I made it. I made it through my first full time job. On Friday at 5 pm, I walked to the train station with the gifts and cards my students so lovingly chose and wrote for me. I didn’t say goodbye forever to anyone, because I want to personally see to it that for us it is not goodbye.
A week ago at my going-away gathering, I told a few anecdotes about the students and staff that have been my life for the past two years. I thought that instead of processing what it means that I won’t be sitting in the bright orange office chair on the second floor of Ell Hall, sipping coffee out of an enormous thermos, greeting students and colleagues as they drop by- I would tell some of these stories. Not for the purpose of inferring a message, just for memories. Feel free to add yours to the comments 🙂
-I remember Karin’s (co-worker, sister, co-conspirator) interview at CSDS. She was tasked with facilitating an activity that would showcase her ability to put on programs relevant to the center. In typical Karin fashion, she had us all speak out for two minutes about something we felt passionate about. Then, the audience had to give a ridiculously obnoxious round of applause for at least 30 seconds.
-Our first Spring Break, Karin and I organized a “Stay-cation” with the help of one of our graduate students. We visited several sacred sites around the Boston area. One of the days we traveled to a Thai Buddhist temple that turned out to be stunningly gorgeous- the ceilings were coated with gold. One of the monks showed us the many different quarters of the temple grounds, and was very interested in taking pictures at every turn. Each time, he would hold the camera, pause for several seconds, take a picture, and make us wait, saying, “one mooooooooore.”
-One of the best gifts I received (CSDS folks can gift give, for real!) was from Karin after Umrah. She brought me a gorgeous blue prayer rug and said, “I thought of you meditating on this and knew you had to have it.” Such a beautiful interfaith moment.
-Our first year at Renew, we had a great time performing a skit that poked fun at ourselves and some of the Spiritual Advisors. Seeing the students take on their own skit, and especially the student who wore a yellow scarf and sunglasses to play me, made me both laugh uncontrollably and almost cry because it was so well done. Side note: the talent show at Renew was the best talent show I have ever witnessed.
-Both years, I’ve been gullible enough to be surprised on my birthday. This year, Karin ran into our office, shouting that a spider had gotten in her coat and she needed help. Even though I have a crippling fear of spiders, I dashed after her to save the day (I guess?) and of course found myself in the middle of a giant chocolate cake.
I remember my first day at CSDS. I took this picture to show my mom that I actually did have a real job. I want to be honest- it wasn’t all fun and roses. Making mistakes and learning from them are hard, being vulnerable is scary, seeing people you love go through unbelievably rough times is heartbreaking. Walking with you has been incredible. Congratulations to the cheesecake bars for winning the baked goods showdown.