Monday, June 13, 2011

{ Endings }

Endings tend to sneak up on me. Generally, goodbyes don't take me by surprise; I'm oblivious to a lot of things, but the planner in me usually knows a parting of the ways is coming long before it occurs. Over the years, I've realized that no matter how long I've known about an "ending," no matter how eager I am for it, I'm always taken off-guard by the emotions of it, in the days and moments immediately preceding the goodbye. Leaving my first job to be a full-time college student. Graduating from college. Moving out of the house I shared with three other girls, just before marrying Mike. All were transitions that I longed for with great joy because I really wanted what was on the other side. Each time, I was blindsided by unexpected sadness by the endings that preceded the new beginnings--the unexpected sorrow of goodbye.

So with today. Tomorrow the hospital where I work opens a brand-spanking-new tower. All is flux and change and unknown in my department, from our new phone number (!) to how exactly we'll transfer exams from machines to server. I've been dreading it with an increasing knot in my stomach over the weekend, realizing just how much is still unknown and anticipating really exhausting days of work for the next few weeks at least. But this morning, waiting at an elevator with an echo machine, I was flooded with nostalgia. How many times have I waited, right here, at this crook in the hallway, for this elevator? Hundreds of times. Almost five years, I've pushed machines down these halls, prowled linen closets for pillows, gotten to know doctors and nurses and aides, done echo after echo after thousands of echoes. Literally thousands of echoes!

And tomorrow it changes. There will still be patients on several floors of the old building. Employees will remain {doubtless with some new hires}, though locations change. But this--this is what I've known. This is day in, day out, Monday through Friday, frequent weekends...this is where I've grown up. Here is where I've lived, in a very real sense. I've transformed from fresh-faced 23-year-old university graduate to almost-five-year veteran, one of the "old hands" {how is it possible that I'm senior over four coworkers?!}. From decidedly single, weighted with student loans, and fine with working late {what else was there to do?}, to happily married, debt-free and longing for the day when I can put away my scrubs for good.

So much has changed.

I didn't expect to be sentimental about an old, cobbled-together hospital building. Over the years, as Mike and I have talked and planned for me to transition out of the workforce when we have babies, I've remembered my always-unexpected nostalgia at otherwise happy goodbyes. I've reminded myself that when I leave my job, it will be harder than I expect. I was a little proud of myself for actually have the foresight to recognize this transition ahead of time.

I never imagined that this--another happy transition to newer, bigger, better, state-of-the-art--would poke little holes in my heart, too.

It's not really goodbye; I'll still be doing echoes in the old building, as well as the new tower next door. And this afternoon I started to get excited--really, truly, butterflies-in-the-stomach excited for the first time--about the transition. I even volunteered to do the first procedure in the new cath lab first thing tomorrow morning. This week is still probably going to be rough and exhausting. But it's an adventure--and the best part about saying goodbye to one thing, is that you're saying hello to another!


  1. Something about the way you articulate things... just really resonates with me. I don't even know how to explain it or really pin point it, but I am almost always nodding my head and saying a little "yes" in my heart as I read.

  2. "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end" :) Hope the transition is as smooth as it can be and hope they don't over-work you as everyone settles in! It's pretty amazing to take a step back every once in a while and appreciate where we have come from and anticipate where God is bringing us next! :)