Five years ago, I left my first "real" job in search of something different. The job had changed and I had changed and we were no longer the right fit for each other. Leaving was a hard decision to make but the right one. As a parting gift, my friends there gave me an amazing scotch whisky, a 1981 bottle of Blackadder Raw Cask. We cracked it open at a party just after I left and each time I've had a bit since, I think of them and all the fun we had over the years.
In leaving, I found a lot of things I was looking for and some things I never knew I wanted. It's taken me all of five years and several job bounces but I'm finally in the place I think I was hoping to find. I will always miss working with my friends. I like my coworkers now but they're not like family and I doubt they ever will be. I will always miss the fabulous collaborative spirit with which our team worked - my work now is done mainly on my own, a blessing and a curse. I will never miss the hours spent in my car, inching along the highway hoping for some sort of disaster that would disintegrate every vehicle on the road except for my own (I do miss stuck-in-traffic calls with Kara, though, and have had to suppress the urge to drive into rush now and again just to have the old excuse to phone...).
I've been contemplating the last bit of the Blackadder for several months now. It didn't seem right to finish the bottle without some sort of ceremony and none of the presenting occasions seemed suitable so the bottle has remained on our shelf, quietly biding. Next week, I will go in to my old place of work for the first time since I left. I haven't been avoiding the place but it's quite out of my way and there hasn't been any reason to go until now. So here I sit, with the last bit of Blackadder poured and marvelous tendrils of rich aroma wafting up to my nose from the desk. I'm going to reflect on the last five years as I enjoy the last drink, closing out an era. I wonder what the next such gift will mark in my life?