So, I started packing today. Had been thinking about it since I resigned last week. But a part of me was resisting it. I knew there is going to be stuff that will make me nostalgic and for that very reason, if the one thing I didn’t want to feel leaving here, is emotional.
The thought came last evening when I realized I was running out of time to start packing, finish up the one last thing and write all the “goodbye, I will miss you” notes. So, I was determined this morning when I woke up, that if nothing, I will have a packed box by end of day which by the way, had been a dream. I have seen it in movies, but never had enough stuff before at work to have to carry it in a box. This time also, very skeptically, I didn’t collect much at work for the first two years. But towards the last two, I got more comfortable in my space and started putting picture frames on the desk, piling up books in the bookshelf ( which I never got time to actually read), storing snacks in the drawers and to some extent some personal documentation.
So, when it comes to nostalgia, what better serves you than Starbucks. I started my morning by ordering my regular Tall Tazo Chai at Starbucks. Believe it or not, it has some nostalgic value when it comes to work. All those days when I didn’t have time at home to make the morning chai but was too sleepy to be up for a morning call, I would pick up a chai on the way to work and Voila! I felt fresh. Don’t know when, but at some point, Starbucks became a symbol of “being productive” to me. It gave me a feeling of achievement, reminded me that I had a purpose so valuable that I didn’t have time to worry about the nitty gritty luxuries of life, as having time in the morning to make Chai.
I went to work, half sipping on my chai, half attending to the call I was on. Finished the first couple of meetings and there it was. My office, calling out to me, saying it’s time to say goodbye. I didn’t know where to start first, so I started searching for the corner that had the least emotional value. The first drawer I opened, offcourse was the one I had nothing to do with. It had some archived stuff from the previous owner of that office, some paper towel rolls and a Lysol Wipes box. That was easy, Piece of cake. I could leave all of that in the drawer, without touching anything. But wait, what is that, a red vase. Where did that come from? Oh yeah, Martha brought me flowers in that when I graduated with my MBA. How sweet. And I went into thoughts of all the things people came and said to me when I had graduated. Should I leave it, or take it?? So, I sat there and stared at it for a few minutes. And dump, it went in my box to take home.
The second drawer was easy too. A few books, a few training materials. Easy. I knew I had to breathe heavy to touch “THE” drawer. And offcourse, there too, I started with the layer with the least emotional value. And there it started, the first note, the second, a few cards, the mini guitar that said “You Rock”. It’s strange how a piece of paper can actually become a time machine transporting you to the time it was written in, reminding you of moments where things just worked out in the middle of all the chaos, the kudos cards for the endless sleepless nights spent on making something work, the post it pads with stuff written that doesn’t make sense anymore but the way it is protected it seems it was the single most important thing at the moment it was preserved. I don’t know what exactly it is that makes you nostalgic – the beauty of perfection in all the imperfection, the sense of achievement of having created something, the feeling of being in control and power or just time. But there is something about past that makes it more beautiful than it was when it was present, and that is – its completeness. It may not have been perfect, but it makes you feel alive everytime you think about it.
By evening, I had thrown a whole bunch of paper which I wasn’t ready to separate from two weeks back, and now it all looked insignificant, a few half filled notebooks and a lot of envelopes full of corporate stuff. And I still had a box and a half, full of stuff to take home. It’s all packed and ready to go, only I am not. Oh well, I have two more days to go. I sure am going to miss this place for so many things, but I am content, as I am one step closer to my goal.