“I’ll remember our adventure forever but it’s time for a new one.” | Ben Maxfield
“And even if we never talk again, please remember that I am forever changed by who you are and what you meant to me.” | The Pinterest Goldmine
“But these are the days we dream about when the sunlight paints us gold.” | The Pinterest Goldmine
Okay so I know I titled my last post about The Office “Bittersweet Good-byes” and yeah, I thought it was gonna be my last one but here we are because things seldom turn out exactly like you planned them. Tuesday, I left The Office for real. Like handed in my key and everything. It’s permanent, people. Well, at least as of now because who knows what the Most High has in store and there is a distinct possibility that I could be back at my University in the near future for another sort of job….But anyway.
So I had just returned from a GLORIOUS weekend Adventure in PA and I was still basking in the glow of it all (let’s be real, I’m still basking in it right now as I write this). It was grand, lovely humans, it was grand. And I’ll leave it at that because not everything is meant to be shared 🙂 My dear dear friend, Moira, had slept over my house Sunday night into Monday so I spent the better part of the Monday sleeping, chatting with her, and organizing all my pictures and videos from our GLORIOUS shenanigans. Tuesday, it was off to The Office one.last.time. And if I thought it was bittersweet the last time I had left, I was about to get hit with an even larger wave of nostalgia.
Wawa coffee didn’t happen ’cause I’d consumed a scandalously obscene amount of coffee over the weekend…..buuuuut I had a cup from our office Keurig later in the day anyway 🙈 I didn’t have much time to breathe when I arrived because Colette came in soon after me along with one of my “bosses” and it was my task to train Colette since she would be taking over my position.
I walked in and it was like coming home. Not Home (that was the weekend), but home.
Everything was just so familiar and just how it should be. Sheila wasn’t at the front desk but I heard her voice in the guys’ office talking to Seamus who happened to be in early working with Toby. Seamus is probably the happiest person in The Office. Toby’s by the far the friendliest but Seamus is the happiest and it’s truly lovely. Mikhail wasn’t in and I was sad I didn’t get to say good-bye to the Timberland-clad, pony-tail-wearing, six-foot-two/three-inch lovely human. But I hope I never forget him. I hope I never forget any of them.
Colette arrived with my “boss” and I trained her for about an hour and a half to two hours. On my way back in (part of the training took place in the giant conference room of sorts that we use for meetings), as we walked past the guys’ tech office, Toby hailed me with a “Is that Tabby?! Are you back?!” Myyyyyyyy LANTA, does it feel good to be missed 🙂 I hadn’t been in for a little over three weeks and I hadn’t realized how much I missed everyone until I was back. I ran in to say a quick hello to Toby and Seamus and we (mainly Seamus and I haha) reminisced about the time I came in on a Saturday to do some last-minute (veryyyy last-minute) prep for a conference I was presenting at that very same day. I had run into Seamus and he thought I was putting in over-time which struck me as quite funny at the time and I really don’t know why….
As an aside, I freaked myself out about that conference WAY more than was necessary and my last-minute prep turned out to be more than okay. Just another example of the fact that most, if not all, of the things we freak out about tend to turn out just fine 🙂
So Toby asked me how I was doing and we talked a little bit about my GLORIOUS weekend and as we all were talking a giant bug started zipping around the room…and I mean GIANT. Toby tried to murder it with his hands but missed and we thought the crisis has been averted.
I had just finished telling them that it was my last day when THE THING FLEW INTO MY MOUTH.
We panicked and Seamus hadn’t realized what happened so he asked ‘where’d it go?” Toby looked at me with a horrified look on his face and was like “It flew into her mouth!” This all happened in the space of about three seconds but writing it out makes it seem longer haha I spat the nasty thing out and did a little dance of awkwardness and disgust and Toby said “okay, we’ll talk later, you should probably get outta here”. That did indeed seem like a wise course of action so I raced from the room and back into my own office a few feet down the hall.
Colette, my boss, and I finished up and they left but I had more work to do. I realized that I hadn’t eaten all day and it was around 1:30 in the afternoon so I went upstairs to Dunkin’ one.last.time. There were a lot of “last times” that day and it made me sad. It’s so odd. When I started my time at my University 6 years ago, I couldn’t wait to leave. I hated the atmosphere, the god-less-ness, and I missed my Class of 2013 so much that I actually cried on my first day of college. I felt so incredibly alone and insignificant and I didn’t fit in with my peers in college AT ALL. Even the few who eventually became my friends in Under Grad were still so far from who I was in so many different respects. It wasn’t until Grad School that I found one or two people who really resonated with me. But I survived, like we always do, and, all praise to the Most High, I’m not the same person I was then by a long shot. I’m not even the same person I was when I started Grad School and for that I am immensely thankful.
So yeah, lots of “last times” and lots of good-byes.
Dunkin’ was largely deserted like it is during the summer when only the summer class students are around but I liked it that way 🙂 I ordered my last Sausage, Egg, and Cheese sandwich on a plain bagel and listened to “God’s Country” by Blake Shelton while I waited for my order. I’d heard the song over the weekend and it is one of my new favourite things. Like “Wilderlove” by John Mark McMillan (which I mentioned in my “Bittersweet Good-byes” post), “God’s Country” became the anthem of my last day on the Pirate Ship (my University’s mascot is a pirate). It’s so fascinating to me how songs have a way of bringing our minds back to places, people, things, and memories. Sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant, but still rather amazing.
