Words are hard, emotions are harder. And vice versa. Let that sink in. Have you ever been able to see something from all sides and your brain can place it in whatever logical taxonomy it deserves but you can’t figure out how you feel about it? Conversely, have you ever felt something so true that every fiber of your being sings it, but you can’t articulate it? This is my life’s pendulum in recent weeks.
I’ve had to say goodbye to coworkers in the past and it’s never easy, but usually life goes on in perfunctory fashion. We hear things like business is down or the company wants to head in a new direction or [insert corporate cliche here] and that allows people to rationalize situations so we can move on with our work lives. Then there are those who decide to go out on their own terms. Enough is enough and they’re out. This is what I’ve experienced in the past two weeks.
One person was fired and my brain understood the logic behind it, but I didn’t know how I felt. Today another one retired and I knew how I felt, but couldn’t find the words to say so long (not goodbye, she’s not dying after all). My brain was all over the place, but the one visual that kept returning was her riding off into the sunset. It’s a nice visual, right? The subject of this mental image continues moving towards this bright eventuality. It’s nice, but it doesn’t really capture the entirety of the situation. Then an idea struck me and I was able to articulate how I felt. I’ll leave out the personal comments and leave you with the quote I sent.
As you ride off into the sunset of retirement, the world will remain bright as your journey continues West. Just know the world you leave behind is a little darker for your departure.
You may think it trite or cliche, but I made a coworker cry today and I’m not really mad about it because she wasn’t the only one.