The Longest Goodbyes

Going forward is something simple. What is left behind is what is hard. — Dave Mustaine

How do you write about the goodbye’s when moving away, while remaining true to the emotion felt throughout?  How do you capture the excitement, sadness, fear, and happiness but most of all, love?

While saying goodbye is never easy, it highlights the love and friendship surrounding you in life.  There was laughter and there were tears, but with that came an overwhelming amount of love and support.

In the time leading up to my departure, I went through multiple goodbyes, each with it’s own highlights and challenges.

Work Became Family

It started with work, writing the most difficult email of my career – my resignation letter.  The past three years at OppenheimerFunds have been incredible, and I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing people.  I was leaving a family I didn’t realize I had grown into.  As word slowly spread that I would be jumping head first into this adventure, I received an outpouring of support, gratitude and best wishes.  I would be leaving behind a management team I fully trusted and supported, as well as colleagues who had quickly turned into friends.  I look forward to keeping in touch with everyone and hope our paths cross again in the future.

Faiza & I
Part of my fabulous management team!

My resignation also meant saying goodbye to the friends I have made across the industry through my work.  They are some of the smartest and most thought provoking people I have had the opportunity to network and consult with, and I am excited to watch as they continue to push boundaries and advance our ever changing work space.

Friends are for Life

My friends came next, and were the most difficult to leave.  These people had become my family in NYC, and helped make the past 8 years the amazing experience it was.  I did my best to balance packing with dinner dates, and planned a final farewell get together for everyone that mattered in my New York life.

My friends came from all walks of life, from near and far (yes, New Jersey is FAR), to show their love and support.  I don’t think I can put into words how grateful I am to have them in my life, and I know we will remain lifelong friends no matter how many miles are between us.

There is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle. — Christian D. Larson

 

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To all of my friends reading this, you know who you are and I want you to know not only how much I love each of you, but how grateful I am to have you in my life.  Thank you for always being there for me no matter what crazy idea I throw at you!

Family I Love

Once I was back in Chicago, I started saying goodbye to my family.  Although come to think of it, they might be seeing more of me now that I’ve given up my apartment!  Who’s letting me move in?!

The first stop was to visit my grandparents in Wisconsin.  They have always been extremely supportive of every endeavor I take on, and I wouldn’t be sitting here, writing on the beach in Croatia, without the work ethic my parents and grandparents instilled in me.  I celebrated with my cousins and friends (always a source of entertainment) in the one bar on the lake, and then was headed back to Chicago for an epic bash!

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While my dad helped me move, my mom had been busy planning a going away extravaganza for all of my family and friends back home, complete with surprise guest appearances (you know who you are)!  My one regret from that day was not taking many pictures, but it was worth it to spend meaningful time with the people who came to celebrate my journey with me.  Family is one of the things I value most, and I am incredibly lucky to have such a supportive, affectionate and thoughtful group of people in my life, no matter how loud they may be!

 

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My final goodbye has been to a version of myself.  As amazing as NYC can be, the pace and atmosphere make it difficult to stay true to yourself.  I am embarking on this journey to lose the things that I am not, to just be me again.  It’s time to bring back the friendly and outgoing rather than the hurried and stressed.  It’s time to find a balance between work and life.  It’s time to breathe and experience life outside of a concrete jungle.

When I decided to embark on this journey, I made a promise to myself that I would be open and vulnerable, that I would reflect and do my best to explain what I am going through.  This post has been very difficult to write, and it quite honestly is not done. However, it would be unfair to myself to rush through everything I am feeling.  It’s hard to find the right words, not knowing what reactions might be triggered, worried I won’t be able to explain in a way others understand.  But I am working on being comfortable with the unknown and will keep my promise – so there will be a sequel!

Regardless of what this post is missing, making the decision to step away from life as I knew it was difficult, and leaving my friends and family behind was just as hard.  But at the end of the day, goodbyes are only as final as you choose to make them and I am choosing to focus on see you again.

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“I take to the open road, healthy and free, the world before me.” – Walt Whitman

 

 

 

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