It's been a surreal couple of weeks since I announced my intent to depart. I've watched my team go through the 7 stages of change (anger, pain, denial, and the rest). Which was weird for me because /I've/ known that I'm leaving the team for some time now, so it was not new to me. Watching the news ripple through the team was an odd experience because I wasn't grappling with the same new information as them. I felt like an outside observer, even though I'd thrown the rock that started the ripples.
They are happy for me; the new gig is actually a pretty good deal. They are sad for the team and concerned about what I may know that they don't (truth is: nothing, hah). I have known these people most of my career - 16-17 years, depending how you count, and over the past 24 hours I have said a lot of hard goodbyes. I'll say many more tomorrow. Although I am the deputy lead today, members of the team are my former team leads and mentors that held those kinds of positions 15-20 years ago. I've been a part of their family and they've been a part of mine - weddings, funerals, and graduations all shared. I'm leaving for the right reasons, but I'll still miss my friends.
Another realization as the countdown clicks down: Today I am the center of attention, surrounded by friends. Monday will be a new day, and I will be the new guy, and largely alone.
I type this and it perhaps sound like I'm apprehensive, sad, or scared. In fact, I'm determined. It's a path I started on over a year ago. It's a contingency plan that I kept smoldering over several long months. It's something I wanted; something I wished for. Perhaps the reality of the situation is finally settling over me; tomorrow I will turn in my badge and walk out the door. Should I return, I will be a visitor and require an escort. Between tomorrow morning at 7am and Monday morning at 8:45, my life is going to change and be far, far different.
There is of course another countdown running. A week from today, I'll be standing next to the Bellagio fountain with a big smile. EVE Vegas is near. We have our plane tickets, hotels, and even a show lined up. We're heading out on Thursday and will hopefully meet up with my sister inlaw who will be there on business. And then it's time to nerd out. :)