Today is my last day of work.
I've had an amazing job at the bookstore. The last two and a half years have been many kinds of excellent (for me personally and for my resume).
I've learned a lot about a different aspect of the book world, and I'm particularly thrilled I had the chance to work with kids - something I never thought I'd like, but I loved it dearly. I made signs and tombstones, using my artistic abilities on the job. I wrote reviews. I got to read advance copies of books (and had to wait that much longer for the second book in the series to come out). The intellectual opportunities were exactly what I needed.
I met wonderful people. I can honestly say I like all of my coworkers right now, something very important when only ten people are working together to run an entire store. Not to say everything was always hunky dory; we butted heads from time to time, but the counterargument was always an intelligent one.
We came out here with no family and no friends. Now, we're leaving behind a plethora of both - so many more than I realized, even up to yesterday. My bosses let us housesit for them multiple times, giving us a chance to escape our little apartment and hang out with furry friends, which we weren't allowed to have. One coworker taught me the finer details of Indian cooking and some of their culture, and is now Auntie to me. Another was there to discuss all the deeper issues in life, including religion and spirituality, and has become another grandmother.
It hasn't just been coworkers I've befriended, either. I discovered yesterday especially that many of the customers are sad to see me go. One, along with her daughter, gave me a beautiful silver box as a going away gift. A kid at Explorer's Club has given me tight hugs the last couple of weeks at each mention of me leaving. That especially gets me.
It wasn't just through work that I found friendship. Spousal Unit's friends in the anthropology program became my friends, too. The first one I met helped us find our apartment and gave us her bed when she moved (we'd been sleeping on a futon at that point). Another let us tear her home up every time we wanted to party (now that's love). Little outreaches from so many different areas have made us feel so loved and accepted in this strange place so far from home.
But the one thing I keep thinking, as I realize how much we're leaving behind here, is that even if we didn't intend to get too attached, life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not.
I'm going to miss this place, and all the people in it.