Monday, April 19, 2010

Nearing The End

"So," Adam said, sitting across from me behind the closed door of his office. "I'd like to tell you something and ask you to keep it private."

"Anything for you," I replied and waited for him to call me cheeky before smiling silently and waiting for him to share his secret.

"I'm looking for other jobs," he confided and I felt my heart ache sharply as I blinked back tears, looking down briefly before nodding.

"I knew you were," I replied. "It's not been an easy adjustment for any of us and I know you're not happy. But," I trailed off, thinking this was a rather new experience for me. Mentors are supposed to be stationary and settled, tenure trapping them neatly in their offices so that I could easily find them. I was the one who got to leave.

You're my boss, I almost said. You rescued me from academia and gave me a career I adore. I've drifted from infatuation to abject hatred to a deep affection for the man and the thought of not getting to tease and laugh, commiserate and plot with him, was stunningly painful for that moment.

It's for the best, I decided. People who drift into my life are there for a reason and I get to love and enjoy them before they inevitably go away. I sometimes smile over photos or re-read old emails, struggling against an appropriately bittersweet sensation. Dreading that sensation is what keeps me writing here, waiting for the next trip so I can post self-indulgent photos and rambling posts. But as my site stats plummet and comments drift toward zero (which is fine - I totally understand that there's not a lot here to feel much about), I'm not doing a whole lot of good.

Then again, I'm in a mopey phase. Perhaps this too shall pass. If not, you can look forward to an angst-filled and deeply emotional goodbye post sometime.


JaneB said...

What do you mean you're not doing a whole lot of good?? I find it really, really interesting to learn about the transition to industry, about the differences and similarities in our workplaces, and you are a great writer worth reading.

So sorry to hear about Adam, that must be very unsettling

Amelie said...

True, mentors leaving you behind isn't that common in academia. If they move, they (offer to) take you along -- which may or may not be so thrilling. From all you wrote about Adam, I can see that it must be hard to see him even consider leaving.

On stats, well, you probably still have more readers than I've ever had. And we'd be sad to see you leave.

Ms.PhD said...

I'm feeling mopey, too.

Stats are meaningless, btw. I get more comments when I piss people off than when people like what I say. I also get more comments when I'm hopping mad or suicidally depressing than when I post about how something went well and I'm having a good day.

I'd rather be happy than be a successfully blogging trainwreck, wouldn't you?

Anyway I know exactly what you mean about people leaving. I am tired of having everyone I care about move away. I can't follow them all, so I don't follow any of them, but sometimes I wish that I had just a few really good friends who would, just for my sake, stay put (or follow ME around for a change!).

Girlpostdoc said...

"People who drift into my life are there for a reason and I get to love and enjoy them before they inevitably go away."

The good mentors may physically move away but they never really leave our lives.

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