I quit my job today.
Rather, I told my boss that in five weeks, I’ll be picking up my life and moving on.
It was a hard conversation to have, and I unexpectedly felt a profound sense of sadness when I walked out.
Because now this is real. As long as I was holding on to my job, I was tethered to this town and the security of a paycheck and the knowledge that I could — if I really wanted — just stick around. No more. It’s scary.
In a way, finally giving notice brought a sense of relief. I’m excited for this adventure, and I haven’t been able to talk about it with anyone because I needed my boss to hear it from me, not by accident via some social media slip-up. I wanted all of the big pieces to be in place before I had that conversation, so even though I’ve been planning for weeks, I wasn’t ready. Now it’s done, and I can finally let the secret out.
But creeping up alongside that relief is the reality of what I’m doing. I’m about to leave my life behind, a life I’ve worked hard to build, a life I love. I decided from the get-go that this trip means I won’t come back to D.C. — it’s the perfect opportunity and excuse to start over in a new place. But I wish someone had told me how sad I would feel about that. Many of my friends here will be my friends forever no matter how many miles separate us, and I will always have the option to visit or even to live here again someday. That doesn’t make it any easier to walk away — even if it’s the right choice.
So every time I step out my door, I try to soak it all in. I’m doing and seeing all of the things I’ve missed in the last few years and hitting some of my favorite spots one last time. That process is liberating, but it has also taught me just how attached I am. It’s not just my friends — it’s my neighborhood and my cycling team and some of the greatest restaurants and bars ever and my wax lady and the view of the Pentagon and monuments lit up at night as you drive over the 14th Street bridge.
I’m very lucky to be 25 and to have experienced all of these things — and to have had two fantastic jobs with wonderful, understanding supervisors. They invested a lot in me and trusted me with a lot more responsibility than I probably deserved, and even though I’ve made the decision to move on — twice — I’m incredibly grateful for both of those opportunities. I’d bet that not many people I graduated high school or college with could say the same.
So it is with all of these emotions that I confront the fact that my adventure is a little more than two months out. Shit’s gettin’ real.