It felt so strange to wake up this morning and not have a BlackBerry to check. I know some will think me mad for that, but I have got so used to having to check it every morning that I feel somewhat naked without it.
My last day at work was marked by an incredibly late arrival (leaving drinks the night before), a two hour lunch, two hours' worth of goodbyes, a lot of desk clearing and, remarkably, a submission of a paper.
I expected to feel sad, but I didn't expect the sheer amount of goodwill and best wishes from everyone. I didn't quite realise that so many people knew who I was, even if I hadn't worked with them, and I certainly did not expect the gifts I received.
I got an Altec Lansing Octiv 450 iPad speaker dock, an iPad case with built-in keyboard (being used right now), a Wii game and a box of chocolates.
I also got the world's largest farewell card and a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Fortunately, my eyes were so dry, I couldn't cry, even if my mascara did start to smear just a little.
The only thing I'd been dropping hints about was an iPod speaker dock, so that really surprised me. I was also told that the team I worked most closely with, also the team I would do anything for, and the team I'd hoped to join one day, was very generous with the envelope being full of cash by the time my colleague returned from making her rounds there.
My favourite bits from the leaving card include:
"I will miss the dancing lessons!"
"Hope you enjoy your travels around the world!"
"Best-dressed girl in [the company]. Someone will have to take over the best-dressed award at the parties now!"
"Wish you a lot of great parties, fancy dresses, expensive shoes and a fun job!"As you may be able to tell, I was not just a fantastic employee but an all-round fun person.
Prior to my leaving, I've had senior management telling me how good a job I've done and that everyone found me a pleasure to work with as well. I've had someone from Singapore, someone I respect very much, tell me that he'd been hoping I'd go work for him someday before I dropped the bombshell that was my resignation. I've had people telling me they hope I come back, but not to work for the team I was in because they know how frustrated and under-utilised I was there. And, I've had my boss tell me that I'll be welcome back anytime (much like my old boss in Singapore) and that he really appreciates the work I did and applauds the bravery of the move I'm making.
Despite everything, I am sad to be leaving. I'm also scared of the next move to come. But I'm also incredibly excited, even if this seems to be consuming so much of my life at the moment, and I'm grateful that everyone I've worked with seems to believe in me so strongly.
Onwards and upwards!