Saturday, April 2, 2011

last day

Yesterday was my last day as a Biglaw associate.  My going away party started at 6.  At 6:15, I looked at the items remaining on my desk.  I stuck the bottle of Frank's Red Hot and my pedicure flip-flops in my purse, and basically swept the remaining items into the garbage.  I turned off my computer, and walked out.  Because my party started at 6, I was the only one leaving at 6:20 -- people were either already there or not ready to leave yet.  As I rode down in the elevator, I thought maybe it was fitting that I leave alone, as I walked in alone on my first day of work.  I was lost in thought, pondering the symmetry and poetry of walking out the front doors and looking back at the building.

I was so lost in thought that I accidentally walked through the security gate of the side door.  I paused.  I had already turned in my badge and couldn't go back.  So I had no choice but to walk out the side door, where the smokers congregate under the overhang.  I walked out through a cloud of smoke, next to a dumpster.  The air was heavy and grey, and a light rain was falling, but I didn't have an umbrella and the smoke and dumpster smell was so unpleasant that I didn't pause.  I didn't look back.  I just walked the three blocks to the bar with my hands in my coat pockets, hurrying so my hair wasn't soaked by the time I got to the party. 

The party was fun -- even for someone who doesn't like parties much.  I drank a bunch of Bud Light and said goodbye to people.  It was pretty much what I expected.  I got pizza at my favorite NYC pizza place in my old neighborhood.  Kathy and I took the train home to the suburbs and nearly slept through our stop, and wandered into our house. 

That's when I looked in the mirror and realized that sometime during the night, probably sleeping on Kathy's shoulder on the train, I had lost one of my favorite earrings.  They were given to me by my mom a few years ago, and had been hers during the '80s, so I am pretty sure that the earring is irreplaceable. 

I sat on the edge of my bed and cried.  I cried over the lost earring.  I cried over the awkward, unthinking way my last day at work had ended, walking out the wrong door like that.  I cried over the loss of the optimistic, energetic lawyer I had been when I started.  I cried over losses I couldn't name.  And then I went to sleep.

1 comment:

  1. Change, even a change that has been longed for, can be bittersweet. Taking a risk and moving toward something new always means leaving some things behind. Congrats on beginning your new life!