We’re down to the last month.
Because I’ll be gone soon, a lot of the stress associated with the huge crunch of work has been muted. If our work flops, I won’t be there to deal with the fallout. That doesn’t mean I’m not trying– I’m still working hard— but I’m not as worried about it as I would otherwise.
But because I’m not thinking about the work aspect of work, I’ve had time and energy to think about another aspect: the people.
This was my first job out of college and I’ve been here six years. Over that time, I’ve made a lot of really good friendships with people I like and respect.
Little by little I’ve been telling my colleagues that I will be gone soon. I started with my former roommate during a lunch out, then told some of my teammates during a late-night work crunch. Some of them (like former roommate) I know I’ll spend time with even after I quit. But there are others, though I enjoy their company very much, with whom I don’t have that kind of out-of-the-office relationship and therefore will probably fall away in my memory over time.
Yesterday, I told my mentor that I was leaving. He was super supportive about it, had suspected for months and has thought about leaving himself, and offered to send me a job lead he thought’d be a good fit. We were both kind of bummed about the situation. I wondered to myself whether I’d ever see him again. I like him as a person, and we have hung out outside of work during some now-defunct political meet-ups, but he also has kids and lives on the opposite side of town, so the likelihood that we’ll see each other again is kind of slim. That makes me sad; I’ll miss him.
As I’m leaving, I realize that I don’t really mind losing the projects I’m leaving behind– which, I’m kind of annoyed at the timing that now as I’m about to be gone I get some of the most interesting work of my career, but whatever. Nor am I fretting about my loss of income (though ask me again in a few months). Instead, I’m saddened that these people, my colleagues, my friends, that we’ll grow apart and those relationships will fall by the wayside. Which, if a friendship is so tenuous, is it really a friendship at all? But anyway, starting over in a new place… it’ll be hard.
If there’s one thing I’ll regret, it’ll be leaving these people, for whom I care deeply, behind.
Are you friends with the people at your job? Would you miss them if you left? Would you maintain those relationships? Why is adult friendship so hard?