He took it so well! He nodded. He smiled. We hugged. Everything went exactly as planned, better even. Immediately after telling him he told my teammates and they were all so supportive of this decision I have made. What a huge relief that the conversation is over and I don’t have to worry about it anymore!
And then I woke up.
6:42am. Monday, June 6th. I’ve been dreading this day since the moment I made the almost impossible (and by most people’s standards, insane) decision to book a one-way ticket to Europe and quit my job. My comfortable, most-people-dream-of-having, job. Today is the day that I officially start saying goodbye to that and everything that I have built over the last four years.
Four years and 8 days ago it was May 30th, 2012. I was crying at the Atlanta Airport on a humid Spring day, as I said goodbye to my Mom and boarded a plane with my Dad to New York City. Similar to today, I had a one-way ticket in my hand and a lot of uneasiness in my heart.
You see, I am the walking definition of someone labeled as a “homebody” and a “creature of habit”. I like sleeping in my bed, with my pillows, and my blankets. I tend to choose staying in over going out, ordering the same takeout from the same restaurants, I always like having a plan, and as much as I might bitch about sitting at my desk, I’ve secretly always enjoyed the daily routine that work gives me.
Moving to NYC at the age of 24 was a whirlwind of emotions. I made a gut decision and moved 900 miles away from my parents. In college, I was a 2 hour drive away from their home. Anytime I needed to do laundry, or missed my dog, I just hopped into my Ford Escape and drove the 137 miles up 1-85 and I was home. This was going to be the first time I was 100% on my own, and it TERRIFIED me.
Now looking back, the last four years have been surreal. I have worked at an absolutely incredible company. The kind with unlimited snacks, pool tables and coworkers who are always down for a happy hour. To say that my job has opened up opportunities most people would only dream of would be an understatement. I work in one of the most iconic office buildings in the world. I have gone to places like Las Vegas, LA, and Mexico (twice!) completely expense free. I’ve been on several open bar, boat cruises around Manhattan, dancing my ass off with my entire office. I could go on and on (and on) about the benefits and “pinch me” moments that I’ve had over the last 1,468 days but I feel like you probably get the point.
However, I have one last (and most important) thing to note about my job. Through my company I have met some of my favorite people on the planet. People that I know will be in my life for decades to come, and people who made leaving my home and missing holidays with my family bearable. These people will never fully know the effect they have had on my life and I will forever be in debt to my company for bringing us all together. One of these amazing humans that I met during my time here is, Casey, who is my wonderful boyfriend, best friend and soon-to-be worldwide travel companion (More about him another time). These people are the reason I come to work every day and without them, this wild ride wouldn’t have been nearly as fun.
ANYWAY… (holy shit that was long winded so if you’re still reading, bless you and the time on your hands)
Needless to say, when I woke in a cold sweat from my final REM cycle, I was less than pleased to realize that the dreaded, “I’m quitting” conversation with my boss had in fact, NOT occurred yet. Oh, joy.
So, fast forward to 11am. After a morning of pep talks from Casey, checking my pulse and reciting Eminem in my head (“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, there’s vomit on his sweater already, Mom’s spaghetti…”), it was time for my weekly one-on-one meeting with my manager. He is located in a different office so I’m sitting in a small conference room waiting to talk to him over the phone’s VC system.
11:03am: The meeting has started. We comment on the sunny weather we’re both having (side note: why does all small talk start with the weather?!), talk about how our weekends went, and I share a story about an annoying coworker I am dealing with.
Then, I take a deep breath. “Mr Manager (obviously not his name, but work with me here), we need to talk”. Sounding like a 16 year-old boy about to break up with his high school girlfriend, I start to ramble. And I ramble. And I ramble. Speaking for about 4 minutes straight, pausing just long enough to breathe and think to myself, “Meghan stop talking”, I manage to explain through my appreciation for my job, my desire to travel long term, and ultimately, my departure from the company. When I finally surfaced from my word vomit blackout, I timidly looked up at the screen to wait for his reaction.
And he nodded. And he smiled. And if we would’ve been in the same room, we probably would’ve hugged.