Everything I own (in my office) is in a box to the left. And to the right. And some of them are still flat because this doesn’t help me:
In her song, Beyoncé is of course referring to her no-good ex-boyfriend she is kicking out for being untrue and not appreciating the Jag she bought him. Since JB doesn’t buy me Jags (rude), I don’t relate to that part. However, leaving a job is an astute reminder about just how replaceable we all are.
Clearly, I never believe my absence anywhere is going to shut down production. I am pretty sure my bathroom floor is learning to self-clean due to months of neglect. But there is a humbling feeling when you realize the meetings, the plans for next year, the committees, and everything else will be going on just peachy without you. And colleagues are excited about these plans — even though I won’t be there!
Even while cleaning out my files, I find it so hard to throw away old documents. As if, surely, at some point, someone in the office will need my notes about the random meeting I attended two years ago. Won’t they?? As I fill up the recycle bins, I know the answer is that they have their own notes and the paper trail proof of my existence is diminishing. (You also never know what you might find when you clean out your office.)
Obviously, the meetings, the committees and the excitement of plans to come should absolutely forge ahead. Any first-year Psych 101 student could tell you that this is about my own feelings of leaving my professional nest. Of wondering what I will be missing, of already feeling like an outsider. Luckily, I have a great new opportunity to look forward to. Soon enough, I’ll be part of new meetings, making new plans and wondering why there are so many committees.
But for these last few days, I’m just going to enjoy the familiarity and the goodbyes. I’m also going to enjoy the ocean because I’m going on vacation, in case you’re wondering why you haven’t heard from me. Remember, I’m fragile, I have to pretend you will notice my absence!
In other news, I have realized in writing this post that I can’t wait for a Beyoncé greatest hits album.
Have you ever been reminded that you are “replaceable?” Where do you feel irreplaceable?