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Four Departures and a Funeral

Now It’s Time To Say Goodbye

Within a month of my deciding to leave my previous career, three of my dearest friends likewise made life-changing employment decisions that would lead to a mass exodus of the people I adore.  The first departure left behind a magical job for a life-defining opportunity that would transform not only her life, but the life of a good portion of the community in which she lives.  We crave chances like this one and when these openings are custom-tailored for greatness, you turn your back on the familiar and move forward with the wonderful.

Next to go out the revolving door, my soft-spoken oak tree of a friend, who even when he was seething had roots that grounded him with our company.  He knew everyone in the building, and not just because he was good with names, but because he cares about people.  His comfort level took a hard left turn when he agreed to a new opportunity with the company that would take him three time zones and his entire adulthood away from the relationships he had spent more than a decade building.  He, too, could see the promise of a new and vast future ahead of him, and were it not for my leaving as well, I could not have imagined getting up and going to work every day without him in the same building.

Retire and Release

As hard as it may have been putting fourteen-plus years in my rear-view mirror, I watched, over time, my mentor plan and prepare for her final years, months, and weeks before retirement.  But rather than a decade and a half, she persevered through a range of responsibilities for four decades, raised her daughter, journeyed through an entire career with a single employer and defined her profession.  She hadn’t just reached her retirement, she has earned it.  She possesses the organizational skills I wish I had, the strength I would like to muster and the devotion to our employer that seemed to elude me.  As she walks out the door, she will know she did all she wanted and more while she was employed so that now she can begin to do all the even better things she’s ever wanted to do and more.

Counting me, the four of us have made the choice to change our lives and our place of employment.  While I am joyful about my new career direction, and my friends’ retirement, relocation to California, and remarkable creative venture, I cannot help but wonder if an era has died and we are all passing with it.  All of us have shed tears and marked our crossing to the future awaiting each of us, and in a relatively short order, we will heal, we will grow and we will become more beautiful people for having worked together and, more importantly, for having gone our separate ways.  Sometimes deaths and endings guide us to new beginnings and for the four of us, the next steps are enchanting, rewarding, and inspiring, and I still have each one of their phone numbers in case of a real life-and-death situation.


About Pam Portland

For a decade and a half I worked behind a series of desks, peeking out from around my computer monitor. Seeing the United States in bits and pieces wasn't enough to satisfy me, so I am grabbing my virtual pen and taking flight. Welcome along!

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