Today has been much more emotional for me than I thought it would be.
This is my last full day at work. Tomorrow I will come into the office, but I'm only working half a day. I will turn in my keys, give back my parking decal, turnover my staff ID and say goodbye.
I've been so caught up in the excitement of being able to stay home with Eli that I haven't thought about the actual leaving part.
I walked onto this university 10 years ago. TEN YEARS ago. It feels like forever, and feels like yesterday all wrapped up in some weird ball.
I grew up on this campus, no doubt about it. I was walking on campus today to go pay an outstanding parking ticket (dont' tell Luke) and the weight of everything that occurred in my life on this campus hit me.
This is where I began and ended my college experience. This is where I met some of my long time best friends and where I lost some friends. This is where I fell in love, and then broke up with that love.
I was walking today and passed the place where I ran into that love after breaking up with him and FINALLY feeling "over him" only to go to class and receive a text message from him about two minutes later that said "I am still in love with you". I later married that love.
I got my first "real" job on this campus and experienced the ups and downs of office life. There were times where I thrived and loved every minute and there were times where I waned to leave. But yet something kept me here.
It's weird to walk across campus and be filled with so many memories from various seasons of my life. In one spot I simultaneously have the memory of walking with a friend to class every single Monday/Wednesday/Friday and a particular stairwell being our place of "goodbye" for the afternoon, and a memory on that same stairwell where Luke and I took pictures for our second Christmas card as a married couple.
I walked past a field where Luke played intramural football during college and us girls would cheer him and his teammates on from the side, and years later that field would become a place where I would host a large campus wide event just a couple of months after giving birth.
I cried my eyes out on this campus on the last day of college knowing that friends were moving and life was going to be different, and I beamed with excitement on this campus when I brought my baby here for the first time to meet my co-workers.
This is my home, and oddly I never saw it coming. I've been here for ten years attending classes, forming friendships, getting married, changing jobs, growing professionally and having a baby, all the while never realizing that with each life change this campus was always a constant.
And now, it will simply be a memory. It will no longer be in my everyday life. The next step in my journey is beginning, and it's weird because with every other new step in a journey it involved this campus somehow in some way. For the past ten years it has been apart of my identity every step of the way.
Tomorrow when I come in and say goodbye I will probably cry, not because I'm sad, but because I am grateful for all my time on this campus, it has grown me in more ways than I could have realized.
I will carry the memories with me as I step away and begin the next season of my life. I will always hold in my heart this campus, it was apart of me and will always be apart of me.