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Just an ordinary week, or two, or eight

This week is my last week at work. Friday I will sit at this desk for the last time and have a few days before I venture off into a totally different world. (By the way, remind me to never again quit a job right before fiscal year end.)

Next week I get on a plane and go to a foreign country for eight weeks. I’ve never been to this place before, I’ve never been away from home that long, and I’ve never taken that long of a flight before. When I get back, I will have a week to ten days or so to recover from jetlag before my wife and I will be drawn into the hustle and bustle of a wedding. Once the wedding is over, it will be time to dive headfirst into being a full-time grad student.

In other words, this week is the last paragraph in a particular chapter of my life, a chapter which started three years ago today when I had my first day as the Undergraduate Programs Coordinator in the College of Arts and Sciences. It seems like a lifetime ago.

I am somewhat conflicted; I am more than happy to have this chapter be over with and to have the new one I’m starting — there were moments where it seemed that the chapter was going to close without me having another one to start. On the other hand, as happy as I am to finally have these opportunities, the last year has been wonderfully refreshing, particularly compared to the previous five, and I’m leaving something where I could be safe and reasonably content indefinitely. I’ve been chasing this ball, in one form or another, for the last six years; now that I’ve got it, what do I do with it? There’s part of me that says, “What do you think you’re doing, trying to play this game at thirty-two when you have a more-than-decent deal where you are? Who do you think you are?” There are parts of me that would be more at ease about this were I ten years younger — I would have far less to lose.

Nice as that would be, however, that isn’t how things worked out, and the opportunities are presenting themselves now, not then.

Meanwhile… I have to figure out what all I’m taking with me, and even more importantly, what I’m not — i.e., the temptation to not bring half of my library with me needs to be resisted.

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