Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Farewell Open House

I believe in marking moments that comprise the fullness of life. Always have.

Today I'm grateful for the way my colleagues - especially my friend Heather - helped me mark my most recent tour of service at Waldorf: friends stopping by to share holiday munchies and well-wishes before sending me on my way with a scrapbook full of gratitude.

I learned I wouldn't be moving forward with the college on August 6. That month moved quickly, thanks to the energy of students arriving back on campus and start-of-the-year activities. Basically, I was too busy to contemplate the personal transformation this professional change would bring.

But a week after Labor Day - after my birthday - my emotions began to jumble, threatening to mess with my identity by deflating my sense of self. That's such a "Joy thing." Fortunately I know what to do. I took charge. I looked at the brightly-colored "Happy Birthday from All of Us" balloon that Heather and Molly had given me a week earlier and decided to give myself the same type of uplifting missive whenever my mood decided.

I began to mark time in balloons – my way of keeping my spirits high while the current of engagement shifted from me to others. And it worked. I bought three additional balloons from the bookstore before the month of November began, or about one every two weeks. Each time a new message balloon joined the bouquet (the message was only fully understood by me), either Karla or Terri would re-inflate the others.

I no longer needed my four-balloon bouquet in November. It's how I knew my emotional separation was nearly complete. I threw away the whole deflated bunch as I left for Thanksgiving, five calendar days before I returned for my last day in the office.

I've hardly looked at my "You'll Be Missed" balloon today, but I have read my Ode to Joy scrapbook more than once and enjoyed putting together the few video clips I took for this vlog. I realized that I stopped taking video at some point so I could simply enjoy the day. That's good. That's healthy. Still, I'm glad I have a bit of yesterday's moments captured in time in case I get caught in an emotionally rainy day.
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And, Zach, you get your own vlog. Thanks for enjoying my balloons nearly as much as I have these past few months.
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P.S. Not enough time has passed for me to adequately describe what those of us who are Waldorf have been living through - actually continue to be living through. Maybe in time. Until then, I've been given the gift of reflection, something that can only happen with time.
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This was awesome, Joy. I'm sure I will read/watch this one more than once!

Heather

J. Pohl said...

Thinking of you all from time to time. What a sea-change.