I made this drawing to say thank you to my colleagues whom I’m leaving after 10 years. Yesterday was my last day in the office… I think I still need a moment to process it all: the sadness of goodbyes and the excitement of a new beginning, the waves of kind attention and gifts, the gratefulness and emptiness.
It’s always been my goal on this blog to write from honesty. I don’t believe the world is served by false portrayals of perfection or happiness: there are two sides to every coin and travel is no exception. While we usually see only carefree Instragram pictures of perfect beaches and delicious food, obviously things aren’t that simple. And as much as some people might try to deny it, I am convinced that behind every smily faced “I quit my job to travel” status hides a history of doubt, fear and worries that came with it.
From the moment I wrote my resignation, I knew that saying goodbye to my big corporate family would be one of the hardest moments leading up to the start of my journey. I won’t deny that, during the past weeks, I have repeatedly wondered what the hell I am doing and, certainly, there have been moments where I regretted my decision all together.
The life I’ve had for years has started to fall apart gradually. My beloved stuff got packed and disappeared in attics, my familiar flat got emptied, my everyday routine is no longer existent. Everything I knew seems to be slipping through my fingers: not because it is taken from me, but because I chose to let it go. And then, nothing has come to replace it (yet). The journey I’ve promised myself is still pending. The people I aspire to meet are far out of reach. The only sense of adventure I get is the camping in my empty bedroom…
The loss of all the material stuff has little bothered me. It was not until now, where I’m having to let go of people, that things have become hard and confusing. I’m realistic enough to realize I will never see some of my co-workers again, and others just very little. I’m conscious enough to appreciate a great team when I see it, and such was mine for the last ten years. I knew the goodbye would be difficult, and yet I arrived unprepared for the void that came with it.
But not all is lost. The awkward emptiness that fell over me is now filled with gratitude. It is truly an amazing thing to be surrounded by friends so lovely, they make you question your dreams. People that make you want to give up on the big plans just so you can stay with them. People who make it hard to leave a company you definitely no longer enjoyed working in. People who make it hard to leave, period.
I don’t think I ever underestimated just what I am leaving behind. In fact, the vivid realisation of it is probably what kept me here for so long. The choice to leave regardless was a difficult one, and actually doing so might even be harder.
But I am.
And so there is only one appropriate thing to say: not goodbye
but thank you.