Today was quite a big day for me. A very emotional day. It's been a very hectic summer with the bar exam and figuring out what is next for us. We accepted an offer on our house 2 weeks ago and are all set to move on September 1st.
To be honest, I am really excited about this plan. I really don't like living in Chicago. It would be a fun place to visit, but it is far too busy here for me. We are looking forward to settling down where there aren't taxis zooming around buses everywhere. I won't have to deal with a 30-60 minute commute, scratches on my car every day from the close parking, and never again will I deal with outrageous parking fees just to go see a show. My lot and my house will be more than 40 feet wide. My neighbors won't be living almost in my own yard. I'll have a driveway and a proper lawn. A world where traffic doesn't rule my life and we can just slow down a little.
Now all of this also comes with the added bonus that I get to quit my job! I have been pretty unhappy with my job for the past few months due to the usual office politics. I was even hunting for new jobs here before we decided to move. I find that I spend a lot of time at work dreaming of all the things I would do if I didn't have to come in to an office every day. I'm dropping my title as "biomedical engineer" and changing it to "design and process engineer". I get to take all of my skills in fixing things and making things run better and more efficient, and turn them all to my shop. Same skills, just with a new meaning. And the best part is that I can do it from home, any time I want to, without having to ask for time off if I just want to take a personal day. I don't have to work around all of the holidays anymore, and if I want to start work at 9:00, still in my pjs I can and that is such a liberating feeling. I have the opportunity to be my own boss. Push myself and know that my accomplishments are mine alone.
So all of these wonderful things, yet last night and this morning I found myself really crying over what I'm going to lose. My husband said it best last night. I am an optimist. The glass is always half full. I always see the sunny side of life. Something good is always there. So now that I am finally getting this opportunity, I can't help but put aside all of the things that I don't like about working here, and can only think of the things that I will miss.
My kids. Oh, I'll miss my kids. If you have ever had a chance to work with children with disabilities, you know as well as I do that they are such a great and inspirational group to work with. I think back to my time here, and I have seen over 450 kids come through for a gait analysis. 450 kids that come here to see me and get excited about seeing me turn them into a computer animation. 450 parents that are hopeful that what I do holds the key to how to make their children walk taller and fix the position of their feet.
Right now I'm not thinking of the kids that scream, kick and cry, but I'm thinking of the cute 5 year olds that are alight with curiosity. The 12 year old boy that had a crush one me. The ones that hug you and say thank you. The 6 year old from Arkansas who comes up to see us every few years and has a picture of me on her refrigerator. The 14 year old boy that did a High School Musical dance for me, even with his crutches. I'm not remembering the parents that yell at me, the ones that complain about the test or their insurance. I think about the ones that are grateful for the compassion I had with their child. The thank you note and cookies from the family that had a great experience with us. The family that says that because of us, their child can walk again and just be a kid.
I told my manager today that I will be leaving at the end of the month. And yes, we are leaving so that my husband and I can start a future together that works for us. We are setting ourselves up for the years that are to come. I'm not leaving because I'm not happy with my job anymore, but that did make the decision easier.
So it has been a bit of a bittersweet day for me. One door closes, and many more are opening up in front of us. I didn't make it through the conversation without crying and my manager was very sympathetic. He wondered why we ever came to Chicago at all. I came for this job and this job alone. I desperately wanted to work in a gait lab with kids. I wanted to help someone and change a life. Engineers don't get to do that much.
It has been a very difficult decision, but more than ever I think we're making the right one. There will be much to miss and the transition won't be an easy one, but moving and starting fresh is always a challenge. I think we deserve it though. We've spent the past 4 years in school, then living in different states, then living in the same state, but one commuting to Milwaukee every day. We can finally start the life together that we have always dreamed about.
More to come I'm sure. 14 days of work left and 26 days until we move!
Until the next time ...
The girl behind the lama