After five and a half years, today is my last day of full-time employment. Tomorrow, my status changes to “consultant,” and I start the next phase of my life. This phase could just be months long, or it could extend into years or even blend into whatever comes next. I really have very little idea what may come, and it’s pretty darn exciting.
This week has been a complete whirlwind. After returning from my weekend move to Virginia Beach, I assessed how much prep work I have left to do. I was relieved to realize that there aren’t many items on that list, at least items to be accomplished in the DC area by the time I leave Friday.
On Monday, my Gregory Deva 60 finally arrived, and I picked up the beautiful pack and accompanying rain cover at the nearby FedEx/Kinko’s. On Tuesday, I made my last trip to REI to purchase a sit pad and some Tenacious Tape for potential gear repair. And now I have all of my gear, if it can be imagined – or at least all the gear that will be on my person when I step foot on Springer Mountain.
The rest of the week has been full of treats. A couple of friends at work took me out to lunch on Monday. My friend Caro cooked me a delicious dinner of lentil soup on Tuesday (with leftovers for Wednesday!). Today, a bunch of coworkers are taking me to lunch to wish me well.
I’ve been inundated with thoughtful comments, consideration, and – at times – concern. “Will you bring a GPS device like a Spot so that people know where you are?” “You take care of yourself.” “Don’t forget to touch base so that we know you’re safe.”
Mostly, though, I’ve been met with an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm and support. And hugs, lots of hugs.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve probably noted that I can be high strung at times. I do a pretty good job of stressing myself out (I dont mean to brag, but it’s a gift). On the downside, well, I get stressed out. On the upside, I often harness that nervous energy in an effort to accomplish my goals.
In the case of preparing for an A.T. thru-hike, on August 30 I announced that I would be going from 0 to 60, and on February 28, I feel like I’m as close to 60 as I could possibly be. I still have those pesky mail drop boxes to pack, but – very uncharacteristically – I’m feeling cool, calm, and collected. In fact, a coworker asked me if I’m anxious, and I responded,
“No. I feel great. Actually, maybe I should be worried that I’m not anxious.”
Ba da ba chhhhh.
Seriously, though, I’m really enjoying this feeling and am reveling in it.
On another note, as much as this is my last day working full-time, I’d like to announce that this is also my last day full-time blogging. I figured that now is as good a time as any, especially since Verizon cut off my internet service early (I think the company was looking out for my well being. So thoughtful). That’s not to say that I won’t be blogging regularly in the next couple of weeks, but I also don’t want any of you worrying if you don’t see a post at 6am EST on the dot (not saying I heard feedback yesterday or anything. Ahem, ahem, you know who you are).
I don’t think you’ll be hearing from me tomorrow, but rest assured, I still have plenty that I want to share from Virginia Beach and Springer Mountain and Mount Katahdin…and everything in between.