Things were going well until I tried to hold my phone and sandwich bag in one hand and pull napkins from the dispenser with the other. Somewhere along the way, earbuds got tangled in napkins and around my arm and my phone fell to the hard floor, startling an unsuspecting girl who was sitting with her back to me. I apologized profusely (for what I don’t know….seems to be a habit….one that I should probably try to work on) and hurriedly picked up my phone and tried to walk in a dignified fashion out of the coffee shop. I examined my phone only to discover that the screen protector had cracked but not badly.
Ah, the daily shenanigans and adventure. I’ve just come to accept the fact that I will probably trip up or down a few stairs, drop several things, collide with someone, and/or otherwise make a fool out of myself at least once a day. I’ve now embraced my awkwardness whole-heartedly and I hope you embrace yours to 🙂 Life’s gonna be rough if we don’t learn to laugh at ourselves 😛
Back in The Office, I ate my lunch, had a coffee, and discovered that the blister on my left foot had broken open and leaked all over my sock. Gross, I know, but it’s just another testament to my lack of common sense haha I’d gotten the blister over the weekend during my GLORIOUS Adventures but I thought it would have healed enough for me to forego using a Band-Aid.
I was wrong.
So I hopped over to Liza’s office and asked for a Band-Aid and she fished around in her desk and found me one. I’m just so thankful for moms who know from experience that having Band-Aids in cars, purses, and office desks will turn out to be a life-saving stroke of genius however many days or weeks later. I explained the circumstances of my war-wound and Liza laughed and said “you gotta wear the right shoes if you’re walking through The City”. She’s a gem and I’m gonna miss her and her distinct Jersey accent 🙂
I hobbled back over to my office, applied my bandage, and finished up some work. All the while, I listened to Jessa, Kenobi, and Rick regale one another with thrilling stories about root canals and toothaches and surgeries from across the hallway and two doors down. Waldo picked up his two kids from soccer camp (though it may very well have been basketball camp…who even knows haha) and they followed him down the hall to his office. Meetings were happening all over the place and people kept coming in and out of Kristoff’s office but this time they were on important business, not chatting it up about the latest tech gadget or sports scores or movie.
The Office was abuzz with Life just like it always is (save for that one time when everyone was on vacation or injured haha). Toby returned from an errand and went to Steve, Jessa, and Kenobi’s office just so he could tell them he was going golfing later in the evening. It just cracks me up, the things that qualify as “news” in The Office. They gave him their blessing….and some directions about the best way to get to a city he’d never been to before and off he went to change into his “golf uniform” as he called it haha.
I’d finished my work so I decided to take a stroll around campus one.last.time. The sun was shining brilliantly, campus was devoid of crowds of people, and “God’s Country” was playing in my ears and it was truly grand. Campus had seemed so terribly large when I first arrived as a sad and lonely Freshman and now it was familiarly small. The foreign became the familiar in more ways than one and I thanked the Most High for the opportunities He had given me and for the Adventure.
I returned to The Office, packed my bag, washed my coffee mug, gave my office one last wistful look, turned out the lights one.last.time. and shut the door behind me. Kenobi had just ended a conversation he’d been having with Kristoff and we faced one another in the hall. He was wearing his trademark black snap-back and as I looked up at his scruffy black beard and kind face, I knew I was going to miss him too. We’d already said hi to one another earlier in the day and now he told me “have a good one” in his sweet, high-ish voice and ducked his head. I smiled back at him one.last.time. and bade him farewell.
I walked down the hallway, past The Keurig Station where I’d first met Mikhail and stepped out of my comfort zone, where Ellissa and I had been tricked by a deceptive-looking Dunkin’ Donuts box which turned out to be filled with coffee creamers and not with donuts, where we’d all stood in line to warm our lunches, where I’d chatted with Stanley and Liza about utilizing college experience in the “real” world, where Toby and I had had our spoiled milk adventure, where I’d made countless cups of coffee, where the remnants of Food Raids had been laid, where so many of us had lost our inhibitions and pulled back our facades just a little and let the Light pour through.
I’d already said good-bye to Sheila earlier and she’d wished me well so I walked by the front desk without really stopping. She’d left an hour earlier since her shift had ended and someone else had come to take her place. I must confess that I lingered in The Office and its environs longer than was necessary after my work was done simply because I didn’t want to leave. And that’s growth. The me of last year would NEVER have done that. I would have jumped at the chance to leave and go back to my cozy office on the second floor of the library. Lingering would have been the last thing on my mind.
So yeah, I’m gonna miss each and every one of those lovely humans. They taught me LOADS of life lessons and they’ve become a part of me as odd as that sounds. And I’ve left a part of me back there in The Office. The Most High brought The Office into my life when I needed it most and He helped me to leave my distrust and annoyance behind in favour of trust and a joyful expectancy. While I know that I’ll never meet people exactly like Sheila and Toby and Kristoff and Liza and Mikhail and Kenobi ever again, I do know that I’ll meet other lovely humans who will teach me other life lessons just like they did.
Chapters close and new ones open. Seasons fade and others come to take their place, though not in a quite the same way. Nothing ever happens the same way twice, as Aslan said. but the Most High has promised to work everything out for good to those who believe in Him and are called according to His purpose. Nothing is wasted. He’s taught me that every experience I’ve ever had, every person I’ve ever met is crucial. So don’t despise where He has placed you, lovely humans. I know you probably hear that a lot in Internet chatter but it’s true. Don’t wish you were somewhere else. Don’t wish you were someone else. Don’t wish you were further along in your journey. Just don’t. You’ll miss everything that’s going on right around you. Everything He’s doing. Rise up and take courage. Even in the bittersweet good-byes and the fond farewells, He is indeed making all things New.
| We’re in a War, my friends, and we all need Courage on the Front Lines ❤ |