A Love Letter to Myself (Featuring the Words of Others)

You never truly know your legacy until you leave … or announce that you’re leaving. And I suppose it took me handing in my notice at work to realise my worth and to realise what the people around me thought of me.

Tucking myself into bed on Friday night I was happy with the legacy I’d left behind at the workplace I had said goodbye to. Whilst it’s not commonplace to write unkind messages in leaving cards or to be nasty to the person leaving in their last week, I suppose my final few days gave me a real taste of how my – now ex – colleagues viewed me.

In my final week, we counted down to my last tea round, our last lunch time walk, our last full day together, and colleagues asked how I was feeling during the home straight. Was I sad to say goodbye? Was I nervous? When was I starting my new job? But it didn’t really sunk in until my final day when I was greeted by a chorus of ‘it’s your last day!’ excitement from colleagues as soon as I entered the kitchen. (Were they all looking forward to me leaving? Paranoia is a worrier’s best friend).

I settled into my work as normal, only the list was significantly shorter. I had two ideas I wanted to submit to my Project Manager before I left … before the afternoon to be precise so I could gradually unwind.

Not long after that the tears started to form, aptly set off by the speech from my line manager, and the thought gone into the leaving gift: a great stonking big bottle of Sipsmith gin and posh gin glasses. Trying to make my way through the sturdy outer packaging was enough to sober me out of my near emotional breakdown, but not even that was enough to stop me from nearly wanting to cry in the corner as I read the kind messages in my leaving card. Sandwiched in between that colourful card were some of the loveliest and kindest messages.

I didn’t write this post to boast or to glorify my colleagues’ thoughts of me, and I certainly didn’t write it to say to you, look at me, I’m such a big shot. But I did write it for myself. I’ve had some of my darkest times since the beginning of the year, and at times 2017 has been a real test of my mental strength and how I perceive myself. I looked at the way M treated me, and saw that as my worth. I deserved it because if only I’d been a little something more, something less or something completely different … let’s face it, that mentality I had was all kinds of wrong.

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