This is Me Actually Smiling

For the first time ever, I was smiling…not grinning from check to check as I left school today.  Today was the last day; after a long and intersting year, it was over.  Alas, I was only a Gator for a year, but it felt like it was a lot longer.

11 months ago, I remember distinctly traveling west for the first time ever for work.  It was the most depressing drive of my life.  I remember coming into a program where standards did not exist, no one knew what needed to be done and where quagmire after quagmire ensued.

11 months later, I brought the laughing stock of all 1:1 Catholic schools from the worst to tied with the best.  With a few award in between and the only person to leave at 3:30 with no work to bring home, yeah, let’s just say that it was a major accomplishment.

Yet, I was not happy.  I loved the work that I did.  I love the kids (well, some of them) and teaching them.  I love my colleagues who I dealt with each day, but I was still not happy.  It wasn’t because I couldn’t handle the job, believe me, I blew all expectations out of the water.  My colleagues and students are witness to it.  It was more of my inner peace that was missing.  So when I finally realized this, I had to say goodbye.

It took me 3 weeks before I realized that this was the right choice.  The AOC has been ademently recruiting me since November, not only my old boss, but also the whole IT department and HR.  After 2 offers which I turned down, in hopes that I would finish what I started as a Gator, I realized that as a Gator, I would be fought hard to be kept, while I have someone who is fighting really hard to get me back.  So after waking up realizing that I would be a lot happier at the AOC, I took their 3rd offer.

Going into work for the last time was surprisingly easy.  I still remember my first day when Dan & I met and he showed me the ropes.  Since day one, we click and had so much fun.  But in the end, the fun was only between our adventures and much frustration.  Which in turn took the fun away.  That was why when I came in today, I knew that the fun will return once again.

It was hard saying goodbye.  Goodbye to Dan who I truly enjoyed working aside.  Diana and Tracy, my amazing supervisors and mentors.  Katie, who became one of my best friends after college.  The other teachers and their quirks.  But let’s not forget my tech kids, I’m really going to miss them all; especially those who work for me.  Oh our fun lunches.

I won’t deny that my time as a Gator was good, but the passion to work was not there.  I learned a lot, but I also lost a lot too.  So when I left the doors for the last time, upon the firm handshakes of colleagues and sadden frowns of my kids, I could not help but to want to stay.  But I know, true happiness is out there and driving home for the last time, I was for once smiling because my time as a Gator is done and the future holds endless possibilities.

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