Whirlwind with lots of support!

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind!  Within one week, one of my closest friend’s dad passed away unexpectedly and way too soon, I had my last day at a company I’ve been at for 9.5 years, I had an amazing siblings weekend in Amherst, MA, and I left for a life-changing trip to Peru.  What an emotional roller-coaster of highs and lows!

Wednesday, August 26th was my last day in the office. Although I’m extremely excited for the next chapter of my life, I didn’t realize how difficult that day would be.  I have met so many incredible people and learned so much the past 9.5 years, that it felt almost like a break-up that you know needs to happen, but doesn’t make it any easier.  I feel so blessed for the amazing support system I have- I don’t think I’d be able to have the courage to do what I’m doing without it.  I came into the office in the morning on Wednesday, and my boss had a gift waiting for me on my desk.  It was a bracelet with a compass on it- for my new journey.  She also left a very sweet note- start the water-works! I went to my exit interview, then came back to cupcakes, and a card that said “the reward of a thing well done is to have done it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.  My team then had a fun lunch at a place I’ve been dying to go to, then Bohemian House, and gave me a photo book they had made with with pictures of my 9.5 years at the company. It brought back so many amazing memories and thoughts of what great people I’ve met along the way. The quote on the book was “You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way!”- Dr. Suess.  Needless to say, I left that day a bit of an emotional wreck!

That evening and the next morning I attended the wake and funeral of my friend’s father.  It was very hard to watch one of the people I love and respect have to go through something like this. I was amazed by the strength she showed and in awe of how much support her and her family had- the whole evening there was a line out the door of people wanting to come and show their support.  The message at the funeral was one I will never forget.  They talked about what an amazing person her father was.  At one point, someone got up and told a story about how her father would go around the neighborhood and make it a point to talk to everyone and make them smile and laugh.  The pastor commented on how rare it is today to find someone who will go around and make connections with people.  We are all so tied to social media and our devices, that making in-person contact is not the norm anymore.  I have never been to a funeral where so many people wanted to stand up and share their memories and stories- my friends dad obviously had a huge impact on many people’s lives. Life is short, and through my journey I can only hope that I can have as large of an impact on others as he did.

Thursday afternoon I hopped on a flight out East for our annual siblings weekend. This year we decided to have it in Amherst, MA where my brother and sister-in-law live.  Although I have traveled all over the US, Amherst is an area I’ve never been to before.  I was blown away by all of the natural beauty, the amazing food, the history, and the interesting art there.  We went to several lookout points to be able to check out the surrounding area.  Living in a city, it was so refreshing to be somewhere that was so peaceful and calm.  While touring the area, we got to see Emily Dickinson’s house and grave- I didn’t know a ton about her before the trip, but finding out about how she really only became famous after she passed was so crazy to me- a small circle of people knew about her talent while she was alive, but her sister found hundreds of her poems after her death and determined they must be published.  One of my favorite quotes I came across of hers while there: “Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.”  I”m ready to find ecstasy in life, and this trip made me realize how lucky I am to have such a supportive family that roots for me every step of the way.  One of the most powerful things my sister-in-law said, “I want you to know that I’m so proud of you. I have always been in awe of the energy you’ve put into your work and the idea of you channeling that energy into something you truly care about is absolutely thrilling. For you (your mind, your soul, your heart) and for whatever venture you take one.” It’s support like this that really keeps me going.

Sunday afternoon I flew back from Amherst, my parents entertained me during my layover, and then dropped me back off at the airport for a 6:30pm flight to being my journey in Peru.  Will write about my experiences from that trip in my next post once I have pics!

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