter what, there is no denying that several chapters of my life are ending, and that’s not always a bad thing. It’s the end of a chapter, not the end of the book. We live, we learn, we grow. We outgrow people, places, and things we once thought we could never live without. We cry and rage against the change that is constant and unrelenting. And we are grateful for the new joys to be had from all the change because sometimes the thing we needed was right there the whole time.

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